Migration and integration are among the most pressing issues in current social debates and academic discourses. Integration has long been a core topic of work in the federal, state and local governments, although there is often a certain discrepancy: the presence of integration often does not correspond to the effectiveness that the topic has in everyday administrative work in cities, communities and districts. Actors often have to fight for integration to be considered as a mandatory task, for example in the areas of education, housing, leisure time or work. A major challenge for integration officers is the concept of integration itself, which sometimes appears obsolete and narrow, sometimes broadened and target-oriented - but always represents the means to an end. In view of this variety of tasks and the need for constant change and adjustment of integration policy, further training of integration officers is of particular importance.
There are already further training offers for integration officers that target the legal basis (e.g. the asylum procedure), professional integration, intercultural skills (which means the awareness of existing and latent prejudices), non-violent communication or project management. The program, which is being redesigned as part of the Research Institute for Social Cohesion (FGZ), aims to complement these training courses. The municipal work experience, professional expertise and conceptual understanding of integration of the integration officers will play a decisive role and fundamental function in the development of the program. The focus is on the administrative, networking and integration expertise of colleagues. This expertise of the integration officers is complemented by a cultural-studies perspective, which - based on the assumption of culture as practice - does not put the "what?" in the foreground, but the "how?", and thus contributes to the change of concepts, processes and structures. The educational program is open to topics, instead of making rigid curricular specifications. The goal is to present a sustaining, jointly developed concept after three years, which will have been evaluated as a prototype and will be consolidated.
For interested cooperation partners
Since it is our goal to place administrative, networking and integration expertise on an equal footing with current culture-analytical concepts, we are interested in further "epistemic partnerships". Committed individuals as well as organizations or associations can act as practice partners. We achieve our intention of collaborative and participatory knowledge production, for example, through joint events such as dialogue series, joint workshops or transfer formats in which we bring together actors from administration, practice, civil society and science.