Kjell Hauge

Persönliche Worte eines Wegbegleiters – Geschichten aus dem Leben

Peer Sahlström Leyh, born in the early 1950s. His mother was from the northern part of Norway, his father was German. The father met the mother during service in the German army during the second world war. They fell in love, mother Asbjörg moved to Germany and they settled down in Mainz.
What made Peer the person he is?
The influence of the parents, mostly my mother, but also his father. In addition his life experiences, especially through the life at sea and the contact with his longtime mentor. A big advantage is that he has always been watered and stimulated when he needed it. It's a privilege he's lucky to have.
What was important when he started social work?
After captains school he was happy with what he had achieved, captain's license. He was not dissatisfied in any way. After 9 months as captain, he returned home on holiday. His friend, Peter Fleck, contacted him for an appointment, which ended with Peer taking signing up for job that Peter Fleck was intended for during his holiday, but which they did not agree on. An agreement was made for a week, and then it was supposed to be over, at a limited period of time. Peer enjoyed himself on board and in the surroundings. It was an old sailing ship, a lot to do on board during the hole day. 3 other adults on board, 2 teachers and a boatman, as well as 8 young boys , at the age from 14 to 17 years. One of the teachers was Ingo Rüelke. Ingo has been Peers friend since then, and he has during the years been Peers trusted man. What made this interesting for Peer was that this was similar to a job situation where you constantly are in dialogue with each other. Communication was important and crucial. The difference being an officer on a commercial boat focusing at the 4 hour shift this was a completely different world. The boat was Undine.
10 years earlier Peer worked on a yacht, sailing ship, and he had ideas about what such a life could be like, realizing the fact that there is a massive difference between a the top management crew of a company and 8 challenging boys with severe behavior problems.
Peer got along well with the crew as well as the boys and things happened all the time. The boys had strange ideas or quarrels, and things had to be solved because it was on a boat, you could not get off the boat. Things that happened they had to talk about and reflect on. The boys developed the ability to look at them self from the outside and the others from the inside. This was a base for understanding and cooperation. These mentalizing skills were an important part of the young boys qualification to be decent and responsible adults.
Solving challenges on board is different than on land, you cannot escape from the situation, you have to relate to each other, interact with each other and solve challenges within a narrow physical framework. The group dynamics among the boys became clear, some became leaders. This turned out to be quite obvious through tasks on board, where the boys were separated in different issues on different parts of the boat. The boys didn’t know each other from before meeting on Undine. They had different backgrounds, different problems.
After safety training they sailed from Germany to Norway, Denmark, England, Scotland, France and Portugal. 6 months they were outside Germany. While sailing they are on the boat, however most days are in ports. 2 months at sea, 4 months in ports.
The boys developed as persons on board and they could be tested out ashore, like a step-by-step development. The group dynamics changed on land, at sea it was stable and less problems. They sailed around the clock, had guards/shifts. There was little spare time to come up with exciting ideas and outcomes. It was a clear obligation to do their work tasks, where everyone dependent on each other. They brought cargo with them that was supposed to arrive on time. They could not be delayed an extra day in a harbor if one of the boys met a girl at a disco.
It is not easy on a boat to question the management on board, the captain. There was a clear line of leadership, and there was an internal justice in the boys' group where they regulated each other in relation to what was important and not. Connections between the young people and the adults were stimulated and supported, for example mechanical things related to machinists, some to masts, rigging and climbing, some steered the boat. It was knowledge that everyone had to have, in addition to this they could specialize in certain tasks. The guard and duty shift regulated the mood and coordinated adults and young people.
The group dynamics always consisted of someone with a big mouth, unlucky for him, he often became seasick, while the reticent and shy underdog was never seasick and could continuously be standby. The boy experienced learning to take part in a crew, a team, a concept that worked. They were dependent on each other and did their job. It was also about each persons safety on board.
Before these boys came on board, they had a career with problems behind them. Their motivation was usually to be able to finish school after completing the concept. Avoid being at home was fine for them. They had smoked hashish, stolen cars, shoplifting, using and dealing with drugs. Prosecution was dropped if they completed the program. They were aged 12-17. The program was not ideal for the youngest boys, at 12 and 13 year of age. They could be ok, as a mascot. The 14-16 year old boys profited most as participants of the program.
Once in a harbor, a beautiful yacht came in, with rich children on board. The adults from the two boats met, and experienced that the dynamics were similar in the two groups, the same challenges that had to be solved in the same way.
Today we experience young people can escape confrontation and avoid talking about their problems, resolve conflicts and challenges. On a boat this is not possible, everything has to be faced.
Peer learned early about professional situations. He learned quickly to do what he was told. This was not part of the boy's social repertoire. This had to be learned. The authority didn’t come from the stripes on your shoulder, but from who you were, what you stood for and what you did. The boys had a common perception that they didn’t have to do as they were told, and they could predict what would happen if they didn’t. This standing changed to be more understanding and disciplined at an early stage in the program.
Paradox intervention is to do the unexpected as an adult on board. A boy on board, an intelligent Turkish boy, stole like a raven. At a French island, a lot of tourists on site, they decided to sell souvenirs from the boat. The boy was put in charge of the cash box, after three days he took the box and ran off, used the money and then returned to the boat. This was followed by a conversation where everyone on board was involved. Conversations, well settlements in such cases must take place in a calm environment, with room for reflection and contemplation, including the elements in mentalization. Forge while the iron is lukewarm, avoid immediate confrontation. Do not launch consequences you cannot carry out, postpone it, withdraw before stepping back and later return. Avoid being an escalating spiral and stay cool.
Constructing situations where young people can practice their challenges is suitable to establish on a boat, for training and learning.
A young person can create situations to make a boring evening more exciting, do not join in, you will end up being trapped. Rather turn your experiences into knowledge.
Once in a harbor, a boy came running to tell that another boy planned shoplifting. Peer went there and observed. Eventually the group left the store and back on the boat, everyone had to pick up what they had in their pockets. The boy had stolen an alarm clock. On the boat you do not need it because you are awakened. It turned out to be a reflex theft, something he had to steal. This was later called stupid steeling.
Stolen items were returned or paid for afterwards. That was the policy.
The Turkish boy once stole a knife, and he accepted to go back to the store with Peer and return it.
The consequences of this were discussed in a mentalizing way, understanding yourself from the outside an the others from the inside. Doing illegal things could be bad for the boat, so an internal justice was developed on board.
Football was popular and the boys just wanted to play in front of the boat. Quite a lot of balls ended in the sea. They didn’t stretch their identity far from the boat, a short way back to safety. They had with them a clarified list of clothes and equipment on board. They were given other necessary equipment, such as a work suit.
When did you enter Undine, what year? And then you had sailed in shipping for how many years before. 1986 to 1988, 3 trips of 6 months. captain's license from 1985, a world tour with a large ship.
In 1986 was that new and exciting, later in the period he worked at a farm which was a part of the project, he worked shifts. He found the program interesting and began to think about establishing some similar with himself as the director. He prefered the sea part of the project. At the same time, he knew he needed an education in social work. For a grown man in his thirties, it is not easy, it s not time, money and more. It ended with one of two choices, economics or pedagogy. He saw that there was a lack of financial governence in the project and considered studies to help this off.
He applied for studies at a central office, he lived in the north and wanted to study close to where he lived, but was offered to attend economy studies in Landau, Pfalz. He turned that down. He talked a lot with his mentor in the project and had valuable advice from him. The alternatives were to study at university or a study at a lower level, like college. Shorter study, but maybe fine for a man in his mid-thirties. At the same time as his studies, he was engaged in an aftercare measure for a young person, and thanks to that he financed the studies.
Elke Weis, head of the board of trustees in Germany, The Curatorium, was Peer's teacher at the time. He didn’t experience the studies at this level as good enough, and agreed with the school that he could do parallel studies in social pedagogy at the University of Hamburg. A parallel race between two studies and aftercare for a couple of young people.
Why leave a well-paid job in shipping to a less paid job in the project. It's about his view on money, money was never the main motivation. He´s had periods in life with little money and has shown the ability to survive anyway. He can adapt his life to his income. He spent a lot of money when he had a lot. His father died in 1984, mother and father were worried about him and his finances. His mother died in 2015.
During his studies in Hamburg, his mentor became ill, diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. The heart was too big to work properly. He had to lose weight before surgery could be done. They agreed that Peer would take over the management of the organization, interim leader, during the mentors sick leave. Peer's focus on the study was the management of organizations. As part of his studies, he practiced in the office of the organization a couple of days a week.
Mentor lost 50 kg and had a new heart transplanted. He survived, but was very vulnerable to infections due to poor immune system. He died in May 1993, after additional heart transplant failure. Peer came in a pinch, and they had a plan where Peer established his own business, with a collaboration with former mentors org. After his death, his organization was very vulnerable, with a bunch of employees with huge demands, which made Peer withdraw completely.
A new organization with 4 creative entrepreneurs agreed partnership between the two companies, which was not to Peers satisfactory.
After a discussion with the board, it was decided to recruit a new leader, and Peer started his own company. This is in 1993.
Undine was another man's boat, when did you start on your own?
Cooperation with Portugal to place German young people in foster care was lauched with Adolf Brinkert as the partner. Portugal was an easy choice, because Peer had contacts down there and interested municipalities in Germany. The child protection services in Cologne, Reinland, wanted this, in contrast to Schleswig Holstein. In Cologne, he met Elisabeth Oplandens husband, who worked in the service. His boss was keen on the plans. Mr. Opladen introduced Peer to Adolf Brinkert.
The collaboration with Brinkert was completed after 7 years, but the collaboration with Rheinland and Cologne continued.
Peer took over 3 clients from his previous organization which meant that the start-up was fully financed from day 1. Immediately they were up to more than 10 clients. The average number of clients in Portugal in these years was 20-25. The foster care services in Portugal was bullseye for the child protection services in Cologne.
There was no boat involved. It was not relevant due to adaptation to prevailing requirements for measures. It was also expensive to operate. One youth who dropped out, of the program, and then it was at red numbers. It was also dificult to recruit qualified crew.
The revenues were 2/3 from Portugal and 1/3 from Germany. Close collaboration with the child protections services in the German municipalities was a key factor for success.
In 2000 it was a period with turbulence which squeezed out Adolf Brinkert. Mr Brinkerts actions was weird and not to the benefit of the business He was a lot older than Peer, probably he just slowed aft.
The idea of turning the business into a foundation became more and more relevant. It was crucial to organize the business more correctly, lawyer Jan Schiffer was advisor. Stiftung Leuchtfeuer was established in 2001.
Contact with others, such as Christophorus Jugendwerk, was established early, in fact in the late 1980s. Peer was open for more knowledge, and organized conferences where he met a lot of interesting, talented and inspiring persons.
Peer had a seat in the board of experimental pedagogy in Germany, and he has been one of the main persons in the development of measures with this pedagogical platform.
During 5 years, 20 new organizations appeared, with the support of Rheinland requirements for measures. All these organizations were invited to 6 annual meetings with Rheinland, in where cooperation and design, quality, standards and needs were discussed.
Thomas Heckner worked in the Oberrimsingen, and Peer met him regularly to work out and design business models.
It was decided that the same key persons attended to the joint meetings, those with authority, otherwise it was to start over again every time with new people. The members of the group were great personalities.
Jochen Glörfeld met Peer in 1993, and the collaborating organizations have assisted each other throughout the years. A client who didn’t succed in Stiftung Leuchtfeuer could move to Wellenbrecher. Jochen is the founder of Wellenbrecher.
In Portugal, Peer was cooperating with subcontractors, that was questioned. Peer and Detlev Weisbroth were both in the boards, the management board and the supervisory board of Portugal, to comply with all obligations and commitments in Portugal. All licenses and formalities to operate in Portugal were confirmed.
After moving to Estonia, Peer no longer has detailed knowledge of Germany, as for example, Jochen has in Wellenbrecher and Norbert in Christophorus Jugendwerk.
With Peers variety of perspectives and experience form both Germany and Portugal, he might have ideas and views towards other countries for establishing new foundations.
Peers philosophy
Replace prison bars with people. Why do we put people in jail? The concept is for adults. There are two reasons for imprisonment, the general preventive and imprisonment as well as society's need for protection.
The perspective of society and the perspective of the criminal are two different things. Protecting society has no or very limited impact on the inmate/client.
Efforts should be directed towards habilitation, to learn something the client has never learned. This can only be done through other people. Replacing bars with human beings, with asset to relevant tools.
The captain underlines the importance of caring and dedication to give the young people first hand experience so they can learn from their mistakes, failures as well as successes. If they only have second and third hand experiences, they end up in a fantasy world based on TV, film and games and what they hear from others. This is in deep contradiction to learn from own experiences. They risk to stop their natural exploration. Young people have only small doses of patience and they need to succeed. We must facilitate this.
Positive reinforcement is full of effect and important. Consequences might be to talk about what has happened rather than sanctions.
A child starts with blank sheet. From his young days, Peer meant that everything was related to genetics and biology and not behavior. Today we know more, biology means more than the environment. We do not know how much is environment and how much is heritage and biology. Damage can be habilitated, treated and repaired. Experimental pedagogy is exciting in that sense. The human being is, from conception through pregnancy, upbringing and influence, with conscious, skills and personality developing and qualifying to a complete person. This is also why Peer has chosen not to focus on working with disabled persons because the biology is to dominant and the potential is too limited. It is important to observe progress.
Which factors from your early professional career have you brought with you into the child protection service?
Loyalty is important and crucial. That is Peer's basic ideas as a leader has been absolutely crucial for the development of the organization. He does not believe in team decisions and believes in clarity. Control with a firm hand is important.
Peer predict the importance of loyalty, because he is not focused on control. He expects loyalty to decisions. When an order has been given, you should trust that it will be carried out, but as a manager you will only know if it hasn’t been according to plan.
What about New Public management? What is his view of management?
Put management philosophy on the agenda, preferably in collaboration with the other countries, especially Germany. The differences between Scandinavia, The Nordic Countries. The Baltics and the rest of Europe are striking. Germany and Sweden have similarities as patriarchal, Norway are quite bureaucratic and less efficient.
Regarding Leadership philosophy – be aware of the differences between countries, what is common, what can be different.
The boat hierarchy has deep roots in Norway. Which questions are decided where? What about the consequences of the decisions. This might lead to interesting discussions.
On a sunny day, it might be democratic decisions, but when the storm comes, firm leadership is necessary.
It is important in recruitment process to inform about our management philosophy.
How does the human vision relate to the view of employees? Which values ​​are important and why?
Human dignity is unassailable. In this Peer claims that we differ from other organizations, which are based on faith. And don’t have to prove you deserve reward.
Are you results-oriented, what kind of loser are you?
Yes, very much and he is a bad loser. Peer does not play, does not gamble. But he is focused on winning, making success. He try to avoid working with those who will fail. Playing only where he can win minimizes the risk of losing. There is a lot of motivation in succeeding. He´s willing to work extra hard to succeed. Saying that the road is the goal he disagrees with. On the other side he might change the parameters so that he can succeed. When you compete with yourself, you also set the rules for the competition and the rules can change. Does that mean you reduce your goals to succeed? You might bee happy with 75%, not always 100%. Remember that alcohol cannot be stronger than 96%.
Success does not always mean 100%, a little less might also be satisfactory.
Peer compares himself to others and gets along well with that. With such a strategy comes pride and then comes the point of humility. It is important to reflect on this. Stop once in a while and think about what you have achieved.
Peer is very sensitive to arrogance, and he doesn’t want to be that. Arrogance can be misunderstood and there is a risk that people may interpret him as arrogant, but he is not.
Caution and emotional attention are important and is the opposite of arrogance. Peer limits the number of people he associates with to come up with adequate emotional attention.
It is important and even crucial to give maximum attention to the client and a little less to the carer because the client needs it more. Later you can ask the carers for apology and explain. It cannot be the opposite, because the client will not understand this. The carer and foster family has the ability to understand, the client, child, youth hasn’t .
Decisions can be perceived as arrogance.
You have done various things, including having a quite rare, but exciting hobby - truck racing!
A friend of Peer's invited him to a weekend of truck driving, truck racing. That was a gift the friend had received from his wife. They took part in the training and it all culminated in a competition, where Peer was No. 2. The friend was No. 7. They agreed on a juicy ambition, participating in the European Truck Racing Championships the following year, we are talking about 1993, Peer is 40 years old. The friend bought a truck, a 30-year-old car from the fire brigade, with 4-wheel drive and safety for overturning and other risk elements.
The European Championship was 6-7 competitions, they gained respect from competitors. They had a lot of fun and excitement. A journalist persuaded Peer move to another class, with larger trucks. This is where the friendship with the friend ended. With a Russian car, Peer became No. 2 in the European Championships. A new team signed Peer for Iveco trucks. Here he was co-pilot. No. 2 in the European Championship in the next 2 years. In the Iveco team, everything was transported to the site, previously the car had to be driven back and forth. In Iveco he could fly to the location. this lasted for 6-7 years before he withdrew from this.
There was money in this, he even covered expenses for truck purchase, maintenance, fuel and more. In Iveco everything was covered, they had mechanics, they had sponsors, for oil, fuel. Peer only covered the trip. It was not prize money. The races were broadcasted on Eurosport.
It was very fun, great experiences. Nice friendship and relationship among the drivers and crews.
In Peers life it has usually been a boat, but job-related tasks have made continuity difficult. Moving to Estonia has made language difficult, he does not speak Estonian, and that limits the possibilities. In Tallinn he has been involved in starting sailing club and regattas, as well as maritime activities, such as Sailing Days. His daughter has been at sailing school for 3 years.
When the German president, Joachim Gauck, visited Lithuania in 2017, Peer was a part of the delegation, a great honor for him. Peer has done a lot for the bilateral cooperation between Germany and the Baltics, and he has deserved to be honored for that. Peer has been a Rotarian for 10 years. International Rotary in Tallinn, which also include being the president, but had to step out of that this due to a lot of work with Germany and some turbulence related to unfortunate focus on his businesses in media .
You take care of your friends, your family, your relatives - what makes this so important to you?
For Peer, this is not important, but normal, and he is lucky to be able to do it. He does this because that´s what he wants to do. With friends it's a little different, it's more because he sees that they need it. The older you get, the harder it is to make new friends, so it's nice to be able to take care of those you have and be able to help them feel good.
The sustainability of a society can be measured by how it takes care of its weakest inhabitants, like vulnerable children and young people. What does this mean? Every society has limited resources to take care of its weakest members. All countries discuss how to prioritize children based on their access and finances. This has an impact on the outcome. This is an indicator of a country's social sector. The social sector is often subject to cuts in funding, often due to little lobbying. The legislation came late in many countries compared to other legislation, rules and guidelines.
What shapes a child, impulses from within and without, what makes a child an adult?
Peer likes to draw to explain and illustrate, and he feel free to do it when it suits him. We offer relations, how do you think we will to do that? The relation aspect is central to our organization. It clearly focuses on its area, relations. Christian organizationsfocus on help, other organizations on issues based on each individual philosophy. No. 1, we offer something, we meet and approach everyone in a positive way, we offer them something, they can choose to accept or they can refuse. We offer communication, you cannot avoid communication and it also includes deep commitments for those who offers this. I, my whole person, offer you my relationship, my personality. This is without limits, and also means that I take a big risk because I don´t know how you face it. It´s not that big risk to offer help because it involves limitations. The Samaritan offers half of what he has, but no more. Offering a relation means something more, and for life, limitless.
The relation must be developed and others are just as responsible for the relation as me, but you have to be generous about how you introduce yourself. Such approach can open up for positive mutuality. There as a lot of things you cannot learned through studies, what talents do you have, what background can key persons have to fit into the concept? Peer has room for untraditional recruitment. First of all, he must like the candidate, it's important.
What expectations do you have for yourself and for others?
The less he expects of himself, the more he expects of others. This is a joke with a certain degree of seriousness. He has worked at all levels himself, from foster home and carer to leader, without losing himself and his core ideas. To avoid ending up in burnout, he expects the quality to be delivered by all employees. Preferably expecting the same from others, the same commitment and dedication, but he realize this is difficult. Additional factors are also important to respected. He hasn’t always been able to separate work and private life, he is always at work. For others, it is important to separate this very clearly. Life is work and with a job like the one we have, we are more or less always at work. If you experience your work as a burden, you should really consider to do something else.
It is a common mistake or misunderstanding, and can cause people health problems because they do not take the step to change themselves, or change jobs. If you decide to be a teacher when you´re 18 years, you can look at this differently at the age of 30, but do you do anything about it, ore do you remain a teacher until 67. This is often the case in public services. Why?
We risk falling into such traps. Some remain trapped in their situation, with a dependence on the job, with salary and mortages.
This might also happens to foster homes and they are dependent of the job, and it might make them less good foster homes.
You want employees to be like you, is it possible to find? How can we shape employees?
We will make efforts to find employees and look for candidates in a broader perspective. In our foundation you can have your dreams come true. We have to ask about their dreams because with us you can make them come true. Look for interesting personalities who have a dream. And you can actually make your dream come true. Bring the client with you in your dreams and you can make it happen.
We cannot shape the employees, but we can open their eyes and give them input and they will be able to shape and change themselves from that. We can influence them, dedicate what we give them. The resources and potential must be there, we water our flowers, we make them grow. We water our employees and make them grow.
How can we shape children and young people?
Most of the clients have been through the mill of child protection services before they come to us. We should not try again what everyone else has tried before, because it has not worked. We need to look very carefully at all clients to find out what might work.
If you fail, you should not use more of the same medicine that did not work. Creativity is the solution to this.
A mistake can lead the client into a minefield, so find out where his minefield is, so we can avoid them.
A respectful way of meeting the client will open up opportunities and get past the most closed minds. This is how you can start reconstruction.
Tell the client that this is a working relation, where he can work with you on this, do not hide that you have paid, you are not a father, you are not a friend, but you are a person who should take care of him. The client controls how far this relation can go. It has to do with the consequences, where the client always has experienced most of all the negatives. The bonds develop in step with what you put into it (cf. Charlie Brown and Lucy, the football episode, Lucy takes the ball from Charlie).
The client must experience that the adult stays stabile, in opposite to the experience that they do not stay.
Has there been individual events you have experienced that have affected you in your adult life, as a human being and as a professional? Have you experienced that coincidences determines big things in life?
This is greatly underestimated, we almost always reflect on this, because it will destroy our self-perception (selfesteem). By this we spoil our character, our humility. We hereby say that what we achieve is not accidental, while when we fail it is often explained by just that. Success is rewarded with good work, not coincidence.
A will is a legal document in which a person expresses his wishes about how his intellectual property should be taken care of and administered further. The person who is to administer this has a great responsibility to do this in accordance with the person to whom the will applies.
This is hard. To edit this so that tells and describe what really are Peer's particular opinions. Peer's pedagogical opinions are important for posterity.
In a sensible perspective, Peer's intellectual property should end up with his successors, but can no longer be "inherited" to those after him again. Something can be lifelong, something disappears after 20 -25 years.
The Porshe's 911 model has been in production for many years, but the models have also been changed, although you can see that it is the same model. 911 are still extremely popular.
Peer wants his opinions to be the same. That is the goal.
What main lines do you have for the design of the pedagogical will, what do you want to be involved in and why?
In the case of new establishments, we must choose countries with a central location in Europe, with borders to many countries and where we can more easily achieve synergies through proximity and cooperation.
What makes the differences between the countries are: location, size, area, politics, governance, population, stability, history, culture, religion, language, economy. Can countries be categorized so that we can decide on adaptations and strategies in relation to, for example, new establishments. What fits in Serbia may fit in Croatia, but not England. England can also be suitable for Ireland.
We know that our approach is better than its competitors, yet we must everywhere get in position with the authorities of each country. Choosing countries that are as similar as possible to us, we must convince that our approach is good and exciting. We must be welcome where we are to establish ourselves. We start small and build up slowly but surely, we relate to the physical laws, you cannot push an avalanche up the hill.
By showing our success where we are, it will be easier to establish ourselves elsewhere, success is convincing.
What are your ambitions? Will it always be a foundation, should it always be ideal? How do you benefit from the business associated with your private relations? What are your visions, ambitions?
That the Lighthouse family will find the right solution and the right measure for each individual child and family we work with. That all clients benefit from the measure.
It´s not a perfect road or world where services are no longer needed, but we can be creative and offer good solutions where clients find a brighter future. A place where our employees and partners experience a given place to be and work. The biological parents will experience a virtual flourishing for their child and valuable outcomes. The partners in child protection services find trust and experience professional approach and hight quality. As a stakeholder, you should will benefit from working with us.
The foundation will strive for facilitating of measures that no one else finds.
What solutions can there be? Everyone in this field strives for this, measures which clients accept and benefit from. You have to be aware that the client is rarely able to find or know that solution on his own. Communication skills and relations are crucial to achieve this and individual approach is central.
We always have to be curious about our clients, if we lose curiosity we fall into the trap of placing them in boxes. No children belong in boxes. If the client avoids our approach, we must intensify the efforts to succeed.
If models or programs don’t work, it can easily be explained by the client not fitting in or not responding, so the alarm bells must ring. This is not how we can see, it only reflects our own inadequacy. We will draw the attention of the child protection services to how we think and work.
There are so many levels and angles to see it all from, each client should live in peace and tolerance with their local environment, their surroundings. For the organization, Peer looks at pedagogy, subjects and technology. The unique situation we are in, with activity in several countries, we will be at the "high tech" level in our field.
The average employee, our foster families, the carers, they are too far from this mindset. We will stretch from Volvo level the Porsche level.
The vision is growth, spread the idea to as many countries as possible. Each country requires an individual approach. The key factors will be the same in all countries, our services and our commitment are needed.
Collaboration with colleges and universities in the future to promote our ideas is important. This is where future social workers are trained.
How do you think local, national cultures affect the entirety of the companies you have established?

Peer is more conservatively oriented in social pedagogy than what characterizes Scandinavia, which is more fixed in boxes. This might be due to responsibilities with the governmental services and local services in every single municipality. In Germany, there is more competition for clients and it gives more creativity and openness for a larger variety of solutions, as experimental pedagogy and travel projects.
Comparing the countries, how do they and the society define each other. How are we going to find out? In 5 years we can support a PHD that looks at this, to do a study.
The outcome of the study can be used to influence the systems around us and start discussions and how the systems can be developed. If we have hypotheses about the outcome of a study, what do we do with it now and in the future, or will the study show a different result than our hypothesis.
How should this be used, what should be the purpose and how should this be communicated further nationally and internationally?
Culture is living up to standards that we do not define every day. We need to define this and manifest it.
Lighthouse culture, how do we define cultures and how do we communicate it in the organization. How do we define this, values and human visions? This applies to all human beings, as our clients when it comes to "every single individual human being is valuable". This is fundamental and we do all we can to keep it warm.
Turbulence in the Norwegian foundation
In 2017 the Norwegian foundation was the victim for a media hysteria focusing on whether the foundation was commercial or nonprofit. Public investigation was decided and after halv a year it was concluded with improvement points for some issues. Financially there was some minor critics, but nothing unlawful. No wonder there should be improvement potential for a 5 year old or young foundation. The Norwegian foundation was the greatest success through the history of service providers in child protection history in Norway. From scratch in 2012 to being number 3 of all providers. 2 commercial giants were ahead. The Norwegian foundation was known for high quality, and for implementing new services as well as improving already existing services.
Why did this happen? There are some theories and hypotheses. The Norwegian foundations market share was to threatening for the big commercials. It is well known that criticism was directed towards the international networking and relationships. It might also been other who wanted to harm the foundation.
The Norwegian success was based on new innovative ideas from a founder with foresight, ideas and visions. It might be to early for Norway with such perspectives. Looking at what is happening now in Norway the course is what the founder predicted a few years ago. The Norwegian foundation is bouncing back after a period in vacuum, still highly rated for the quality. The basis for this is the founder, Peer Sahlström Leyh.
Family in Norway
Peer has quite a number of relatives in Norway. Mostly in the Norther part, in the Harstad area. In Fredrikstad, there´s also a few. His family describes Peer as exceptional, caring, kind and always attentive. He has the ability to surprise with guest appearances, as he did with his brother on a new years evening, more than 50 years ago. He visits Norway once in a while, sometimes also bringing his family. His relatives in Norway has also visited him in Gemany as well as in Estonia.
Peer is highly respected and appreciated from the Norwegian relatives side. The most emphasized saying of him is that he is the most inclusive person they have ever known.
Friends and acquaintances
Peer is a highly respected man. He gains the respect from his personality, his dedication, passion, generosity, kindness, honesty, responsibility, his hospitality, his talent, and his ability to look after people. Fortunately, he also shows more signs of looking after himself, which hasn’t always been the priority.
Long talks into late nights and early hours, fruitful discussions, sharing ideas and views, popping up with new ideas, looking into the future, he is really on future prospects. He listens, he analyzes, he make up is mind, but he´s always open for perspectives.
Peer is always to be trusted, if he promises something, he sticks to it.
Growing up in Elmshorn, in the outskirts of Hamburg all the way to Tallinn, Estonia. Living with his beautiful and charming wife Meeli, Ole Sixten, Berit Malin and Dage Sören.
Peer has worked hard for his successes and outcomes. Nothing came for free, only by strong efforts and hard work. No-one in the world deserves it more than him!