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Children, Family an senior Citzens
Pregnant women holding a health insurance have the right to special medical treatment and social support, including regular medical check-ups, medical care, help from midwives, supply of drugs, the right to give birth in hospital and maternity allowance.
Advice can be sought from doctors and at special offices for pregnant women called «Schwangerschaftsberatungsstellen», which are provided, for example, by the «Arbeiterwohlfahrt» «AWO», the «Caritas», the «Diakonisches Werk», the «Deutsches Rotes Kreuz», the «Deutsche Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband» «DPWV», «Pro Familia» and health offices.
Abortion «Schwangerschaftsabbruch» or «Abtreibung» is permitted in Germany but only under certain conditions.
- For medical reasons at any stage during pregnancy,
- For personal / social reasons until the 12th week.
- This can only happen if the pregnant woman requests an abortion and obtains a certificate from a recognized pregnancy and abortion advice centre (the advice centre is called «Schwangerschafts-Konflikt-Beratung» or «Pregnancy Conflict Advice»).
Nobody can force a woman to have an abortion. This is illegal.
Information can be obtained at advice centres or from your doctor or from «Pro Familia», the «Arbeiterwohlfahrt», «Donum Vitae» or the «Diakonisches Werk». The addresses of all these offices are listed in the telephone directory or in your local newspapers under «Beratungstellen».
OFFICE FOR JUVENILES
The general duty for the "Jugendamt" is to help parents, kids and teenagers with problems in the family, school problems or relationship problems. They can also help with issues such as parentâ€™s divorce, physical abuse and stress at home. They can tell about different social programs as well as financial help in certain situations.
In the city of Landshut there are about 40 playgrounds. They are all regularly inspected and all meet the European standard for safety.
SUMMER VACATION PROGRAMS
Sports, playing and fun is what these vacation-programs offer for kids staying at home. The VHS and the Stadtjugendamt put these programs on every year. There are over 300 different programs for kids in elementary and secondary school levels and programs for teens from age 13 and older. One can apply for and book these programs at the «Jugend-KulturZentrum».
CHILDREN PROGRAMS AT HAUS INTERNATIONAL
Group activities for kids and youngsters during afternoons and weekends are open for all. They are meant to initiate intercultural contacts and to strengthen international relationship. Regular groups offer different programs for boys and girls.
YOUNG DAYCARE AND KIDS PLAY GROUPS
For kids up to the age of 3 there are very few places in a «Kinderkrippe». But the earlier one applies for a place the better the chances are of getting one.
An alternative to day care is to hire a «Tagesmutter». These women usually have kids of their own and take care of other children for a certain price at their own house or apartment. The «Tagesmutter» must have the time and space to do this and also the “chemistryâ€ between her and the kids should work. For security of both parties it is normal to make a contract outlining all the conditions.
Every child above the age of three has a legal right to a place in kindergarten. This right should be used as children make friends and find a playmate in the kindergarten (also called «Kita»), and they have the chance to learn German while playing. Parents have to pay some of the costs for a place in kindergarten: the amount due depends on the income of the parents. Most kindergartens offer half-day care (mornings until noon). Around 30 per cent offer full day-care. Kindergartens are run by the local authorities, churches and charitable organizations «Wohlfahrtsverbände». There are also kindergartens «Kitas» run by parentsâ€™ associations and by companies for their employees «Betriebskindergarten». Parents should look for a suitable kindergarten as soon as possible in order to find one close to the family home. Information can be found at the local town hall. Children under the age of three do not yet have a legal right to a place in kindergarten. These places are rare and the chances of getting a place are better the earlier a place is applied for.
All children in Germany must attend school. School regulations vary in Germanyâ€˜s 16 states but normally children begin school at the age of 6. Certain conditions permit parents to apply for a place at school earlier or later than 6 years of age. Local school offices provide information on schooling. The new school year begins in Landshut as everywhere in Bavaria in early September, after the summer holidays.
Most schools are half-day. That means lessons are given from the morning until early afternoon. During the first two years children often only stay at school for a few hours. There are also some schools that teach in the afternoon. Schools also provide extra coaching should children need special assistance e.g. because they are new in Germany. This extra coaching is often called «Förderunterricht», «Nachhilfe» or «Hausaufgaben-Hilfe». Charitable organizations also provide information on respective coaching programs.
There are a lot of offers for senior services. They are listed here in three special sections.
HELP AND CARE
Elderly people who donâ€™t want to or canâ€™t live alone anymore, can apply for a place in a retirement home «Altersheim». To find a suitable home one should look for different offers and try to make oneâ€™s own decision. In Landshut there are 10 retirement homes that all offer very different options. One can chose various ways from either living alone with the own furniture and basically looking after oneself or having full care provided. Phone numbers for all retirement homes can be found in the yellow pages.
If one would rather stay in familiar surroundings then one can hire a care service that can provide care at home. A nurse «Altenpflegerin» will come to the house and will help with whatever the person needs help with, for example cooking, cleaning, washing, and mobility.
Of course one will have to decide on the appropriate level of care and consider the cost for everything. Therefore it is good to get basic information first.
Information can be obtained from the insurance provider, e.g. the «AOK», the Red Cross and also the «Diakonische Werk» and the «Wohlfahrtsverbände».
If you are in a higher age group and want to stay fit and healthy you can find many different activities offered by the «Christliches Bildungswerk, the Evangelisches Bildungswerk, the Volkshochschule (VHS) and the AOK». They offer a large selection of activities including nordic walking, yoga, back training, gymnastics, memory training, and dancing. The brochures from the places that offer these courses are in many pharmacies, doctorâ€™s offices and you can also find information from them directly about prices and appointments.
FURTHER EDUCATION AND HOBBIES
Often only when a person is a little older they have the time to take up a new hobby. The «Christliches Bildungswerk, the Evangelisches Bildungswerk, the VHS and the AOK» also have a large selection of courses.