# Civic engagement and participation
Civic engagement is a cornerstone of democracy. It improves quality of life and creates a feeling of community. This section provides information and support to help you play an active role in your community.To Services
Information about Rights & Duties
If you would like to get involved in the common good outside of work and school, you can complete a Federal Volunteer Service.
You can do your Federal Volunteer Service in social, ecological and cultural areas, in the field of sport, integration or in civil defence and disaster control. You can choose in which area, at which location and at which place you want to work.
The following key points apply to the Federal Volunteer Service:
- The standard duration is 12 months, minimum 6, maximum 18 months. In exceptional cases, assignments of up to 24 months are also possible (for example, if there is a special educational concept).
- If you are older than 27, you can also complete the Federal Volunteer Service part-time (at least 20 hours per week).
- You will receive pocket money: The maximum amount is currently EUR 390.00 per month.
- Your contributions to social security and statutory accident insurance are paid by the assignment location.
- If you complete the 12-month Federal Volunteer Service, you are generally entitled to unemployment benefit.
- If you are younger than 25 and are doing Federal Volunteer Service, your parents can receive child benefit or tax allowances for you.
- The basis of the assignment is the conclusion of an individual agreement between you and the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks (BAFzA).
The first six weeks of service are considered a probationary period. During this time, the service can be terminated with two weeks' notice. After the probationary period the period of notice is four weeks, in each case to the 15th or to the end of the month. In addition, the employment relationship can also be terminated prematurely for good cause - for example, due to the start of vocational training or studies.
During the period of service, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Youth Employment Protection Act apply, as do the provisions of the Federal Leave Act. If you serve for twelve months, for example, you are entitled to 24 days' leave.
Professional clothing, accommodation and meals can be provided or the costs for these can be reimbursed.
For social insurance purposes, the Federal Volunteer Service is treated in the same way as an apprenticeship. Contributions to pension, accident, health, nursing care and unemployment insurance are paid by the assignment location.
Within the framework of the special programme "Federal Volunteer Service with reference to refugees", up to 10,000 new BFD places are made available each year. These places must be related to refugee assistance. This means that the assignment must take place in refugee aid or the service must be performed by refugees.