The youth welfare office is entitled and obliged to take a child or adolescent into its care. This is the case in particular if the child or adolescent requests it or if an urgent danger to the child's well-being requires taking the child into custody and the persons entitled to the child do not object or a family court decision cannot be obtained in time.
During the period of custody, the Youth Welfare Office has far-reaching powers to act directly; in particular, it is entitled to perform all legal acts that are necessary for the welfare of the child or adolescent (e.g. arranging necessary medical examinations). The power of temporary placement with a suitable person, institution or other (suitable) form of accommodation (e.g. child protection agencies, standby foster homes, etc.) is also associated with the taking into custody.
If the custodians or legal guardians object to the placement, the youth welfare office must immediately obtain a decision from the family court on the necessary measures for the welfare of the child or adolescent, provided that in its opinion there is a risk to the child's well-being and the custodians or legal guardians are not willing or able to avert the risk.
Foreign children and adolescents who come to Germany unaccompanied are also taken into care by the Youth Welfare Office. Within the framework of temporary custody, the Youth Welfare Office checks, among other things, whether there are reasons why the young people should not be sent to other federal states.