Born out of research

The Mother Center concept was developed by the German Youth Institute (hereinafter DJI) in the early eighties as the result of a research project. DJI’s rationale: It is cheaper and more far reaching to invest in preventive policies, than to pay the high costs when family socialization has already become dysfunctional. It is more effective to support families to access their own assets and resources in order to help themselves and each other. The Family Department of the German Government funded the first three model Mother Centers as a pilot project for three years. Following the federal pilot phase DJI made the Mother Center concept sustainable: by stimulating legislative reform to include resourcing of family self help initiatives as part of municipal family welfare programs by negotiating funds from private foundations as well as municipal and regional governments by advocating for the concept of self help in parent education by publishing the results in an accessible story-telling format, written by the women of the first three model centers. The Mother Center book has since been translated into English and Czech. You can order copies at info(at)


Monika Jaeckel, a former researcher at DJI, a mother of the MC idea, a co-founder of mine network and its first chair.