Social workers often face problems in their daily work when it comes to removing children or juveniles from their original families and (permanently) placing them in external care, be it in socio-pedagogic institutions or foster families. The same issues arise, if the child is to be reintegrated into the original family after a period of foster care. The child’s wellbeing, the central principle of child and youth welfare, may come into conflict with the parents’ right to educate their children and even with the child’s own wishes. This thesis deals with the legal framework within which social workers, authorities and courts have to operate, and with how these legal guidelines translate into practical work. It treats problems which stem from the fact that the applicable laws are rather undefined and that until this day there is no generally accepted treatise and guidelines of social sciences for these issues in the German speaking countries.