SELF-CHECK FOR INTEGRATION FIRMS

With the help of funding from the Freudenberg Foundation, the National Working Group of Integration Firms (bag-if), an association of integration firms in Germany, is developing self-evaluation and benchmarking instruments for integration firms. More than 600 integration firms and integration projects are working together in the National Working Group as well as in its state-based working groups.

What are the goals?

The objective is to improve the quality of integration firms, which are working for the inclusion of persons with mental illness and disabilities, by means of instruments with which the companies can evaluate their work.

What does the National Working Group of Integration Firms do?

  • It represents the interests of integration firms at the political level,
  • It participates in the formulation of laws, programs and employment initiatives relating to the labor market and economic policy,
  • It works towards for improving the framework conditions and sustainability of integration firms, on a national, state and European level,
  • It supports and advises member organizations,
  • It supports the establishment, expansion and consolidation of integration firms with the objective of strengthening their competence both internally and externally and achieving positive economic sustainability.

Who is financing the development of “Self-Check for Integration Firms”?

  • Freudenberg Foundation, Weinheim

Why is the Freudenberg Foundation supporting the development of “Self-Check for Integration Firms”?

The Freudenbeg Foundation wants to ensure that quality standards are discussed not only in the integration firms but that the customers are informed about the principle of inclusion that stands behind the products or services.

Contact

Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Integrationsfirmen
Geschäftsstelle Bielefeld
Claudia Rustige
Manger
Meisenstraße 65, Speicher 1
D-33607 Bielefeld
Phone 0049-(0)521-98632868
Fax 0049-(0)521-98634766
claudia.rustige@bag-if.de
www.bag-integrationsfirmen.de

What has been achieved?

In 2009, the Freudenberg Foundation supported the National Working Group of Integration Firms’ (BAG-IF) publication of its research results “Additional Income as an Opportunity for Participation for Persons with Mental Illness and Disabilities”. The study was well received and proved effective: for one, the additional-income approach was adopted in the recommendations for the further development of integration assistance of the German Association for Public and Private Welfare; and, for another, independent employment assistance in the form of “additional income” also was adopted by the German Association for Public and Private Welfare. The Cologne Institute for Economic Research set up a database on additional-income opportunities. The opinion that additional income promotes social participation has been taken up in the political discussions relating to persons with disabilities and in some German states it has already found widespread support (e.g. throughout Bavaria, Saxony, Bremen and Berlin; selectively or regionally in North Rhine-Westphalia, Hamburg, Rhineland-Palatinate). In May 2013 the BAG-IF hosted together with the Freudenberg Foundation an expert conference “Zuverdienst”, whose results are planned to merge and spread in a Weinheimer Explanation. The aim is, to deepen the concept “Zuverdienst” in a professional way and to spread it politically.