On the one hand, social contacts should be reduced as much as possible, while at the same time Caritas and Diakonie should be “close to the neighbour” in accordance with their mission and self-image. This is similar to squaring the circle. Caritas and Diakonie agencies and institutions are creatively seeking solutions at all levels to keep the work going. In nursing homes and youth welfare facilities, in the work with the homeless and the disabled – everywhere employees are prepared to do their work every day despite the risk of infection. At the same time, the refinancing conditions in social work and in the health and care sector are already bringing many services to the brink of insolvency.
Caritas and Diakonie are therefore jointly demanding that the aid measures that the Federal Government is adopting to cushion the economic consequences of the Corona crisis take into account the social work of the welfare organisations, so that they can continue to care for and accompany people in need – both now and after the crisis.
Services need sufficient economic security
“In order to be able to carry out our work for those people who are in need of support and assistance as social infrastructure facilities, and even beyond the current crisis, we need a sufficient level of economic security for our services and facilities,” said Caritas President Peter Neher. “This is not yet sufficiently available at present, despite many correct and important steps on the part of politicians.
At present, many eyes are particularly focused on health care facilities and inpatient care for the elderly. But the network of social services provided by welfare care goes far beyond this. For example, in many federal states daycare facilities, workshops for people with disabilities, also advice centres and further education academies are affected.
Outpatient services – not only in nursing care – can no longer provide their services due to a lack of protective equipment; rehabilitation, spa and recreation facilities must also reduce or even cease operations. The list could be extended.
Great responsibility of welfare care
“Social welfare in Germany is threatened with serious structural damage due to the corona crisis, which we must avoid at all costs. The facilities relevant to the functioning of our social system, from counselling centres to day-care centres, must, therefore, be included in the rescue package. To this end, politicians must now develop effective instruments in discussion with the welfare organisations and implement them quickly,” says Diakonie President Ulrich Lilie.
Both presidents, therefore, appeal: “Now more than ever, many people need our help. Welfare organisations are aware of this responsibility and expect the same from politicians, who must ensure that the working capacity of the social welfare system is maintained when shaping the framework conditions. We want to and will do everything in our facilities to ensure that we meet this challenge together in such a way that those who are particularly in need of protection do not suffer any harm either”.
It is also important at this time to make emergency childcare for all our employees in the social services possible in an unbureaucratic manner and independent of the profession of the partner.
To read the original statement in German, please visit Diakonie Deutschland’s website.