chapter  14
12 Pages

On the way to a Caring Community?

The German debate
WithThomas Klie

The mission statement of the Caring Community concept triggers controversy in Germany. It carries the problematic conservative features of a backward approach to family policy and a romanticized notion of neighbourhoods and districts in modern societies. Responsibility and trust are the foundation of a sustainable society. Time policy and the compatibility of education and care are questions that are highly relevant for Caring Communities in the context of family policy. Subsidiarity creates space for autonomy, self-responsibility and co-responsibility and brings oxygen to the system. For Heinz Bude, the subsidiarity principle is the ethical standard for social policy design. In the spirit of subsidiarity, 'the diversity of social units extending from the ground up should be respected, preserved, and strengthened where it proves more competent than what is delivered by a higher-level social control system'. The responsibility for infrastructure lies in the hands of local authorities and does so in such a way that communities are the beneficiaries of social investments.