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Procedure descriptions

Request temporary reception of children and young people in a safe place

If a child is in danger at home or living in neglect, the Youth Welfare Office can take this child into its care.

Taking into care means temporary admission and accommodation, for example:

  • with a suitable person
  • in a foster family
  • in an institution (child and youth emergency service)
  • in another form of supervised accommodation

The aim is to protect the child and to clarify the conflict or crisis situation. The Youth Welfare Office approaches the parents (or the custodians or legal guardians) to mediate. If necessary, it initiates further assistance.

Note: The youth welfare office can apply to the family court for necessary measures if the parents or guardians are

  • not available,
  • not willing or
  • are not willing or able to cooperate with the youth welfare office.

Responsible department

the local youth welfare office

Youth Welfare Office is,

  • if you live in a city district: the city administration
  • if you live in a rural district: the Landratsamt (district administration office)

Note: The city of Constance performs the tasks as the local youth welfare agency itself. The city of Villingen-Schwenningen has handed over the municipal youth welfare office to the Schwarzwald-Baar-Kreis as of 01.07.2023.



The well-being of the child or young person is endangered, either at their own discretion or at the discretion of the staff of the Youth Welfare Office.


Children and young people in an acute crisis or in danger can ask to be taken into care themselves. To do so, they must contact the youth welfare office responsible for their place of residence. The youth welfare office is obliged to comply with the request.

Have you, as a child and youth welfare worker, noticed an urgent danger to the well-being of a child? Then you are obliged to place it in the care of the Youth Welfare Office.

The following applies to unaccompanied minor foreigners:

During temporary custody, the Youth Welfare Office has to assess the following together with the child or the young person:

  • Whether the child's or young person's welfare would be endangered by the implementation of the distribution procedure, which is to be carried out within seven working days of the start of the measure, or whether their state of health precludes distribution,
  • whether a person related to the child or the juvenile is staying in Germany or abroad, or
  • whether the well-being of the child or adolescent requires that he or she be taken into care together with siblings or other unaccompanied foreign children or adolescents.
  • The youth welfare office has the duty to work towards a reunification with a related person in Germany, provided it is in the best interests of the child.

Attention: All persons who learn that a child is being abused or neglected in his or her family should immediately inform the Youth Welfare Office. These can be, for example:

  • Neighbours,
  • Relatives,
  • Educators or teachers

As soon as a child is taken into care, he or she may notify a person he or she trusts. The staff of the Youth Welfare Office are obliged to inform the parents or legal guardians immediately. In serious cases, the Youth Welfare Office may only inform the parents that the child has been taken into care. The staff members then do not have to state the place of placement or the reason for taking the child into care.

During custody, the youth welfare office is entitled to temporarily take all legal steps necessary for the child's welfare. This concerns e.g

  • Supervision,
  • Care and
  • Upbringing of the child and
  • determining the child's whereabouts.

The following applies to unaccompanied minor foreigners:

During temporary custody, the youth welfare office is entitled and obliged to perform all legal acts that are necessary for the well-being of the child or young person.

Depending on the child's age and stage of development, it shall involve the child in all decisions concerning the taking into custody.

The taking into custody is only temporary. It ends when

  • the child can return to the family, or
  • the youth welfare office grants another form of assistance (e.g. upbringing in a foster family, home education, assisted living).

The following applies to unaccompanied minor foreigners:

Temporary custody ends

  • when the child or young person is handed over to the custodian or legal guardian,
  • with the handover to the youth welfare office responsible on the basis of the allocation decision of the competent Land authority, or
  • with the notification of exclusion from the allocation procedure.

The aim is always to find a suitable solution for the child according to need.

Notice: If the parents do not agree, the youth welfare office decides whether it can hand over the child to the parents or legal guardians. If this is not the case, the family court decides what measures must be taken for the child's welfare. It can temporarily or permanently withdraw part or all of the parental care. If the parents are willing to cooperate with the Youth Welfare Office, there is a chance that the domestic situation will improve. Then the child can return to its family.



Required documents






Release note

04.09.2023 Sozialministerium Baden-Württemberg


Bürger- und Standesamt (Bürgeramt)
Grabenstraße 15
89522 Heidenheim an der Brenz
Fax (0 73 21) 3 23-33 32