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The Association


The initial point was a student project at the Freie Universität Berlin which resulted in the foundation of the first Child Protection Centre in Berlin in 1975. Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Reinhart Wolff a change of perspective in child protection was pursued. In the 70s a rethinking in child protection began. The topic “violence within the family” was focused and it became apparent that this question would be a crucial issue in future.

As a consequence of this, initiatives were established in the old Federal Republic that followed the ideas of the “new child protection”. In 1980 the first nationwide working team was founded with the aim of launching an own association of Child Protection Centres.

Das erste Büro in der Spichern Straße in Köln.It took another six years until in 1986 the Federation of Child Protection Centres was built up as a non-profit organisation, initially at seven locations in Germany. At this point, already with common quality criteria which had to be fulfilled in order to be allowed to be called a Child Protection Centre.

In 1990 the Federation of Child Protection Centres carried out the 8th World Congress of the ISPCAN in the Congress Center Hamburg. With more than 1,500 participants, it was the biggest child protection congress in Germany ever by then.

Until this point the whole association work was honorary work sustained by experts of the Child Protection Centres. The World Congress and not least the great public appreciation of the work of the Child Protection Centres necessitated changes of structures and staff.

In May 1993 the Federal Office was opened in Cologne attended by the Federal Minister of Youth Angela Merkel.

Mitte: Angela Merkel und Arthur Kröhnert

Opening of the Federal Office in 1993.

In 1996 the first Child Protection Forum took place in Cologne. Since then, the Child Protection Centres invite every two years to this central Child Protection Congress. Here those issues are treated that will be important for the practice of child protection in the following years.

In 2000 the website www.youngavenue.de was opened as the first online based counselling site for children and adolescents. A particular criterion was the peer-to-peer-counselling and the professional attendance of adolescent counsellors by experts from the Local Child Protection Centres. Despite the closing of the active online counselling in 2008, anyone who is interested can still find manifold information on the website.

In 2004 the Federal Office moved into new rooms in the southern part of Cologne.

In 2008 entrepreneur Rainer Koch established the foundation “Kinderschutz im Zentrum – Die Stiftung“ (Focus on Child Protection – The Foundation). The Federation of Child Protection Centres is trustee for this foundation.