Social help

We provide social services free and confidentially.

The mission of the OPU social services is to support and assist foreigners and refugees in socially unfavourable situations to integrate into Czech society. The team of social and intercultural workers helps to solve multifaceted social problems.

Do you need help?

When providing our services, we always follow the basic principles: 

  • we respect the human rights and freedoms of our clients.

  • we support the individualisation of the client – each person is a unique personality to whom we apply an individual approach and whose choice we respect

  • we contribute to clients’ independence by supporting their competence and motivating them to take an active approach to their life situation

Social counselling

Within the framework of professional social counselling, we can help clients in the following areas:

  • education (support with the recognition of diplomas, assistance in finding schools, searching for educational courses, etc.)
  • social security (advice on benefit entitlements, support in applying for benefits, etc.)
  • employment (support in finding legal employment, writing CVs and cover letters, practice interviews with employers, monitoring the labour market, information on the rights and obligations of employers and employees, etc.)
  • health and healthcare (health insurance options, support in dealing with health insurance companies, information on commercial insurance options, support in finding doctors, etc.)
  • change in family situation (support for the birth of a child, marriage, death of a family member or close person, etc.)
  • registry office situation (support with paperwork and cooperation with the registry office, etc.)
  • housing (information on the housing market, assistance in finding housing in the case of long-term cooperation, etc.)
  • financial security and material assistance (support in solving debt problems, drawing up a repayment plan for smaller debts, finding ways to pay for children’s clubs, lunches, school supplies, cooperation with the furniture and food bank, etc.)
  • information about life in the Czech Republic (providing information about traditions, customs, living with locals, etc.)
  • accompaniment of our staff (in agreement with the OPU staff, possibilities of accompaniment to offices, institutions, schools, employment offices, trade office, health insurance offices, etc.)
  • legal Aid

The service is provided in Prague, Pilsen, Hradec Králové, Brno and Ostrava. You can contact us by phone, e-mail or in person at our branches. More information about the opening hours of individual branches here.

Objectives of the professional social counselling service

The aim of the Specialist Social Counselling service is a client who is familiar with his/her adverse life situation, knows the tools for solving it and is able to use them.

Service capacity

Prague, Ostrava, Hradec Králové – 3 500 intervention per year

Brno – 3 500 intervention per year

Plzeň – 1 client for urgent service

Social rehabilitation

As part of social rehabilitation we offer our clients:

Training in coping skills for self-care, self-sufficiency and other activities leading to social inclusion.
  1. Training in the use of common devices and appliances in public places and offices – e.g. ticket and queuing machines; infobox at the labour office; telephones; ATMs …
  2. Household care training – e.g. money management training; making a monthly financial plan
  3. Training in caring for children and other household members – childcare provision in terms of introducing options and practicing how to provide care while looking for and pursuing employment
  4. Training in independent movement including orientation in indoor and outdoor space – e.g. movement at the job centre; training in movement at the employer…
  5. Training in the skills needed for official tasks – e.g. training in filling in a form when registering as unemployed with the Labour Office; dealing with the Labour Office; understanding official documents; obtaining a criminal record; signing an employment contract with an employer…
Assistance in a social environment
  1. Client escorts – e.g. to the Labour Office; to a mediation agency…
  2. Practicing how to use public transport – how to identify common connections, what is public transport and what is intercity transport, how to time access to work on time and how to plan for emergencies…
  3. Training of behaviour in various social situations – training of behaviour during an interview, including training of self-presentation; training of behaviour at the labour office; training of crisis situations when dealing with authorities and employers; training in communication with the employer in the working environment, including joining the work team; training in how to defend oneself in the event of discriminatory behaviour on the part of the employer, employment agency or bullying; training in the principles of interpersonal communication; training in the use of common sources of information (press, internet… ); introducing social behaviour in the labour market (e.g. What clothes to wear to an interview, how to apologise if you are late, facial expressions and gestures including handshakes, etc., behaviour in the workplace, training and setting up a daily routine with regard to punctuality)…
  4. Training in common and alternative ways of communication, contact and working with information – e.g. telephone training in communication with the authorities, including training in telephone calls with the employer, with the labour office; setting up and using e-mail, Facebook; training in orientation in job offers; setting up and using common and alternative ways of communication with employers (common job portals, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.); training in orientation on the labour market…
Educational, training and activation activities

Strengthening acquired skills and abilities – motivational and activation activities to support the client in finding legal and long-term employment and to maintain current employment; criteria for selecting suitable employment; strengthening time management; strengthening the ability to manage money properly; strengthening decision-making and taking responsibility for one’s life; coping with crisis situations…

Assistance in exercising rights, legitimate interests
  1. providing information on the possibilities of obtaining rehabilitation and compensation aids – especially in relation to employment e.g. health insurance contributions for aids…
  2. Information service and service brokerage – e.g. advice on discovering and contacting follow-up services (e.g. mediation of orientation on the rights and obligations of employer and employee; details of employment contracts, including examples and examples including the possibility of concluding a relationship with the employer; assistance to specific groups of people (parents with minor children, pregnant women) in promoting flexible forms of employment, in complying with legal regulations… ; information service on labour law in terms of focusing on problematic areas of the labour market, what to watch out for (discrimination, bullying, exploitation), risks of black labour…; information service on labour law with a focus on supporting the acquisition of flexible forms of employment for people with young children and for people caring for a loved one; mediation of contact with organisations dealing with labour market problems, including the relevant state authorities; labour law information service
Goals of the social rehabilitation service

The aim of the social rehabilitation service is a client who has improved or developed his/her knowledge, abilities, competences and skills by using the service.

Service capacity

Max. 12 clients 

Halfway house

As part of our social service, we offer:

  • the provision of accommodation for a period not exceeding 1 year as a rule and support in securing subsequent housing
  • support in securing the client’s financial situation
  • support in finding and keeping a job
  • support in increasing knowledge of the Czech language
  • support in navigating routine matters
  • support in dealing with routine matters independently
  • introduction of Czech traditions and customs

We have three Halfway Houses available. Two Halfway Houses in Prague with a capacity of 10 places and one Halfway House in Brno with a capacity of 6 places.

Objectives of the professional social counselling service
  1. The client has secured suitable housing
  2. The client is legally employed
  3. The client is able to plan and manage their finances
  4. The client is able to communicate in Czech at least at a basic level
  5. The client is able to navigate independently in common situations
The range of persons for whom the professional Halfway House service is intended:
  • young foreigners aged 16 to 26 who have been classified as an “unaccompanied minor” before reaching the age of majority and have previously been placed in institutional or foster care
  • young foreigners aged 16 to 26, without family background or from dysfunctional families
Clients must meet the following conditions:
  • clients without addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling machines
  • clients with a settled residence status, either by granting international protection in the form of asylum or subsidiary protection, or by granting permanent residence or temporary protection
  • clients without mental illness, without a diagnosis of intellectual impairment, who are able to move and stay without the help of another person

Field programme

The programmes in field take place in Prague, the Central Bohemia and Ústí nad Labem regions, as well as in the Plzeň, Hradec Králové, Moravia-Silesia and South Moravia regions.

Within the field programs we offer:

  1. Visit of a social worker and an intercultural worker at the place of stay and provision of social counselling
  2. Accompaniments
  3. Providing legal advice
Goals of the field programme
  1. To actively seek out and reach out to foreigners who are socially excluded or at risk of social exclusion and who are unable to cope with their unfavourable living situation on their own
  2. To inform foreigners about the services available in the designated areas of individual regions and throughout the Czech Republic and about the possibilities for solving unfavourable living situations
  3. Inform foreigners about their rights and obligations
  4. Inform foreigners about the labour market and possible integration into it, monitor the position of foreigners in the local labour market and actively defend the legitimate claims of foreigners
  5. To improve orientation in the Czech legal system, which will enable the foreigner to better understand the possibilities of dealing with the unfavourable situation
  6. To improve orientation in Czech society, which will contribute to greater integration of foreigners into its structures