Development of Intercultural Work in the Czech Republic – Premises and Challenges in Establishing an Intercultural Worker Profession, Allied to Social Work that Promotes the Use of Skills that Migrants Have

Eva Dohnalová

Medailon autorů:

Eva Dohnalová is a PhD student at the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Arts, at Charles University and a social worker. Her research focuses on integration policies especially at the local level, social work with immigrants, and intercultural work. As a practitioner she has been working for several migrant assisting NGO‘s including the Association for Intercultural Work. She has been involved in establishing the profession “intercultural worker” in the Czech Republic.


OBJECTIVES: The aim of the presented paper is to answer the question: How is the profession of
intercultural worker and its legitimacy developing within the framework of the helping professions
in the Czech Republic? THEORETICAL BASE: The article links the social work and migration
studies. It draws on migrant integration models, integration policies and intercultural social
work. METHODS: The article employs a case study approach, including theoretical review of
intercultural work followed by an online survey. OUTCOMES: The integration of motivated
migrants into helping professions, occupying the role of intercultural workers and community
interpreters, is increasingly demanded by non-governmental organisations and public authorities.
Yet, the professional codification of the intercultural worker is supported only in non-mandatory
strategic documents within Czech integration policies and the National Qualification System.
SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: In the Czech environment, there is an ambition to
establish intercultural workers as a distinct profession that works closely with social workers.
The discussion on the professionalization of intercultural workers deals with the possibility of
integrating intercultural workers into the social services system or forming autonomous helping
profession close to social work. How to ensure this on system level; is still open to question.

Klíčová slova:

intercultural worker, social work, ethno-cultural diversity, integration, interculturalism

s. 61–77