The founder of SOS Children's Villages, Hermann Gmeiner, was Austrian. As a result of the misery of children without parental care in post-war Austria, Hermann Gmeiner founded our organisation in Imst, Tyrol. In the following decades, the organisation grew both within Austria and abroad. At present SOS Children's Villages is supporting children, young people and families throughout Austria.
The first urban SOS Children's Village in Austria, SOS Children's Village Vienna, which opened in 2006, is an interesting pioneering project: the SOS families live in rented flats in a new residential development that has been designed to meet family needs. (The first SOS mother and her four children have moved into their rented flat. There are plans for five families in total.) Each SOS family lives independently and integrates into the respective surrounding environment, but can at any time fall back on a team of education specialists, psychologists and therapists.
There are also plans to rent two flats for SOS semi-independent living groups that each have eight places for short- and medium-term care. They are aimed at children and young people who need support due to family problems. In parallel, their parents also receive support and advice to enable the children to return to their families quickly.
The "FamilienRAThaus" (German for "family advice house"), a public advice and meeting centre, is open to SOS families and SOS semi-independent living groups as well as families from the area. The opening of a family café on the ground floor of the building has created a space where people can exchange advice and suggestions in an informal setting.