The role of caseworkers in asylum reception in Bologna: between pedagogical competencies and socio-political contradictions

Marta Salinaro


The current features of the migration of asylum seekers and refugees to Europe call for a redefinition of the tasks and scope of educational and social work. After a brief examination of the policies and national guidelines of SPRAR (Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees) in Italy, this article uses a pedagogical perspective to investigate the role of caseworkers in the Italian asylum reception system. Based on an empirical understanding of the everyday challenges of this professional practice, this paper shows the contradictions of the system through the perspectives of caseworkers. In particular, the paper highlights the gap between the institutional guidelines of SPRAR services concerning the role of caseworkers and practices on the ground. The article illustrates how the educational and training dimension, as well as pedagogical and intercultural competencies, are fundamental to the construction of caseworkers’ professionalism.



forced migration; educational professionalism; reception system; social inclusion.


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