Germany - Ehemaligenrat

Target group: Former (care leaver) of Albert-Schweitzer-Kinderdorf e.V. Waldenburg (place in Baden Württemberg, federal state in Germany)

Main goal of the project: Contact, exchange of views and consultation from and with former and employee of the equipment.

Short summary: In 1957 started Albert-Schweitzer-Kinderdorf e.V. the first child village in Germany. Some former children who lived in the Albert's Schweitzer village now advice and inform current carers, staff and people from inside and outside the village about all care leaver matters.

We are a group of adults with care experience. We meet 3 times a year in a informal way. From these meetings an adviser is chosen. This member becomes a contact for other former residents to exchange experiences, publish communications and prepare the meetings. In 2006 the former residents developed a statement of purpose in which the aims and duties are established. The children's village supports this self-help initiative. In 1984 funding was made available to create a a care leaver council. A specific role was created to coordinate the meetings and take care of regular contacts with the former care leavers. This role was oringinally carried out on a voluntary basis. Recently a former care leaver has been employed on a part time basis to undertake this work. The council provides an important opportunity to achieve self advancement and to receive feedbacks about what has worked well and not so well and t gets suggestions on what needs to change.

The organisation has a fund set aside to help care leavers in emergency situations. Care leavers can borrow money and pay it back in installments. The former care leaver council is chosen every 4 years (every second former meeting). A full meeting takes every 2 years. It exists of 9 – 13 former care leavers of the Albert's Schweitzer children's village who live now in different regions of Germany. Former care leavers from different generations of the Kinderdorf-(Children´s village) are represented. The meetings are free, travel expenses are refunded.. At these meetings the subjects are fixed for conversation rounds, discussions are led and the meetings are planned and prepared by the former care leavers.

The former care leaver council organises informal meetings each year to which the partners and chldren of former care leavers are invited free of charge (for example summer party, Christmas bazaar...). They also hold official events (Child and youth welfare committee, meeting with youth welfare departments, etc.). Exchanges take place to connect with other former care leaver councils, as well as with the employees of the children’s village about their experiences of youth welfare.

Useful links (video’s, websites etc.):; Contact person & organization: Zsuzsanna Fellinger, Margarete-Gutöhrlein-Str.16, D -74638 Waldenburg, (+49)06294-354818 / (+49)0162-490 74 55

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