Members of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights Germany and other outraged citizens protest the treatment of Germany’s youth in the nation’s foster homes.
Witnessing the destructive cycle of youth welfare agencies and foster homes, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights Germany took the government to task.

In 2011, 178 million Euros were spent on German youth welfare agencies for the “protection of children,” including child abduction, which reached an all-time high two years later. 42,100 children were taken from their families, with many placed in psychiatric foster care.

There, they often find themselves the victims of sexual assault, violent therapies and shameless over-drugging. All of this is incentivized by the German Youth Welfare Agency (YWA) which offers between $1,000 and $10,000 monthly per child in foster care—the more “mental disorders,” the more money, the more mind-altering drugs.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights Germany, witnessing this destructive cycle, took the system to task.

Beginning in 2010, CCHR Germany filed numerous complaints with officials in Brandenburg, the East German state surrounding the country’s capital, regarding the psychiatric labeling and drugging of children in foster homes.

An outraged Brandenburg Minister of Youth, Martina Münch, promptly ordered an investigation into three of the most egregious, “The Haasenburg Homes,” where conditions were so bad two girls were driven to suicide. But, nothing could prepare the Ministry of Youth for the degrading practices found: teenage girls forced to strip naked in front of psychiatric staff, humiliatingly “supervised” in the bathroom, sexually abused, kept locked up for months in isolation, drugged to a stupor and forcibly restrained, resulting in everything from bruises to broken arms.

Accordingly, the state prosecutor opened 50 maltreatment cases against staff and management of the facilities.

Minister Münch closed down the homes and revoked their license to operate in the first instance of the German government shutting down a foster home in the country’s history. She said the Haasenburg Homes would never open their doors again, for they were “not reformable.” It was a decision upheld by the Upper Administrative Berlin-Brandenburg Court.

A year and a half later, four other psychiatric foster homes followed suit, shutting down in the face of similar reports.

“The well-being of the teenagers and their dignity have priority,” said Kristin Alheit, Social Minister of Schleswig-Holstein State in Northern Germany. “This must be the measurement of the state youth welfare agency.”

How Many More Deaths Will it Take to Stop Electroshock?

CCHR exposes electroshock’s documented risks, including death, cardiovascular complications and memory loss.

Many thousands of brain damaged people later and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still hasn’t investigated the device used for electroshock, also known as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Instead, the FDA announced plans to reclassify it as safe and effective, opening the door to its widespread use.

In response, CCHR has launched a public service announcement warning of electroshock “treatment’s” documented risks, including death, cardiovascular complications and memory loss.

CCHR and other concerned groups and doctors charge that device-makers should fulfill the FDA’s 1979 mandate to provide clinical evidence of its safety and efficacy. To date, such clinical studies have never been done.

In spite of this, the American Psychiatric Association is now prompting the FDA to lower the device’s risk classification for children.

Visit to learn more about what you can do to stop this deadly practice.


As a nonprofit mental health watchdog, CCHR relies on memberships and donations to carry out its mission to eradicate psychiatric violations of human rights and clean up the field of mental health. To become part of the world’s largest movement for mental health reform, join the group that has helped enact more than 180 laws protecting citizens from abusive mental health practices.