The project FIRST STEPS is an early prevention project for families with an immigrant background aiming to sustainably support social integration of toddlers (0-3).

By using a prospective randomized comparison group design, FIRST STEPS evaluates two early prevention offerings that promote the integration of toddlers (0-3 years) with an immigrant background in Frankfurt/Main and Berlin. Short- and long-term effects of the prevention offerings A and B are being investigated at 6 measurement points.

The prevention service FIRST STEPS (A) systematically promotes early parenting competences with the help of a curriculum as well as through the help of psychoanalytically trained staff and takes into account the individual needs of mothers/fathers and their children, It is expected that the prevention offering FIRST STEPS (A) is more effective in terms of the integration of immigrant mothers/fathers and their children than non-professionally moderated, layperson-assisted so-called parents-get-togethers (B).

The aim of the project FIRST STEPS is to implement an integration project for children with an immigrant background, which

(1) measurably and sustainably improves the integration of children and their mothers into German society indicated among others by improved knowledge of the German language, less stress among children when entering kindergarten, children‘s (socio-emotional) development as well as the mother’s level of German knowledge and rate of integration course graduation,

(2) particularly focuses on the risk group of acute migrants and refugees resp. families, a group that is currently unreached by the existing efforts for inclusion in the German society,

(3) is designed as a model project in the sense that if it proves to be effective it can be transferred to other communities and cities.

Scientific Coordinators

Prof. Dr. Patrick Meurs
Dr. phil. Judith Lebiger-Vogel
Dr. phil. Constanze Rickmeyer

Senior Scientist
Prof. Dr. Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber


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