Federal voluntary service; completion
If you would like to get involved in the common good outside of work and school, you can complete a Federal Volunteer Service.
You can do your Federal Volunteer Service in the social, ecological and cultural fields, in the area of sports, integration or also in civil defense and disaster control. You can choose in which area, at which location, and at which site you want to volunteer.
The following key points apply to the Federal Volunteer Service:
- The standard duration is 12 months, with a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 18 months. In exceptional cases, assignments of up to 24 months are also possible (for example, if there is a special educational concept).
- If you are older than 27, you can also complete the Federal Volunteer Service part-time (at least 20 hours per week).
- You will receive pocket money: The maximum amount is EUR 423 per month (as of 2022).
- Your contributions to social security and statutory accident insurance are paid by the assignment location.
- If you complete the 12-month Federal Volunteer Service, you are generally entitled to unemployment benefits.
- If you are younger than 25 and are doing a Federal Volunteer Service, your parents can receive child benefit or tax allowances for you.
- The basis of the assignment is the conclusion of an individual agreement between you and the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks (BAFzA).
The first six weeks of service are considered a probationary period. During this time, the service can be terminated with two weeks' notice. After the probationary period, the notice period is four weeks, in each case to the 15th or to the end of the month. In addition, the employment relationship can also be terminated prematurely for good cause ? for example, due to the start of vocational training or studies.
During the period of service, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Youth Employment Protection Act apply, as do the provisions of the German Federal Leave Act. For example, if you serve for twelve months, you are entitled to 24 vacation days.
Professional clothing, accommodation and meals can be provided or the costs for these can be reimbursed.
For social insurance purposes, the Federal Volunteer Service is treated in the same way as an apprenticeship. Contributions to pension, accident, health, nursing care and unemployment insurance are paid by the assignment location.
As part of the special program "Federal Volunteer Service with Refugee Relevance," up to 10,000 new BFD places are made available each year. These places must be related to refugee aid. This means that the assignment must be in refugee aid or the service must be performed by people who have fled.
- You must have completed full-time compulsory education.
- If you do not have German citizenship, you need a residence permit that allows you to work in Germany.
- For some services, an occupational health examination is required. Please ask your assignment office about this.
If you would like to start a Federal Volunteer Service (BFD), you must first look for a placement:
- You can find volunteer positions on the Bundesfreiwilligendienst's job exchange. However, you can also inquire directly at facilities and projects. The only important thing is that the placement site is recognized for the Federal Volunteer Service. If this institution is not yet recognized as a BFD assignment site, it can have itself recognized for this purpose.
- You will agree on the specific content of the contract for your BFD with the assignment location and fill out the agreement for the performance of the Federal Volunteer Service. The agreement, with the signatures of the parties involved, will be forwarded by the service center.
- You will then receive a confirmation letter with the agreement from the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks:
Note: Deployment sites and sponsors may have set firm deadlines for applications and service starts.
Average 6 weeks, maximum 3 months
- Identity card or residence permit
- Proof of occupational health examination, if applicable
Vereinbarung über die Ableistung eines Bundesfreiwilligendienstes
This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.
Links to more information
Responsible for editing: Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend
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