Our guiding principle

General principles

With our services, we want to contribute to the successful socialization of children and young people.

For decades we have been working according to proven concepts to provide optimal help for children, adolescents and their families. At the same time, we stay in the flow and ensure new solutions and innovative models through continuous evaluation and modification.

Our actions are based on basic attitudes that are timeless: a sense of responsibility, humanity and emotional warmth, concern for the well-being of the child and ensuring the right to security and protection.

We create and maintain opportunities for children and adolescents to participate in our facilities and services; these are redeemed through a corresponding professional attitude on the part of our employees.

Dealing with employees is characterized by appreciation, respect, and mindfulness. We welcome our employees to make constructive contributions maintaining and developing the quality of our work.

We pay attention to premises that are livable and friendly places for both the clients and our employees.

Science orientation

The practical action in “Projekt PETRA” is based on an empirically supported, science-oriented evaluation of our own practice and the reception of relevant research contributions from different specialist disciplines.

With our own projects and research contributions, we position ourselves in the debates about the development of educational aids in Germany.

Professional concept

We bring together the contributions from various disciplines (e.g., social pedagogy, psychology, school pedagogy, medicine / psychiatry) and offer them to clients in an integrated form.

Principles of therapeutic / pedagogical action

Relationship building and emotional warmth are indispensable foundations of our pedagogical and therapeutic work with children, adolescents, and adults.

Before starting help – e. g.  in the form of outpatient diagnostics – we try to clarify whether and with which individual goals and work assignments help makes sense.

Pedagogical and therapeutic measures in the educational aids are goal-oriented and action-oriented. Effectiveness and efficiency are crucial target parameters.

We pay attention to the strengths and protective factors of children, adolescents and their families and try to encourage and challenge them appropriately.

Action orientation

All offers assume that in the care and treatment of children, adolescents and their families, action and experience are at least as important as conversation.

With our behaviour, we are positive role models for children, adolescents, and parents.

Consequence, contingency, and consistency are important in addition to emotional warmth for pedagogical action.


We use psychotherapeutic methods, the effectiveness of which has been sufficiently proven.

Disorder-specific intervention methods are used in everyday life as well as in individual and group training.

Standards and rituals

Structured processes and common rituals (such as homework supervision, meals) are very important and promote social learning.

By setting and enforcing individually adapted norms, children and young people can develop reliable expectations for everyday situations and learn appropriate behaviour.

Standards are continuously discussed and negotiated among employees and are then considered binding.

The children are included in this process according to their level of development.

The family as the centre

In addition to children and adolescents themselves, our services also include their family environment.

Social space orientation as a working principle can be found in our regional offers.

We consider the cultural character of the families and have respect for the family's own goals. When designing the help process, we encourage the active participation of family members.

In special settings adapted to families, we work and train intensively with the families.

Accentuation of school problems

Problems of school performance and school behaviour form a core area of ​​our tasks.

Solving them is also crucial if the root causes are elsewhere, e.g. in the family.

Follow up care and catemnesis

With targeted follow-up support, the aim is to ensure that the successes achieved remain stable.

We check the effectiveness at several points in time after help. We are interested in whether and to what extent the successes achieved are stable and how the life changes of children, adolescents and their families develop.

The findings from these studies are incorporated into the improvement of our services and offers.