What we do

Social Policy

Speaking Out for People on the Margins

Kanzlerin Merkel und Caritas-Präsident NeherThe President of Caritas Germany Dr. Peter Neher (right) with Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, at the Caritas Congress 2013 in Berlin.(c) Marc Boos

Caritas strives to achieve the ideal of ‘social participation’ described in the German Code of Social Law (Sozialgesetzbuch). In our centres and institutions, Caritas helps to enable disadvantaged people so they can better stand up for their needs and rights. If they are unable to do this themselves or require more support, the German Caritas Association defends their cause on a local, national and European level.

Shaping Social Policy

When Caritas speaks out, our voice is heard. As one of the six non-statutory welfare associations in Germany, Caritas is consulted by the German government on all issues of social policy-making. The German Caritas Association’s social law experts review bills and offer suggestions and alternative models. The demands they make are based on their actual experience of working with disadvantaged people. Their goal is to promote social and political developments which are against social disadvantage and exclusion.

The German Caritas Association is also involved in developing more needs-oriented infrastructures in Germany. Caritas helps to ensure that the fundamental coverage of basic needs is maintained in society by providing services in the areas of health and social care, child and adult education and employment.

Stimulating Public Debate

In our public relations work, Caritas focuses on bringing attention to all forms of need, whether they are very visible or more hidden. Caritas helps to turn the public eye towards newly developing social problems, and we prompt public debate on social values and forms of cooperation. Every year, Caritas launches nationwide campaigns focusing on groups of socially disadvantaged people, raising public awareness and developing social conscience.