4. Social Inclusion
Social inclusion in the Czech Republic is a relevant and politically important topic. The central social inclusion policy is governed by theAgency for social inclusion. The agency used to be a strong department of the Governmental office, but due to the transformation and strong regional and local character of the activities, it became part of the Ministry for Regional Development. See more in Chapter 4.2 on the Administration and Governance. In the Youth field, it was one of the priorities of the Youth strategy till 2020 and several objectives and measures have been declared. Since 2021 there is no comprehensive youth strategy and aspect and focus on youth inclusion is mainstreamed within other public policies based on the equal and non-exclusion principles.
Relating to young people, most social inclusion activities are supported within other legal scopes than youth work, as far as youth work is not legally regulated in the Czech Republic in most aspects and there is also no comprehensive state policy on the national level.
Leisure-based education and similar ways of non-formal education are regulated by the Education, Social and Civic legislation. Within education, inclusive education has been introduced in reality after long-lasting discussion since the 1st of September 2016. New measures for school facilities for inclusion have been introduced by the state. Still, the implementation has not been consolidated. New Educational Strategy 2030+ emphasises removing social disparities as one of the 2 main strategic goals of the whole educational policy for the coming years. Social policy focus on the specific subgroups of young people as those steaming from institutional and foster care. For details approach in chapter 4.4 and chapter 4.7.
Direct social involvement and support for young people in the way of street work and Low-Threshold facilities for Children and Youth are regulated directly within the scope of social services. A special issue is the field of young offenders, which, however, seems to be innovative and offer specific activities and programmes on how to help this vulnerable group among youth with professional youth work linked to criminology and related circles.
Also, youth organisations are active in the field of social inclusion in their activities, but it seems to be rather natural and bottom-up, rather than taking any stimulation or steering from the state or public level. The state is thus not offering much specific support to foster youth inclusion through the youth work, even if it is a politically strong and discussed topic.