laughing children on the meadow

Family and Education: Creating Child-Centered Policies

All children and adolescents have a right to grow up well and with fair access to education and opportunities to participate - regardless of their social, economic or cultural-ethnic background.  To create good family, education and social policies, we must ask for their personal perspectives and focus on their needs, rights and interests. 

Contact persons

Foto Anette Stein
Anette Stein
Foto Antje Funcke
Antje Funcke
Senior Expert
Foto Sarah Menne
Sarah Menne
Senior Project Manager
Foto Simone Reichelt
Simone Reichelt
Project Manager
Foto Julian Storck-Odabaşı
Dr. Julian Storck-Odabaşı
Project Manager
Foto Ruth Kordtomeikel-Hiller
Ruth Kordtomeikel-Hiller
Project Assistant
Foto Tanja Meyer zur Heyde
Tanja Meyer zur Heyde
Project Assistant


In Germany, 2.8 million children and adolescents grow up in poverty. This means more than every fifth child is affected. Poverty has remained on a constantly high level for years – despite a long period of economic growth and numerous family policy reforms. For many children and adolescents, poverty is not a short-term experience but rather a permanent condition.

Children who grow up in single-parent households or in families with three or more children are especially affected by poverty. Their fair access to education and their opportunities to participate are hampered massively.  

Growing up in poverty is consequential. Poverty limits, embarrasses and determines the life of children and adolescents – today and with regards to their future.  

Focussing on the needs, rights and interests of children and adolescents

It is the aim of the project ‘Family and Education: Creating Child-Centered Policies’ to put the well-being and needs, rights and interests of children and adolescents at the heart of it. Moreover, they must be given the opportunity to participate systematically because they are experts of their own lives and know best what they need.  

Together with an scientific expert panel as well as our Young Experts Team we develop proposals on how to effectively avoid child poverty and on how the children’s rights to participate can be fulfilled sustainably.  

Concept for ensuring children and adolescents have a socially inclusive standard of living

Our work focusses on three building blocks. Together they form our concept for ensuring children and adolescents have a socially inclusive standard of living:  

  • A more inclusive universal child benefit: An easy and transparent financial benefit for children and adolescents that effectively prevents young people from falling into poverty. 
  • A needs survey for and together with children and adolescents: Carried out regularly and systematically for and with children and adolescents. This survey, on the one hand, offers the opportunity to gather information on young people’s own needs and their perspective on those, and, on the other, to make this information available to policy-makers and practitioners. 
  • Needs-based, quality infrastructure: Children and adolescents need good preschools and schools, a well-organized local support system and competent and unbureaucratic contact points for themselves and their parents.

Children have the right to grow up well and to quality education and participation. It is long overdue that we as society redeem this right.