Socialnet reviews: johannes m – nder, thomas trenczek: child and youth welfare law

Johannes Münder, Thomas Trenczek: Child and youth welfare law. A sociologically oriented presentation. Nomos Publishing Company (Baden-to bathe) 2015. 8th edition. 375 pages. ISBN 978-3-8252-4498-9. D: EUR 19.99, A: EUR 20.60, CH: CHF 25.30.
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The newly edited textbook on child and youth welfare law, included as part 8 of the Social Code, belongs to the special social administration law and is of considerable practical importance. The focus of the book, which is primarily aimed at students of social science, but also at students of law and practitioners, lies in the inclusion of social and human science findings relating to child and youth welfare law as well as in supplementation by state law regulations, for which numerous Reservations of provincial law can be found in the law.

The presentation builds on the textbook for the civil-legal bases, especially the custody powers Mouths / Ernst / Behlert, Family law, 7th edition 2013, provides information on learning and working materials and inserts the explanations of the FK-SGB VIII and further evidence. The higher court decisions up to mid-2015 will be evaluated. The authors’ concern is to impart structural knowledge of child and youth welfare law, as well as the legal basis, in particular services and the most important so-called other tasks. The social and socio-political context is taken up again in the last two chapters (chapters 15 and 16) on youth welfare planning and youth policy design tasks.


The book is divided into 16 chapters, which according to the introductory chapters (1 – 3) are structured in the order of the paragraphs of the law. Chapters 2 – 4, 15, 16 were written by Johannes Münder, chapters 13 and 14 of him in co-authorship with Arne von Boetticher, Chapters 1 and 5 – 12 of Thomas Trenczek reworked. All authors are excellently identified in child and youth welfare law.


According to the social science orientation, the presentation begins in 1st chapter with references to the demographic development, the changing forms of family life, the parenting situation deviating from the previous one and the desired parenting behavior (Chapter 2).

In connection with this is the quite detailed section on the historical development of child and youth welfare law (Section 3.2). Under the heading of the hierarchy of the relevant regulations, the ECHR, the UN CRC and the KSÜ are also mentioned as guiding regulations and, in connection with the scope of the law (§ 6 SGB VIII), with (too) scarce reasons as a breach of the requirements of paragraph 2 (Chapter 3.1). (Only) for young adults the basic regulations of the German Residence Act and the Asylum Act (2015 Asylum Ordinance) are listed. Due to the date of publication, the regulations on taking into care of unaccompanied refugees under the age of 1 November 2015 (SGB VIII) could not be taken into account due to the publication date, but the comments on age determination are also relevant for this.

The explanations in Sections 4.1 and 4.2 are particularly important for practitioners: in relation to the obligations of other social service providers, the legislator has provided for a complicated priority and subordinate relationship, which is clearly presented in the most important competitions. The relationship between the providers of public and free youth welfare is taken up against the background of the political discussion (Section 4.3) and deepened in Chapter 14 (for the forms of financing see Table 12 and the explanations below).

The Part 2 (Chapters 5 – 9) is dedicated to the core area of ​​youth welfare law, benefits (§§ 11 – 41) and additional provisions (§§ 36- 40). In the introductory section, program sentences are also understood as assignment of tasks, appropriate facilities and services, and are therefore understood as compulsory tasks (see the explanations to §§ 11 – 14 SGB VIII). However, the focus is on subjective performance claims that are linked to certain criteria. The different legal qualities of the claims and the corresponding consequences are summarized and practically supplemented with the relevant administrative procedural and administrative procedural regulations. The sections on cooperative decision-making and the scope of judicial review are particularly important for students (Section 5.3). The section on the ombudsman in child and youth welfare has only dealt with issues that have been addressed for a few years.

Because of the social-scientific approach, youth work and youth social work (Sections 11, 13 SGB VIII) are presented in a relatively detailed manner and school social work is included. The author delves deeper into the advisory services, including the mediation offers in Sections 17, 18 SGB VIII, which belong to the "psychosocial infrastructure of the community". The educational science perspective shapes the statements on the promotion of children in day care centers and day care (§§ 22 – 26 SGB VIII). However, statements on the financing system and cost sharing are also included.

For the "classic individual help" of §§ 27 ff. SGB VIII, the author focuses on the educational needs. He rightly draws attention to the structural problem that the principle of voluntariness and the design as a claim of the custodian only ensures protection and concerns of the minor to a limited extent, and links the right to benefits with the protection mandate according to § 8a SGB VBIII. The intervention thresholds are illustrated using an overview (Fig. 2). After weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of "pillaring" the aid, the various forms of educational aid are worked out and compared with regard to the educational objective and the focal points of the content. This allows the reader to get a good overview of the spectrum of help.

The author turns the integration aid according to § 35a SGB VIII, its requirements and the forms of help relatively briefly. What is important in practice is the more detailed description of the delimitation and the overlap with the integration aids of SGB XII. In the case of aid for young adults, the integration aid for young adults is not explicitly taken up.

The relevant procedural rules, in particular the involvement and participation of those affected and their right to choose and vote, are addressed for help with education and integration assistance and the planning of help is also discussed from a social science perspective (for the social law triangle, see Section 14.3). The overview of the ideal-typical course of the aid plan process and the table of the necessary work steps are very useful (Fig. 5, Tab. 9).

The 3rd part (Chapters 10 and 11) focuses on the protection of minors through intervention according to § 42 SGB VIII and evaluates the statistical results for the factual consideration. An overview (Fig. 7) is again helpful for the presentation of the requirements and the chronological course. The explanations on § 8a can be found mainly in the section on participation in family court proceedings (for the handling of risk reports, see Fig. 10). Section 42 (5) SGB VIII, the author takes the occasion to generally mention the requirements for (closed) accommodation in youth welfare institutions.

In the author’s opinion, preventive protection through the requirement of a nursing and operating license (Sections 43 – 49 SGB VIII) implies not only professional qualifications but also a corresponding personnel key to deal with educational issues and the social and linguistic integration of minors. Securing includes the comprehensive inspection obligation of the responsible authority.

The tasks of the youth welfare offices in matters of guardianship, care and assistance (§§ 52a – 58a SGB VIII) are addressed with reference to the requirements under family law. The last task-related section is devoted to the involvement of youth welfare offices in family court proceedings (sections 50 – 52 SGB VIII) and focuses on dealing with the tasks of youth welfare and the judiciary, emphasizing the social pedagogical action orientation of youth welfare offices. The tasks of the youth welfare offices are also reflected in terms of their procedural status, but the focus is on juvenile justice.

The 4th part (Chapter 12) is dedicated to social data protection law and provides an overview of the areas of application. The focus of the presentation is on the right to inspect files, the protection of data in judicial proceedings and questions regarding the right to refuse to testify by specialists in youth welfare offices and advice centers. This facilitates access to the difficult cross-sectional material.

The 5th part (Chapter 13) deals with the relationships between the state organization law and the structure of the authorities and points out the necessary equipment of the youth welfare authorities by the providers. The hierarchical structure of the youth welfare authorities and the two-tier structure of the youth welfare offices and the state youth welfare offices further lead to the tasks of the current administration and current questions of social-spatial orientation.


The textbook provides a good overview of central tasks of child and youth welfare, enables access to a problem-related deepening and, in particular, integrates the specific social law issues into the family law and juvenile law context with the explanations about judicial decision-making powers and participation in proceedings. The authors’ concern is also to present the sociopolitical background and for individual tasks to refer back to the social and human scientific findings.

Review of
Prof. Dr. Cornelia Bohnert
Catholic University of Social Sciences Berlin
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Cornelia Bohnert. Review from June 20th, 2016 to: Johannes Münder, Thomas Trenczek: Child and Youth Welfare Law. A sociologically oriented presentation. Nomos Publishing Company (Baden-Baden) 2015. 8th edition. ISBN 978-3-8252-4498-9. In: socialnet reviews, ISSN 2190-9245,, date of access 15.01.2020.

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