▷ 5% less educational help in the Corona year 2020

29.10.2021 – 08:00

Federal Office of Statistics


  • Child and youth welfare reports around 53,600 fewer educational aids than in 2019
  • The number of on-site parenting consultations fell particularly sharply
  • High utilization of educational assistance by single parents

In the Corona year 2020, the child and youth welfare organizations in Germany provided around 963,000 educational help for young people under the age of 27. According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), that was around 53,600 cases or 5% fewer than in the previous year. This means that the number of educational assistance has decreased for the first time after a continuous increase since the beginning of the time series in 2008 and its peak in 2019. At the same time, it also fell below the million mark, which it had already exceeded in 2018. From 2008 to 2019, childcare benefits increased by a total of 218,900 cases (+ 27%). The background to the development in 2020 is probably the general contact restrictions as a result of the corona pandemic. In particular, this can explain the decline in on-site educational counseling. In the counseling centers, however, more and more telephone consultations were offered, which are not included in the statistics.

Educational aids are advisory, care or assistance offers from child and youth welfare to which parents of underage children have a legal entitlement. The spectrum ranges from educational counseling to socio-educational family help and home education. Young adults up to the age of 27 are also entitled to appropriate help under certain conditions.

In 2020, 71% of educational help was directed to minors, 11% to young adults and 18% to entire families, for example as socio-educational family help. A completed educational aid took an average of 11 months.

On-site educational counseling services drop from their highest to their lowest level

Parents, families or young people seeking advice most frequently took advantage of on-site educational counseling – in 2020, however, much less frequently than in previous years: youth welfare offices, Caritas, Diakonie and other child and youth welfare agencies in 2020 have a total of around 438,500 such counseling carried out for personal or family problems and to solve educational issues or in the event of separation and divorce. In 59% of all cases it was primarily the parents, in 30% the entire family and in a further 12% of the cases the young people who sought help as a priority. On average, a completed consultation took 6 months.

Compared to the previous year, the number of on-site parenting consultations has fallen by 38,400 cases (-8%) – and thus from its highest to its lowest level. The decline in the number of consultations that had started in the Corona year 2020 was particularly noticeable: compared to the previous year, around 44,900 fewer consultations were initiated in 2020 (-14%). The background to this development is likely to be the corona-related restrictions decided in the course of 2020, which made personal contacts in the counseling centers and other places difficult or impossible at times. Various advice centers point out, however, that more support was provided by telephone in 2020. Consultations by telephone are not included in the statistics.

Trends from previous years continue: more family help, fewer home education

The development of the other educational aids, on the other hand, varied: while family-oriented assistance increased for the fourth year in a row in 2020 (+3 200 cases or + 2%), the other individual aids fell across the board (-18 400 cases or -5%). However, this can only be partially explained by the general restrictions resulting from the corona pandemic. The decline in the number of unaccompanied minors also plays a role. These are now gradually leaving the child and youth welfare system, after having received more care there after their entry. For example, after reaching a high of 148,100 cases in 2017, the number of homecoming continued to decline in 2020, as in the two previous years (-9,200 cases or -7%). In 2020, a total of around 126,900 home draws were carried out.

High demand by single parents, especially when receiving transfer benefits

427,900 or 44% of all educational assistance was used by single mothers or fathers in 2020. This means that single parents received educational help much more often than parents living together (33%) or parents in a new partnership (16%).

The gap widened even further among the group of those who received state transfer payments. In 381,700 or 40% of all aid granted, the family of origin or the young person lived wholly or partially on transfer payments – i.e. unemployment benefit II (SGB II), social assistance, needs-based basic security in old age and reduced earning capacity or a child allowance. In this group, 57% were single parents, 22% lived together as parents and 16% as parents in a new partnership.

Methodological note:

Consultations by telephone are not included in the statistics. On the one hand, it can be assumed that they cannot be an equivalent substitute for personal advice on site. On the other hand, changing the methodology in the current survey does not make sense, since otherwise the effects of special events, including the effect of the pandemic, could not be mapped.

Additional Information:

Detailed results of the statistics are available in the publication “Educational Help” and in the GENESIS-Online database under “Educational Help / Advice (22517)”.

The complete press release as well as further information and functions are available on the website of the Federal Statistical Office at https://www.destatis.de/pressemitteilungen to find.

Further information:

Child and youth welfare statistics,

Phone: +49 611 75 8231


Press contact:

Questions to the above contact person or to:
Federal Office of Statistics

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Original content by: Federal Statistical Office, transmitted by news aktuell


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