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Applying for social assistance for minors in foster care

Minor children who live in another family (foster family or with relatives) can receive benefits to secure their livelihood in accordance with SGB XII if the income and assets of the child or foster family are not sufficient for the necessary livelihood of the foster child.

The scope of benefits under SGB XII depends, among other things, on the individual needs of the foster child. The needs generally correspond to the actual costs of accommodating the foster child, provided these are reasonable. These include, among other things, costs for

- food,

- clothing,

- physical and health care,

- accommodation,

- heating,

- household energy (electricity),

- school supplies,

- pocket money and

- leisure activities.

Because it is very time-consuming to determine the needs of each foster child individually, many social welfare offices use the lump sums of the youth welfare services. These amounts can vary depending on the federal state.

In exceptional cases, needs can also be calculated on the basis of the "normal" regulations for assistance with living expenses (applicable standard flat-rate needs, any additional needs, actual costs for accommodation and heating as well as school requirements).

Claims for benefits can also be made by the caregiver.

It is generally assumed that the foster family provides for the living expenses of the foster child, insofar as this can be expected based on the income and assets of the foster carers (so-called "household community"). Therefore, the income and assets of the entire household must be considered. This includes, for example

  • Earned income,
  • maintenance payments and
  • pension income.

Child benefit paid for minors and any maintenance payments are due to the child to cover their needs.

Certain assets are not considered to be protected assets, for example

  • Small amounts of cash (financial assets per adult: EUR 10,000, per child: EUR 500) or
  • an appropriate house property.

These are not included in the calculation of benefits.

There are also allowances on certain incomes. Not all available income and assets have to be used up before you receive social assistance.

Benefits for past periods are generally not paid.

Process flow

Approval for minors in kinship care can be applied for at the social welfare office. However, it must also be granted without an application if the social welfare agency (e.g. district or independent city) or the agencies commissioned by it learn that a person is in need of assistance or in an emergency situation and meets the requirements for granting assistance.

You can report a need for assistance with living expenses online via the social platform, for example, or in writing.

  • The decision depends on the income and financial circumstances, for which a corresponding form may also need to be submitted.
  • Submit all the necessary documents together with the form.
  • The social welfare office will decide on your needs.
  • The social welfare office must decide on your application and inform you of the result. This is done by means of a decision, which is usually sent to you by letter.
  • If your need has been determined, you will receive an approval notice, if it has not been determined, you will receive a rejection notice.
  • In both cases, the notification must contain the reasons for the decision as well as information on the possibility of lodging an appeal. It must also state the deadline within which you can lodge an appeal.
  • The approval notice must also state the amount of the benefit to be paid and the start date of the payment. From the date stated, the social welfare office will transfer the money to your account at the beginning of the month. You can also specify a third party account for the transfer.

Please note: You are obliged to inform the social welfare office immediately of any changes to your income and financial circumstances.



  • The child has not yet reached the age of 15 (exceptions are possible)
  • Placement outside the parental household (living with relatives or in a foster family)
  • No entitlement to educational assistance from the youth welfare office (and therefore no entitlement to economic youth welfare)
  • Insufficient income and assets of the child
  • No (sufficient) maintenance claims of the foster child against other persons (e.g. against the biological parents)
  • No sufficient claims of the foster child or the foster carer for other benefits (e.g. child supplement)

The foster family's income and assets are also not sufficient to ensure the foster child's livelihood

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

There is no deadline.

Processing duration

Note for further information on the processing time: The processing time depends on the individual case. It is a maximum of six months from the date on which all documents are complete.

Legal basis

  • §§ Sections 27 - 40 of the Twelfth Social Code (SGB XII)
  • §§ Sections 82 - 96 of the Twelfth Social Code (SGB XII)
  • Ordinance on the implementation of § 82
  • Ordinance on the implementation of § 90

Applications / forms

Forms available: Yes

Written form required: No

Informal application possible: Yes

Personal appearance necessary: No

What else should I know?

There are no indications or special features.

Data protection information

Landkreis Emsland
Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen
Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62 , 49705 Meppen
Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Station Haltestelle Kreishaus
Bus: 993

Building Access
elevator available, wheelchair-accessible
bank account:
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Emsländische Volksbank
IBAN: DE26266600600120050000
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Sparkasse Emsland
IBAN: DE39266500010000001339
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Postbank Hannover
IBAN: DE36250100300012132306


Marc-André Burgdorf
responsible for:
Bernd Otten (Datenschutzbeauftragter)
Telephone: 05931 44-1605
Fax: 05931 44-391605
responsible for:

Stadt Papenburg - Rechnungsprüfung
Postal address: Post Office Box 1755 , 26857 Papenburg
Address: Hauptkanal rechts 68/69, 26871 Papenburg
Telephone: 04961 82-320
Building Access
elevator available, wheelchair-accessible

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)