Responsibility to ensure the participation of persons with a disability lies with a number of different providers (see Integration support – Procedural requirements). On the one hand, this ensures that targeted support can be delivered. On the other, eligible persons may find it difficult to work out which provider is responsible for what or could find the procedure(s) confusing. In addition, the providers themselves may encounter difficulties in recognising the boundaries of their respective remits, which can delay service provision.
Against this background, lawmakers amended Part 1 of Book 9 of the Social Code (SGB IX) as part of the major reform in 2018 of Germany’s legislation on participation (Federal Act on Participation; see Integration support – Procedural requirements), fine-tuning the definitions contained therein and adopting mandatory procedural rules for all rehabilitation providers that apply even in cases where their own procedures (e.g., Book 8 of the Social Code [SGB VIII]) diverge (Article 7  of Book 8 [SGB VIII]). In the case of integration support for young people with a psychological disability in line with Section 35a of Book 8, the youth welfare office is the responsible provider and hence must act in accordance with the provisions of Book 9.
The most relevant provisions of Book 9 in this area include, inter alia:
- Compliance with the expedited approval procedure in accordance with Article 14 of Book 9: Upon receipt of an application, the provider is required to verify whether they are competent and whether the applicant is eligible within very short deadlines, and to approve the necessary services without delay. Should said provider turn out not to be competent, the application may be referred to another provider within two weeks of initial receipt. After this period, the provider becomes responsible for delivering the service even though formally they may not be competent. From this point onwards, they may not communicate their lack of competence towards the applicant; instead, they may have to approve the service on behalf of the actually competent provider, then contact them to arrange a reimbursement.
- The requirement to provide the services from a single source: The competent provider (whether actually responsible or responsible by default) must deliver all necessary services. In practice, this means that if services have to be delivered for which responsibility lies with more than one competent provider, that provider has to deliver all of them (Article 15) and draw up a comprehensive plan covering all services (Articles 19, 20). This way, recipients have just one single point of contact that ensures that all services are delivered as if from a single source.
- v. Boetticher, Arne (2020). Das neue Teilhaberecht. 2nd edition, Baden-Baden.
- Schönecker, Lydia (2019). Auswirkungen des BTHG auf Kinder und Jugendliche mit Behinderungen, heilpädagogik.de 34 (3), p. 18−23.