About us

The German Institute for Youth Human Services and Family Law (DIJuF) e. V. offers a platform for professional dialogue between institutions and occupational groups which are involved in youth welfare and family law. The office in Heidelberg supports the German youth welfare offices by offering expert legal advice, providing professional publications and organizing specialist conferences. The DIJuF also advises supra-regional committees and organisations as well as political and legislative bodies on youth welfare and family law matters. The DIJuF is the only German non-governmental organisation that is committed to supporting youth welfare departments in the enforcement of child maintenance claims against non-resident parents. In order to enforce maintenance claims, the DIJuF liaises with corresponding foreign government departments and is involved in efforts to strengthen international cooperation. The executive board and the board of directors are regularly informed of the office's activities. The executive board also serves as a forum for planning, policy making and discussion of development trends. For further information information see our flyer „Over 100 years of commitment in policies, law, practice” To contact staff members of the DIJuF office in Heidelberg please visit Geschäftsstelle on the German version of our Website.

Members/Articles of association

Municipalities and counties representing the local bodies for public youth human services are forming the membership of German Institute for Youth Human Services and Family Law (DIJuF).

The composition of the membership has remained constant for decades. In 2020, 557 of the 558 German youth welfare offices are members of the DIJuF, although this number only comprises one youth welfare office for each of the German city states' (such as Berlin and Hamburg) and not the individual youth departments in the boroughs within those states.

Additionally, there are 28 other bodies for youth human services who are members of the association.

The DIJuF is a registered non profit association. Pursuant to § 5 of its articles of association, it is represented by the general assembly, the executive board and the board of directors.

The general assembly convenes once every two years. The general assembly discusses and decides on fundamental constitutional matters. Additionally, it elects the members of the executive board and the board of directors.

The office in Heidelberg is central to the provision of services to the DIJuF's members. It cooperates in a multi-faceted way with the responsible bodies of the non-governmental youth welfare organisations and associations and the legislative and regional and national authorities.

The office also serves as a venue for professional conferences. It is also used as a venue for the members of the standing symposia, as well as by various specialized working groups and the DIJuF's commissions.

The DIJuF's Articles of Association can be downloaded via the German version of the website.

The DIJuF's history

The DIJuF is over one hundred years old. It was founded in 1906 in Frankfurt a. M. as „Archiv deutscher Beufsvormünder” (the Association of professional German legal guardians).

The association had a great influence on the development of legal custody Germany. It was also involved in the founding of the German youth welfare offices, which took on responsibility for legal custodianship in the 1920's.

In 1955 (after a number changes in name) the association became the „Deutsches Institut für Vormundschaftswesen” (German institute for legal custodianship). In 1999, during the course of the reform of the German child law, the institute extended its range of responsibilities into the legal realms of youth welfare and family law. It adopted its current name at the same time.

„A century of youth welfare and family law”, which was published by Dr. Harald Jenner on the occasion of the DIJuF's centenary, gives a comprehensive overview of the DIJuF's history.