In this sociological study, a transformation of the welfare state is to be examined with reference to the Child and Youth Services in Graz. In 2010, the concept of Sozialraumorientierung was comprehensively established in the Child and Youth Services in Graz. This new concept has been treated controversially in a scientific and public discourse. In the theoretical part of this paper, the transformation to an activating welfare state, transformation of organizations and the concept of Sozialraumorientierung from a sociological point of view are discussed. The activating welfare state affects two levels. On the one hand, the reorganization of public administration, also referred to as New Public Management, in which management methods (such as controlling, control and decentralization) are introduced. On the other hand, the reorientation of public action, which brings a strong social impact. Social action is not only influenced by individual, but also social logic. The individual bears direct responsibility towards common welfare, which is not to be harmed by autonomous actions and precautions. The empirical part consists of a discourse analysis and a qualitative evaluation of interviews with experts. It became apparent that a change in the welfare state can be found at various levels. The introduction of Sozialraumorientierung in Graz led, firstly, to an administrative reform in the Office for Youth and Family (decentralized flat structures, savings, control elements), secondly, to a transformation of professionalism of social and socio-educational work (less decision-making authority, increasing flexibility) and, thirdly, to direct implications for the affected children and adolescents (articulation of self-will, activation of own resources).