The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) is headed by Federal Minister Dr. Katarina Barley. She is represented in matters of policy and before the German Bundestag (parliament) by Parliamentary State Secretaries Caren Marks and Elke Ferner. Permanent State Secretary Dr. Ralf Kleindiek is the highest-ranking civil servant in the Ministry and is responsible for all administrative affairs.
The Ministry is currently staffed by around 700 employees. These are distributed across five divisions, the Minister’s Office, the Federal Antidiscrimination Office and the Independent Commissioner for Child Sex Abuse Issues, making for a total of 70 departments.
Women make up some 70 percent of ministry staff and 58 percent of departmental management positions are held by women.
Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency
Headed by Christine Lüders, the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, which operates nation-wide, serves as a point of contact for all people who believe they have been subjected to discrimination in a form listed in Germany’s General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG).
Independent Commissioner for Child Sex Abuse Issues
The Independent Commissioner for Child Sex Abuse Issues, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, is the Federal Government’s official point of contact for victims of sexual abuse, their relatives, professionals who work in this field and for people who witness sexual abuse in their personal or work-related environments or have related questions or issues.
Federal Office of Family Affairs and Civil Society Functions
The Federal Office of Family Affairs and Civil Society Functions (BAFzA) is a modern service provider which operates within the mandate of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
With over 1000 staff, the Federal Office of Family Affairs and Civil Society Functions works to promote civil society functions, provide guidance and advice, and support and administer related Ministry activities. Its responsibilities include:
- The Federal Government programme Live Democracy! Action Against Right-Wing Extremism, Violence and Hostility
- The 24-hour hotline: Protect Women Against Violence
- The Heimkinder DDR and Heimkinder West funds
- The Federal Volunteer Service, with education and training, including civic education
- Confidential Birth, with the Schwangere in Not hotline for pregnant women in emergency situations
- EU Social Fund programmes, such as: JUGEND STÄRKEN im Quartier (supporting youth indeprived neighbourhoods)
- Multi-generational Community Centres
- The Alliance for Persons with Dementia
- The German Contergan Foundation Office
The Federal Office of Family Affairs and Civil Society Functions can be contacted by telephone at 0049 (0)221 36730 or online: www.bafza.de.