Title: DBSH Profile

The DBSH is a social work professional association. More than 6,000 educators, special needs educators, social workers and social educators have joined together in order to establish a set of standards within the field of social work. In its capacity as a union, the DBSH is a member of the German Federation of Civil Servants (Deutscher Beamtenbund und Tarifunion, dbb).

The DBSH is represented both socio-politically and professionally in numerous professional social work organisations and performs diverse functions within these groups. Some of the groups include: International Federation of Social Workers (Internationale Vereinigung der SozialarbeiterInnen, ISFW), the German Association for Public and Private Welfare (Deutscher Verein für öffentliche und private Fürsorge e.V.), Child and Youth Welfare Association (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Jugendhilfe, AGJ), German Society for Business Administration (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Beratung, DGfB), German Women’s Council (Deutscher Frauenrat), Working Committee for Childcare and Education [Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Erziehungshilfe AFET e.V.), and the National Conference for Non-medical Employment Within the Field of Health Care (Bundeskonferenz der nichtärztlichen Berufe im Gesundheitswesen).

Professional social work has two responsibilities: to support society’s existing structures and norms, or the changing of said structures and norms, and to guide and help those who are not able to lead a satisfactory life due to existing societal contradictions. Social work manages to establish communication with those people who are no longer reachable by any other social structures.

In the context of global economic growth we are experiencing an increase of poverty and of an endangerment of general ecological and economic basics. At the same time, there is an ever-growing disparity between diverse groups and people regarding current living conditions. While for some individuals this may imply opportunities, it leads to social and psychological marginalisation for others.

Social work cannot solve material problems such as poverty and unemployment by providing individual assistance. It can, however, promote self-help and empowerment, strengthen the individual’s capacity for action and give advice regarding social and political issues. In this regard, social work also carries out active research concerning the impact of societal growth on certain groups within society.

The DBSH therefore has a broad understanding of the duties and responsibilities of social work and of its service providers:

Social work is offered to individuals, groups and communities in situations that require support, encouragement and guidance.
Social workers are experts in providing help.

‘Help’ as a professional service is necessary in situations where other resources (employment, material help, societal norms, self-help) are not available or accessible for respective recipients.
Social workers are experts in providing a link between people’s lives and the system of social structures and norms.

*     This link makes clear the extent of the effects of societal development on people’s living conditions.
Social workers are experts in researching the reciprocal correlation between living conditions and the social structures and systems. They contribute to a development of theories, strategies and methods that influence all aspects of society.

Social work believes in the ability of people to be able to shape their own lives. It takes a position in situations where the fundamental conditions of society are causing conflicts.
Social workers are experts in encouraging society’s advancement.

The activities of the DBSH and the employees it represents are necessary in order to support such advancement. Unlike hardly any other occupation, social work is intimately involved with individuals and their lives. This is both a privilege and a great responsibility. Social work encourages self-determination and political action.
Social workers are experts in encouragement, education and mobilization of the groups involved.

It is with this concept that the DBSH wants to further promote its visions, goals and demands.

The DBSH is thus committed to improving living conditions and creating an environment in which all individuals are able to participate in all aspects of society.

Good education, equality of opportunities, well-functioning social networks and citizens’ participation and happiness are the basis for the preservation of natural living conditions, the advancement of a democratic society and economic productivity.

The DBSH believes that social work has a particular responsibility. In order to be able to fulfil this responsibility, the DBSH asks for:

more decision-making power for employees;
a greater acceptance of social work;
the codification of necessary core competences and quality standards for the various social work fields;
a law which safeguards the employment of skilled personnel within the various fields of social work
the improvement and validation of research and education in colleges and universities;
the DBSH`s and the social work profession’s participation in the necessary further development of the welfare state through politics, administration and associations; as well as
a greater recognition of social work corresponding to its actual performance.

In order to reach these goals, the DBHS is active in a wider field. The association is committed, jointly with its sister organisations in the university sector, including the Social Work Department’s Day (Fachbereichstag Soziale Arbeit, FBTS) and the Special Education Department’s Day (Fachbereichstag Heilpädagogik), to assure the quality of social work training and practice.

Above all, social work needs good political and public support. The DBSH offers its expertise and activities as a contribution to the fight for a society founded on solidarity.

You are hereby cordially invited to contact our association and take advantage of our services.

Contact Information:
Association Headquarters and DBSH
Berlin Office

Deutscher Berufsverband für Soziale Arbeit e.V.
22-24 Rungestraße
Berlin 10179
Tel. (030) 400 54 012
Fax (030) 400 54 013
Internet: www.dbsh.de

National Branch Office (BGSt)

DBSH - Deutscher Berufsverband für Soziale Arbeit e.V.
30 Friedrich-Ebert-Straße
Essen 45127
Tel. (02 01) 8 20 78-0
Fax: (02 01) 8 20 78-40
Internet: www.dbsh.de

We will be happy to provide a detailed information pack on request. You can also get information about the DBSH on the internet. You will find the most extensive homepage for social work in
Germany at the following web address: www.dbsh.de



Quality leads to trust!


The professional register for social work — the DBSH’s contribution to quality assurance!

In March 2002 in Soest, on the initiative of the DBSH, the ‘Professional Register for Social Work' (Berufsregister für Soziale Arbeit, BSA) was founded. The intent of this ‘quality offensive’ is to solve the problem of the increasing pressure being put on the profession; for example, by the increasing work load or by handing over social service positions to employees who are not sufficiently qualified. By registering with the professional register, an individual’s competency can be guaranteed. In this way, those who are in need of social services are able to have full confidence in the professional abilities of the social workers. Such confidence is an important prerequisite for successful social work practice.

The professional register model is not new: it was successfully introduced at the beginning of the 1990s in the
Netherlands, Italy, and Great Britain. In some countries it is no longer possible to enter into the social work profession without belonging to a professional register or association. In contrast, the German professional register is voluntary. Other European countries are also considering establishing similar systems of professional registration.

Although this topic has been discussed, sometimes controversially, there is some agreement that a university diploma alone is not sufficient as qualification in the long term. Additional training and skill enhancement is absolutely necessary. ‘Good’ social work practice is based on individual commitment and reflection, as well as through personal and professional growth. Therefore, these quality criteria and their periodical review by the professional register are the basic requirements for a registration. Registered social workers are then granted the additional title of ‘rBSA’.

Educational institutions can have their additional training and professional development programs certified. This ensures that the qualified social work employees are able to find out which programs are recognized by the professional register and how many points will be awarded for them.

The ‘professional register’ quality assurance system will finally be a success in Germany once those responsible for job applications or project funding begin to take into consideration an individual’s registration by the DBSH.

In order to register:

The annual registration and access fee for the professional register’s services is 60 Euros for DBSH members and 120 Euros per year for all other professional social workers.

Further Information:

Deutscher Berufsverband für Soziale Arbeit e.V.
- Büro für das Berufsregister für Soziale Arbeit -
22-24 Rungestraße
Berlin 10179
Tel.:  (030) 400 54 012
Fax:  (030) 400 54 013
E-Mail: info@dbsh.de
Internet: www.berufsregister.de


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