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

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.

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