Develop and introduce the Youth Check!
We, the youth associations and councils united in the German Federal Youth Council (DBJR), criticize in all clarity that the Federal Government does not legally embody a youth check as a task of the federation in the context of the SGB VIII (§ 83 SGB VIII). We deeply regret that she is not implementing the coalition agreement. The Youth Check is in the interest of young people. Preventing the legal anchoring of an effective youth check once again underlines how necessary it is.
The Youth Check was the central element of the Federal Government's youth strategy. It would make an effective and tangible contribution to more youth justice and better legislation that also takes into account the interests of young people.
We have been dealing with the idea of a youth check for years and have played a decisive role in establishing the idea of such an instrument in the political debate. For this reason, we welcomed the inclusion of the Youth Check in the coalition agreement and were happy to actively participate in its development and implementation. At the request of the Federal Ministry for Youth, Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), the DBJR has invited ten workshops to date, in which representatives of the Federal Youth Board (BJK), the Working Group for Child and Youth Welfare (AGJ), the "Acting for a Youth-Friendly Society" coordination office and the German Youth Institute (DJI) have taken part in addition to the BMFSFJ. The consultations were marked by the common goal of developing a professionally demanding and effective youth check. The results of this process showed that the basic idea for a youth check can work. The Youth Check is neither a bureaucratic monster nor a specific privilege of a specific population group. Nor is it an exceptional model in the legislative process, but a necessary instrument for better taking into account the interests of young people in legislation and thus improving it.
At the end of the development process:
the basic quality characteristics, described in detail in the interim report , which we continue to consider essential for an effective youth check:
- The Youth Check is legally binding.
- The Youth Check is used across departments.
- The application of the Youth Check is accompanied by an independent review panel,
- several variants of legal anchoring and procedural implementation, which were developed with the support of the Institute for Legal Impact Assessment and Evaluation in Speyer and checked for their legal conformity,
- a test grid currently consisting of 14 impact dimensions in eight areas of life together with a first draft for a tool for the content test process - developed primarily by the DBJR.
Thus, all prerequisites for the introduction of the Youth Check are met. It is thus solely due to the political will of the Federal Government that the anchoring of the Youth Check, which was still contained in the draft bill for the Law on Strengthening Children and Young People (Kinder- und Jugendstärkungsgesetz - KJSG), is now not part of the draft bill to be introduced into the parliamentary process.
Therefore we demand
- the federal government, in accordance with the coalition agreement, to continue working on the introduction of a youth check in the above sense. In concrete terms, this means creating the conditions for sharpening and further developing the instruments and testing the whole thing in detail and over a longer period of time, at least in the area of responsibility of the BMFSFJ. The conditions must still be met during this parliamentary term, even if the test period should extend beyond it. The DBJR and all other parties involved so far must be involved and transparency must also be established beyond this.
- the parliamentary groups in the Bundestag - in particular the parliamentary groups of the governing coalition, which have committed themselves accordingly in their coalition agreement - to take possible steps towards legal and procedural safeguards before the end of this parliamentary term.
- all democratic parties not to neglect the issue of better legislation and youth justice when drawing up their election programmes and to provide for the legal anchoring of an effective youth check, among other things.
The Board of the DBJR unanimously adopted this resolution at its meeting on 3 May 2017.