Communication between employees working in the social and healthcare sector and their clients with migration background is greatly influenced by the ability to deal with cultural diversity. In general, the work of the socio-health professionals with people of different national, ethnic, social and economic origins creates difficulties and complexities in the relationship and in professional interventions. Differences in attitude and approaches to clients with different ethnic backgrounds often give rise to misunderstandings and irritation, sometimes even leading to dissociation and isolation of specific groups of staff and groups of clients/patients. Considering the increasing number of immigrant users within social and healthcare services, a person-centred approach and diversity management are important new elements to be included in the professional training path. Intercultural competences are considered to be an essential dimension of a new model of profession in the social and healthcare sector.

However, vocational education and training for people in the social and healthcare sector rarely include the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies to deal proficiently with clients with a migration background.


By developing the intercultural and social communication skills of social and healthcare sector employees, i-CARE aims at enhancing the services provided to people with different cultural background.


Current situation in managing cultural differences in the social and healthcare sector

A transnational analysis report includes the current situation, good practice, pedagogical approaches and the specific training needs of the target groups regarding the cultural differences in the social and healthcare sector.

The transnational analysis report is based on literature review, online surveys and focus groups with target groups and relevant stakeholders.

Intercultural Competences Guidelines

The Guidelines aim at enabling human resource managers, decision makers, and team leaders in the social and healthcare sector to decide on the introduction of intercultural competence training. The development of the Guidelines focus on how employees in the social and healthcare can develop their intercultural skills.

The guidelines cover topics such as:

  • cultural diversity - different value systems and the role of religion
  • working with culturally different clients
  • intercultural communication in social and healthcare services
  • barriers to effective multicultural relationships

Action Sheets for Intercultural Competences

The Action Sheets for Intercultural Competences are comprehensible awareness raising material for staff working in the social and healthcare sector, covering all issues of intercultural communication with clients with migrant background. They will provide first-hand information to gain knowledge, skills, competences and self-confidence in dealing proficiently with aspects of intercultural learning in their daily work.

The Action Sheets will cover the same topics as the Guidelines, but in a strictly practice-oriented way so that they can be consulted in the daily working practice.

Toolbox for Intercultural Competences

The i-CARE toolbox is an interactive learning resource adapted to the learners’ needs. The toolbox aims at assisting HR managers, team leaders, VET teachers and trainers across Europe in composing tailored education and training measures for their target groups, i.e. professionals working in the social and healthcare sector that offer services also to people with migration background.

The toolbox includes modules, covering topics such as: life skills, social skills, personal skills, competence of action.

Mobile Application

Mobile application includes suitable learning materials in order to enable users to get informed and to learn wherever and whenever they prefer.

Experience Report and Roadmap

This report will be based on the pilot implementation of the previous actions and the creation of a Roadmap, a combination of tactical, achievable, interventions that can be achieved alongside longer term transformational work and embedding into working practices.

The impact of the learning during the piloting phase in terms of competence developments will be assessed by means of the validation system LEVEL5 and using the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model.


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The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.