The Hussite Faculty of Theology as a part of the Charles University offers study programmes covering cultural, social, spiritual, educational, interpersonal and charity topics of social life of the contemporary society. It provides theological education that guarantees the revitalisation of European Christian moral and religious values. It builds on the current knowledge in the field of philosophy and sociology or political science and on the assumption that religion as a cornerstone of civilization, continuity and perspective of spiritual horizon and stability of social system is being rediscovered. The social and charity work bachelor's degree programmes and the follow-up master's degree programmes are put into the relevant social context by the Faculty plans.
The Department of Psychosocial Sciences and Ethics of the HFT CU, which jointly with the Department of Religious Studies, Department of Systematic Theology, Department of Practical Theology and Department of Church History and Law, provides instruction in bachelor's degree programme of Social and charity work (SACH) and in the follow-up master's degree programme Social and charity work (SACH), was set up already in 1995. Originally, it was a sub-department of psychosocial sciences, later on in 1998 it became the Department of Psychosocial Sciences and Special Ethics, which was in 2006 transformed into the Department of Psychosocial Sciences and Ethics. University education of social workers trained in theology has been provided continuously for more than 19 years.
The Department of Psychosocial Sciences and Ethics of the HFT CU is a member of the Association of Educators in Social Work in the Czech Republic. There are over 450 regular students enrolled in bachelor's degree programmes and follow-up master's degree programmes of social and charity work accredited under the programme 7508 Social work.
The departmental staff has been consistently active in integrating the scientific and publishing activities with teaching of professional competencies and development of personality of their students that are vital for the provision of expert, effective and ethical social work in a challenging social landscape. The Department has for a long time been involved in Erasmus LLP at the level of academia, but particularly in student mobility and inter-university cooperation.
Social and charity work study programmes aim to train qualified experts with university education for the regulated profession of a social worker, focusing on general social work with integrated theological skills necessary for work activities and competencies in the following areas:
practical social care, social work and social services in religious and non-religious area
statem administration professions
culture, literature and journalism-oriented professions
theoretical activities in the area of social science, or science and research
The theoretical instruction and experiential learning through hands-on experience and guided practice in guaranteed study programmes are defined by growing social requirements for the training of experts for social and charity work with diverse social and population groups. The study programmes are typically of interdisciplinary nature. The study shall make it easier for the graduates to navigate through the issues of contemporary society, in the social landscape covering a broad spectrum of human social dysfunctions, in human psychology and psychopathology, in special communication techniques, and to prepare them for their involvement in social programmes, delivery of new concepts of social work, creation and implementation of effective methods of social work and social services, and also for open and humane approach to an individual as well as to vulnerable target social or population groups.
Graduates from the bachelor's degree and follow-up social and charity work programmes have an opportunity to find employment especially:
in social work with people in need or facing a crisis (unemployed, homeless people, individuals or families in crisis, domestic violence, persons at an imminent risk of social disorganisation or exclusion, etc.)
in social work with drug addicts or pathological gamblers
in social work and social services for disabled persons with physical, mental and sensory impairments, or persons with special learning and behaviour disorders
in social work with persons serving a sentence or after being released from prison sentence, and with their families
in the provision of support, assistance and care to chronically ill persons, seniors and dying persons.
Qualification requirements of the graduates from accredited social work study programmes, namely both in the bachelor's degree and master' degree SACH programmes, are defined by the vocational focus of study programmes, in line with the valid accreditation under Act No 111/1998 Coll., on Higher Education Institutions and on Amendments and Supplements to Some Other Laws (the Higher Education Act), as amended. The referred to study programmes reflect the current legal requirements stipulating the qualification requirements for the performance of social work profession (Section 109 and Section 110 of Act No 108/2006 Coll., on Social Services) and also the Minimum Standards for Social Work Education of the Association of Educators in Social Work in the CR. The Opinion of MoLSA CR of 13 December 2011 Ref. No.: 2011/89948-222 also confirms the professional competence for the performance of social work profession (in accordance with the EU Directive No 2005/36/EC, code of regulated profession 655) of graduates from the above mentioned study programmes.
At the Department of Psychosocial Sciences and Ethics of the HFT CU, the Academic Advising Centre of the Hussite Faculty of Theology of the CU has been set up. The advising centre provides study, professional, career and educational guidance to students with special education needs, professional intervention to students with specific learning disorders, communication disorders or hearing and visual impairments, and consultancy and advisory support to disadvantaged students. The staff of the Department of Psychosocial Sciences and Ethics enables the students interested in counselling to get involved in activities of the advising centre. In 2010, the Academic Centre of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid was established at the Department, where under the leadership of departmental academic staff the students can undergo practical training oriented at development assistance in selected countries and delivery of humanitarian aid projects.