Since 2001, German adolescents aged 16 to 27 years are able to attend the voluntary cultural year (FSJK) as a civic service in cultural institutions. Participating institutions and youth as well as non-participating institutions and youth were surveyed to describe the perceived effects of the program. The research gives insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the program from the perspective of institutions and volunteers. The results show an overall tendency of the program to support institutions in their cultural work. The program also helps support the personal, social, and cultural development of adolescents as responsible citizens. Policy recommendations on how to optimize and promote the program are also made.
Birnkraut, G., Hein, I. E., & Looke, F. (2004). The voluntary cultural year in Germany: Perceptions of volunteers, institutions, politicians, and society (CSD Research Report No. 04-21). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.