Social Pedagogy, in particular Comparative Child Welfare Service Research

The chair of comparative child welfare service research includes international comparative perspectives on youth welfare research and comparative studies as well as research projects on different fields of action, such as out-of-home care, day care facilities for children and family education. 

Both internationalization and comparative child welfare research focus on important and innovative developments. Crucial transformation processes in child welfare of the last 15 years are based on increasing transationalisation and globalization on the one hand and simultaneously corporatist structures with a high persistence on the other. These developments by means of international comparative perspectives has hardly been examined in social pedagogy in Germany so far.


International Network INPAC

In addition, Prof. Dr. Claudia Equit, together with the researchers Dr. Samuel Keller (ZHAW Zurich, Switzerland) and Jade Purtell (Monash University, Australia), and the research assistant Melanie Warpaul, have started the international network INPAC "International Network on Participation of Children in Alternative Care". Scholars from all over the world exchange information on participation and the implementation of children's rights in residential care. Further information is available at INPAC.

Selected publications on this focus include:
Participation in Residential Childcare. Safeguarding children's rights through participation and complaint procedures. Equit, C. (ed.), 2024, (forthcoming) Verlag Barbara Budrich. 220 p.

Children's Rights to Participate in Out-of-Home Care: International Social Work Contexts. Equit, C. (eds.) & Purtell, J. (eds.), 2023, London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group (UK). 200 p.


Children and youth in alternative care

An important research focus of the chair is on the field of out-of-home care (residential child care and foster families). Due to the recognition of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child worldwide and a global economisation of child welfare, similar current problems arise in the countries despite different child welfare systems, and therefore highlight the necessity to refer to current research results. In this context, out-of-home care is not only an important tertium comparationis that can be compared worldwide, but is also one of the most important institutions of child welfare worldwide because it affects the core area (child protection) in nuce and is at the same time the most cost-intensive and critically discussed. In this respect, out-of-home care is characterised by global challenges and communal traditions, the research of which is being advanced by the professorship in an international context. 

Research projects on this focus are:
"Participation in Organisational Cultures of Residential Care" funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) (2019-2022).

"JuPa - Enabling social participation of young people in out-of-home care in times of pandemics" " funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in collaboration with research assistant Elisabeth Thomas.


Interdisciplinary and international comparative family and childhood research

At the societal level, a growing diversity of family constellations is observed, which is reflected, for example, in an increase in separations, divorces and repartnering as well as an increase in unconventional forms of living (single-parent, non-marital and same-sex forms of living with children, multi-local families). Families with diverse parental constellations are confronted with above-average forms of social exclusion and disadvantages. Single parents, for example, bear an above-average risk of poverty, and their children are increasingly confronted with educational disadvantages and social exclusion. At the same time, research on childhood has also noted an increase in early childhood care opportunities; some researchers speak of care careers in this context. The effects and social compensation functions of early childhood education and care facilities in Germany have not yet been comprehensively examined. Research projects and publications are being initiated on social inclusion in early childhood education and care arrangements against the background of family diversity. The focus on social disparities and inclusion opens up international perspectives, for example in the comparison of early childhood education and care arrangements in the Nordic countries as well as internationally established family research on parental constellations.

Publications on this focus include:
Single mothers figuring out their future family life - understanding family development after separation and divorce drawing upon the concept of configuration. Equit, C., Euteneuer, M. & Uhlendorff, U., 29.12.2022, in: Social Work and Society. 20, 1, 16 p.

Bildung und Beteiligung oder doch Teilhabe? Chancen und Grenzen der Beteiligung von Kindern in Kindertageseinrichtungen. Equit, C., 2018, in: Diskurs Kindheits- und Jugendforschung. 13, 1, S. 87-97 11 S.

Research Projects

Long Term Psychological Consequences of the Sars-CoV-2 Pandemic for Young People (JuPaCo)
(01.10.2023 - 31.12.2025)
Project Lead: Prof. Dr. Claudia Equit

Enabling social participation of young people in out-of-home care in times of pandemics (JuPa)
(01.02.2023 - 31.01.2026)
Project Lead: Prof. Dr. Claudia Equit

Participation in Residential Childcare
(01.10.2019 - 31.12.2022)
Project Lead: Prof. Dr. Claudia Equit



  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Equit

Research Assistants

  • Lucy Beule
  • Elisabeth Thomas
  • Melanie Warpaul


  • Kirsten Meißner
  • Nina Pries
  • Sonja Rosenthal