Active in ten cities across Germany and supported by eleven local partners

The first six years of life are the most important. What children learn during this period – how they are treated, what they experience – influences health and future success. In order to guarantee that all children develop properly and start life with equal opportunities, some need support during these crucial early years – for body and mind; in kindergarten and at home.

Parents are the key to successfully providing this support. Families that struggle with poverty find it hard to give their children a good start in life. The Human Safety Net works with local partners across Germany to help parents in difficult or precarious life situations provide the support and experiences their children need during these early years. This is accomplished by organizing courses for parents that have the same structure across the country: two-hour lessons that run for twenty weeks, each one structured identically.

These courses help parents strengthen their roles as mothers and fathers. They help parents network with one other, reducing social isolation, creating an environment that helps them build closer ties with their children.

The Human Safety Net also participates in programs for disadvantaged families that conduct home visits with parents and their children. The focus is on play as a key for healthy childhood development. For 20 weeks, professional play agents from local institutions visit homes once a week, spending approximately two hours with the family, advising, instructing and teaching them about the importance these activities have in the lives and future development of their children.

The program

The first parenting courses started in 2017.
In 2019, the program was deployed in ten cities and supported by eleven local partners.

Partners involved

Local activities

For The Human Safety Net for Families, ELTERN-AG is currently partnered with local NGOs in five German cities, emphasizing the importance of empowering parents.

ELTERN-AG is a community-based training program that empowers underprivileged and isolated parents to form peer groups to help them become more responsible mothers and fathers, create a nurturing family atmosphere and the community environment their children need to succeed in school and life. Relying on a “train-the-trainer” methodology, the program engages local NGOs, allowing them to become part of ELTERN-AG and The Human Safety Net.

Lernende Region - Netzwerk Köln e.V.
Access to education and knowledge for all

With the Lernende Region – Netzwerk Köln joined a big local network The Human Safety Net for families. Focusing on the different prismen of education ELTERN-AG enriches the services of the Lernende Region and brings new opportunties to work with socially disadvantaged families.


Herbie e.V. Leipzig
We believe we can change the world!

"We decided to become ELTERN-AG trainers in order to accompany parents in an appreciative and unprejudiced way, seizing this chance to participate in a process of positive change.” 
Annett and Lisa – ELTERN-AG trainers in Leipzig with their puppets Oskar and Pepe.

Caritasverband Saarbrücken e.V.
We believe we can change the world!

Caritas Saarbrücken was one of the first local partners to join The Human Safety Net’s For Families program in Germany. It’s extensive history of charitable work makes Caritas Saarbrücken a strong partner for socially disadvantaged families.

"It's great to see how parents enrich and communicate with ELTERN-AG through their different cultural backgrounds.” – Elisa, an ELTERN-AG trainer in Saarbrücken.

"There are things I don’t like to do with my child, for example going shopping. We talked about this in ELTERN-AG and I learned that there are still advantages in doing things like that together. The other parents suggested I try making a game of it, and I’m going to try doing that.” – Hans, a parent in Saarbrücken.

Jugendwerk Aufbau Ost JAO gGmbH
The route is the goal

Based on seven years of successful cooperation within one of the most socially-challenged areas in Berlin, JAO and ELTERN-AG have now teamed up with THSN to establish a new ELTERN-AG program in another difficult are of the city.

“It's great to see how parents learn and develop during the program. They become friends, supporting each each other in everyday life too.” - Rene, a trainer at ELTERN-AG.

Parents build networks through ELTERN-AG, making the program and its local partners an excellent foundation for The Human Safety Net’s For Families program in Germany. Together we can unlock the potential of disadvantaged families!

SOS-Kinderdorf Deutschland e.V.
Giving children a safe home

SOS Kinderdorf Deutschland e.V. is The Human Safety Net’s partner for the For Families program in Germany. Dedicated to providing children with a safe home, SOS-Kinderdorf e.V. provides a national network of inpatient and outpatient flexible help, family counseling, educational opportunities and daycare, and is one of the largest support associations in its international parent organization, SOS Children’s Villages. Today SOS Children’s Villages offers over 800 services for children, young people and families who experience difficult living situations across more than 240 locations around Germany. In 2018, the association connected with and helped roughly 105,000 people.

© SOS-Kinderdorf e.V._MikaVolkmann

SOS-Children’s Villages in Salzgitter
Giving children a safe home

SOS Children's Villages in Salzgitter has become a meeting point for both young people and the elderly, creating a “public living room” that provides an inviting atmosphere for everyone who visits the facilities. The house is open around the clock, and everyone is welcome. Visitors can rest, take part in activities, meet like-minded people and learn something new. Support and assistance are a key part of the association’s offering, providing help for those in need.

© SOS-Kinderdorf e.V._Gerhard Berger

SOS-Children’s Villages in Hamburg
Giving children a safe home

SOS Children's Villages has been active in Hamburg for over four decades, offering counseling, practical support, education services, crisis intervention, group counseling, systemic parent coaching and more. The association also provides key outpatient services in Dulsberg, Eidelstedt, Eimsbüttel and Wandsbek that are tailored to meet the varied needs of people who turn to the SOS Children's Villages for help.

© SOS-Kinderdorf e.V._Gerhard Berger


Wellcome is a social enterprise in Germany. Under the motto "children only do well when their parents do well" it develops offers for families and encourages parents to embark on the family adventure. As a nationwide social enterprise, wellcome seeks to relieve, advise and network parents with its direct support, so that their children can grow up healthy in a loving environment, regardless of social background. On their online Platform,, parents find relevant content regularly redacted from expert pedagogues, free online counseling, links to local organizations and many eBooks and online classes to improve their parenting skills. Together with The Human Safety Net, wellcome aims to increase the reach of, measure and maximise its impact, especially on the most vulnerable families.