Violence Prevention Network: Taking Responsibility – Strengthening Parents (RexEl) |

Violence Prevention Network: Taking Responsibility – Strengthening Parents (RexEl)

Project: Taking Responsibility – Strengthening Parents (RexEl)
Institution: Violence Prevention Network e.V.
Duration / funding: funded as part of the federal programme “Promoting Tolerance – Strengthening Competence” and the Federal Agency for Civic Education

Gender-specific: clear gender distribution – mostly mothers seek out advice, mainly about their sons

The project “Taking Responsibility – Strengthening Parents” (RexEl) aims to stimulate constructive dialogue by working with right-wing extremist oriented parents and professionals who come into contact with these parents in their work, thus triggering the parent’s distancing process. It should generate knowledge about the target group, i.e., the parents, and also determine a means of access to them. In addition, professionals will also be supported in developing a professional attitude towards extreme right attitudes and milieus.

The project is conducted in selected regions in the new federal states with a high potential far-right conflict.

RexEl targets:
1. Right-wing extremist oriented parents directly, i.e., mothers and father who exhibit prejudiced and inhumane attitudes as well as parents who are active in right-wing extremist scenes and environments
2. Institutions and professionals in the community who potentially come into contact with the target group, right-wing extremist oriented parents. This includes youth welfare offices, child, youth and family welfare centres, social workers and educators, mid-wives, prenatal counselling services, probation officers, women’s shelters, nursery schools, schools, additional professional services, etc.
3. Prison staff and the right-wing oriented mothers and father incarcerated there.
Thus, the parents are the direct target group and the professionals the indirect target group; target group specific, thematic modules were developed accordingly.

Thus, the parents are the direct target group and the professionals the indirect target group; target group specific, thematic modules were developed accordingly.


      • mentors who work in tandem with professionals on location with right-wing oriented parents
      • intensive coaching processes for professionals to learn how to deal with right-wing extremist oriented parents
      • individual counselling and support for right-wing extremist mothers and fathers
    • awareness training on the topic of right-wing extremism for the cooperation partners concerned

Outreach work with the target group is ideally initiated by event-driven counselling. When needed, access can follow in cooperation with centres for child, youth and family welfare. Another way is by contacting training participants in prisons as well as letting the project become better known at the community level by giving project presentations.

When working with parents, the direct target group, the following thematic modules are used:
1. Vision and goal-setting
2. Understanding your role as mother or father
3. Exclusion vs. tolerance
4. Biography work
5. Shaping your life and relationships
6. Your own beliefs vs. child development

This module is used in both one-to-one and group training. The focus is not primarily on changing extremist ideology, rather on activating their role as responsible parents. However, the ideology is simultaneously discussed and explored.
Awareness training and intensive coaching is offered to professionals, the indirect target group, who work with mothers and fathers as part of the support process. Experience has shown that local practitioners particularly often feel alone and incompetent in how they should deal with a parent’s right-wing extremist tendencies.
The topics of the practitioner training are: modern right-wing extremism, pedagogical approach, questioning and dialoguing techniques, case description and analysis, educational diagnostics, building networks.
In addition, concept workshops are also regularly held at local institutions where RexEl content, as well as it implementation, is agreed on and we all benefit from the mutual expertise.

Experience has shown that staff at individual professional services have observed right-wing extremism in their clients, but do not address this verbally or agree on a mutual professional framework for dealing with these clients. Therefore, local networking for professional services is urgently needed here and is also a part of RexEl.