Economic turmoil and social deprivation of the past have led to organized Caritas
Particularly in the 19th century, many groups, associations and religious orders
created relief organisations and facilities for charitable work.
Lorenz Werthmann founded the “Caritasverband für das katholische Deutschland”
(“Charity Association for Catholic Germany”) on November 9, 1897, in order to coordinate
relief efforts more effectively and strengthen Caritas` influence on society
and socio-political decisions.
Since 1916, the German Caritas Association has been, as acknowledged by the
bishops, the organizational form of the associated Caritas in Germany.
As such, the German Caritas Association supports and promotes the work of its
branch and member organizations.
As one of the leading private social welfare organizations, the German Caritas Association
represents the interests of member organizations at the federal level.
Caritas branch organizations fulfill the functions of a leading organization at their respective levels.
The tasks and responsibilities of the German Caritas Association and its branch
and member organizations are divided according to which group can do the most
competent job in a small, local setting.
Associational and organizational structures are laid out for further development.
They are flexible to meet the changing demands. The people who are affected by
change participate in the development of new structures.
The German Caritas Association has personal, corporate, and associated corporate
The German Caritas Association strengthens and promotes its members’ possibilities
for self-representation and participation.
The German Caritas Association supports association work as an instrument of
societal influence and political involvement.
It offers all those interested in social work the opportunity to participate, either voluntarily
or professionally, in the attainment of its goals and fulfillment of its tasks.
The Association develops opportunities for participation and decision-making and
promotes involvement through counseling and continuing education.
It supports the commitment of voluntary charity work in parishes, societies, groups,
It stands up for improved conditions in the field of volunteer social work. Better
conditions could make volunteer work more attractive and improve cooperation
between volunteers and professionals.
The Association promotes the concept of social movement and cooperates with
socially involved people, initiatives, and organizations in efforts to create a society
of true solidarity.
It is dependent on committed and qualified staff members who are willing to uphold
the goals and tasks formulated in this statement and to realize them through
Expertise, a willingness to commit oneself, flexibility and loyalty build the foundation
of professional services.
The German Caritas Association, as an employer, is responsible for each staff
member’s social situation.
The Association looks for possibilities for its staff to easily combine job and family.
Men and women are assured equal opportunities to develop professionally.
The Association supports staff members in their professional, personal, and religious
It allows staff members to participate in setting objectives and making decisions
which influence their own work.
Clear job descriptions and the delegation of competencies and responsibilities
make it possible for staff to show initiative and to work independently.
The Association promotes the training and activities of the elected representatives
of Caritas’ employees.
The work of Caritas is ecclesiastical work.
Caritas’ work follows the rules and guidelines of the Church.
Both employees and employers are obliged to contribute to an atmosphere of trust
within the caring community.
This type of atmosphere is characterized by respect for individual personalities, by
cooperation based on partnership, and by constructive conflict solving.