The Association of Single Mothers and Fathers (VAMV) supports single parents with up-to-date information, professional advice and committed lobbying, and the VAMV reflects the diversity of different ways of life. 1.6 million single parents in Germany, who live together with 2.2 million children under 18 years are alone educating in most diverse way: They are divorced, separately living, live in new partnership however separate dwellings, are widowed or simply unmarried – their interests stand for the VAMV in the foreground: a existence-securing work, a good care of children, successful handling contacts, guaranteed maintenance payments – briefly: a good life! Single parenting places high demands on mothers and fathers and demands all their commitment and personality. But they will find that their self-confidence, their assertiveness and their confidence grow into their own strength.
The Federal Association
influences legislation, draws attention to the special situation of single parents and their children through its public relations work, and represents the interests of single-parent families in cooperation with other national organisations, institutions and associations. Beyond that it informs however-educating, in addition, press and public, in its four times annually appearing information for a parents families and publishes the regularly updated paperback: Alone educating – Tipps and information .
Prizes for the VAMV Federal Association: German Youth Aid Prize 1998, German Children’s Rights Prize 2002.
The regional associations
maintain contact with ministries, organisations, institutions and parties in their federal state and exert special influence on state legislation. They promote and support the establishment of local associations and contact points. Some of the regional associations carry out highly innovative projects.
200 Regional associations and contact points
are mainly for the exchange of experience and mutual help and support. The services offered by the local associations and regional contact points are based on the respective wishes and needs of its local members. It ranges from discussion circles to information and counselling services to political actions to address local grievances – such as housing construction hostile to families and children, lack of childcare facilities, etc. – and to provide support and assistance for the local associations and regional contact points. – to draw attention to them. Projects are also carried out in the local associations.
Basic family policy programme
The reality of family life has changed dramatically in recent decades. But it is not the family in its many facets that has priority, but still the institution of marriage – to the detriment of all those who have opted for other forms of life or find themselves in them. Single parents and their children live above average in poverty, even though they are highly employed. This is also an expression and consequence of the discrimination of parents and women in society.
The VAMV makes the following demands on the state and society in its Family Policy Policy Programme.
The VAMV Federal Association is a member of the following organisations:
ENoS: European network for single-parent families
The “European Network of Single Parent Families” (ENoS) has a new top: Ida Lanbacher, Chairwoman of the South Tyrolean Platform for Single Parents, has appointed Edith Schwab, President of ENoS for many years and Chairwoman of the German Association of Single Mothers and Fathers e.V., to the new position. (VAMV), on 21 September in Vienna. As Vice President, Edith Schwab continues to be represented in the leadership trio of the European Lone Parents Network. Monique Gerber, President of the Swiss Association of Single Parents (SVAMV), was elected as the third ENoS Vice-President.
Under the auspices of the VAMV, the ENoS members met for their annual meeting from 21 to 23 September. The meeting focused on the exchange of current political topics and developments in the countries. At the invitation of the Austrian Platform for Single Parents (ÖPA), ENoS representatives discussed the situation of single parents, the high risk of poverty among their children and a basic child safety measure as an antidote with European parliamentarians and experts at the European symposium “Basic Child Safety” on 22 September in Vienna.
Miriam Hoheisel, Managing Director of the Association of Single Mothers and Fathers, presented the model developed by the VAMV for an income-independent basic child protection system: “Basic child protection is the most effective instrument for combating child poverty, giving all children the same chances of a good start in life and breaking the vicious circle of poverty,” said Hoheisel. In Germany, the poverty risk of the children of single parents is 37.5 per cent, three times as high as that of children growing up in couple families. The VAMV demands the introduction of an income-independent basic child benefit of 500 euros. The ÖPA also demands unconditional basic child protection for all children in Austria. The good press response to the demand for a basic child protection system, with which the ÖPA has revived the debate on child poverty in Austria, was pleasing.
The children of single parents are the largest group affected by poverty in almost all countries. The poverty risk of children in the EU is 19 per cent, that of single-parent families 35 per cent. A total of 20 million children are considered poor. Poor children demonstrably participate less in education, do not attend secondary schools in equal proportions and are less likely to be found in clubs and leisure initiatives. Child poverty has a considerable impact on the economic locations of states, which are dependent on a powerful, innovative and creative generation of young people. Further investment must be made in the expansion of high-quality childcare and free access to all types of educational institutions if the current economic crisis is not to become a permanent crisis. ENoS was founded in Berlin in 2007 on the initiative of the VAMV and is an association of single parent organisations from seven European countries (Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France and Sweden).
Model project child care
Model project “Supplementary childcare, emergency care and counselling for single-parent families in Germany”.
Between 2014 and 2017, the VAMV supported single parents at three locations with the pilot project “Supplementary childcare, emergency care and counselling for single-parent families”. The evaluation shows: The VAMV calls for supplementary childcare and a strengthening of working time sovereignty to close childcare gaps nationwide. It has published political recommendations for action in this regard.