"No child left behind!" (Kein Kind zurücklassen - KeKiz)
Poverty of families became a focus of political attention in the recent years. Apart from material deprivation, poverty typically involves the risk of general social disadvantages which oftentimes lead to an impairment of chances for both a successful adolescence and the social inclusion of children. This may lead to difficulties in the upbringing of these children as well as to disadvantages in education, thus hindering successful graduation from school and access to gainful employment. Life-long dependecy on social assistance benefits may be the consequence. Constitutional provisions, however, demand for the breaking of such cycles. The state is obliged to offer access to education, health and social participation for every child, irrespective of its social background, in order to ensure successful adolescence.
The prevention of and the fighting against poverty has traditionally been the responsibility of the municipalities. However, they are currently facing considerable financial difficulties and multiple social problems. Yet, recent experience showed the success of preventive local structures, even though this success depends on various conditions ranging from incentives for families to use such services, the commitment of the competent authorities, to adequate financial resources.
The project "No child left behind! (KeKiz)" has been supporting the development of municipal 'prevention chains' in 40 model municipalities in North-Rhine Westfalia since 2012 in order to improve the chances for a successful adolescence. Prior research examined the legal requirements for bundling support offers and their financing in a common office. The focus was on the legal provisions of joint planning, controlling and financing of preventive services by the various actors involved, in order to ensure more efficiency and better targeting of preventive approaches to local social policy. The present study builds on these results and inquired in the opportunities and limits of a comprehensive, mandatory and effective establishment of 'prevention chains' and the required changes at the constitutional level, including not only fundamental human rights but legislative and administrative competences. Instead of analysing preventive approaches in selected branches of social security - which are currently left solely to the discretion of the competent authorities - the study takes all actors involved in children’s adolescence into account, reaching from educational institutions as well as the health sector to social security agencies. The project focusses on constitutional and federal law and shall establish a proposal de lege ferenda for the legal implementation of an obligatory, comprehensive cooperation among all stakeholders that form the municipal 'prevention chain'.