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Welfare Organisations

Welfare organisations in Germany are charitable religious or ideological organisations, oriented towards the whole Federal Republic of Germany. They are partially financed by state resources and cooperate closely with the state in social and public health sector. The free welfare organisations own social and health care facilities and provide social services, youth welfare and care of the elderly. The six central German welfare organisations are the workers’ welfare organisation (Arbeiterwohlfahrt - AWO), Caritas Germany, the German Red Cross, Diakonie Germany, the Central Welfare Agency of Jews in Germany and the welfare organisation “Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband”.
During the time of the labour recruitment agreements from the 1950s to the 1970s, welfare organisations were responsible for the social care and counsel of labour migrants. Caritas, Diakonie and AWO introduced the foreigner counselling (Ausländersozialberatung) which was soon carried out by native speakers who were known as social counselors (Sozialberater). The organisations offered German language classes and supported migrants search for apartments. Some of the labour mgirants’ dormitories were also run by these welfare organisations.