Job 'n Kids - German project for mothers enters new round

Since November 2021, five more women from Heilbronn (Germany) are part of the project ‘Job 'n Kids’. Mothers – quite often single mothers – are supported in order to fulfill their professional reorientation.

The Kreisdiakonieverband Heilbronn (District Diakonia Association) and Aufbaugilde Heilbronn launched the Job 'n Kids project in May 2021, which specifically supports women in combining children and careers. Following the success of the pilot, a new round started in November 2021 to help another five women enter the job market.

"The program aims to support women with young children to rebuild a career perspective and to approach the labor market, in the form of a job or training," says Holger Fuhrmann, division manager at Aufbaugilde Heilbronn, which specializes in the professional integration of people in the region. The women find their way to the project through the Diakonische Bezirksstelle Heilbronn, where they receive counselling on various topics.

A decisive characteristic of the women is that they are not registered as unemployed or looking for work. They are not obliged to follow measures by the employment agency. The women participate in the program out of their own interest. "As a rule, the women have not been in employment for a long time, often due to the care responsibilities they have because they are single parents or have relatives in need of care. The lack of support from their social environment prevents them from reorienting themselves professionally."

In the project, concepts are developed together with the women to cover childcare and employment. Once care is provided, the women have a secure window of time to pursue employment.

For example, the women are employed part time in everyday care at the social station (Sozialstation), which provides support to families and households. Since these hours can be adjusted well to accommodate the opening hours of childcare, children and work are compatible through this model.

Together with the women, a concept for work and childcare is developed that is suitable for them.

Together with the women, a concept for work and childcare is developed that is suitable for them.

Even beyond the placement, weekly counselling sessions are held with the project participants to open up further opportunities beyond minor employment: Can the job scale be increased? Is an apprenticeship being pursued?

The project, which gives up to twelve months to work with the women, breaks down barriers to re-entering the employment market. It allows the women to establish a more structured daily routine and get over financial worries. Holger Fuhrmann sums up: "The stability they regain allows the women to place their children in care without worrying about a bad conscience. This also allows them to mentally commit to a job." So they no longer have to choose between a job or children. Two of the women from the pilot round have already reoriented themselves professionally and taken up work again.