Foster Care Expert- National Consultant, Athens, 4 months

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UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

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Application deadline 11 months ago: Tuesday 22 Feb 2022 at 21:55 UTC

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This is a Consultancy contract. More about Consultancy contracts.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child,

Despite significant progress in the country, the de-institutionalisation of children and the development of social services to support families with childcare remain a challenge for Greece. This is even more true for foster families, who strive to support children who might otherwise not have access to life in a family setting.

The deinstitutionalization process in the country was initiated in 2000, however, the new care modalities developed in recent years concerned mostly alternative housing settings. Consequently, deinstitutionalization efforts in Greece only superficially concerned children. Children outside institutions often find themselves in the care of overburdened biological or foster families, with women shouldering a disproportionate burden of care of unpaid care work.

The foster care and adoption framework in the country is prescribed in Act 4538/2018 which includes the following types: general (traditional); specialised; and temporary foster care. Children with disabilities can be accommodated in any of the different types of foster care, based on their individual needs and as assessed by the relevant social services (the Social Welfare Directorates, the Social Solidarity Departments of the Public Health, the Social Welfare Centres and the municipal nurseries). The same law prescribes the development of different types of registries for parents and minors to be accommodated by the anynet.gr platform, the eligibility criteria for anyone to become a foster parent, including the roles, rights and responsibilities of a foster family. The relevant social services (SS) of “Supervisory Bodies” (basically Social Welfare Centres and Regional Social Directorates) are responsible to recruit, assess and train the potential foster families, to provide continuous professional assistance and support in accordance with the standards and procedures for placement in foster families and to monitor and coordinate the activities linked to the placement and care of a foster child, once placed.

In addition, based on the process for selection of foster family, a potential foster family, for which the relevant assessment has been completed after 15/4/2019, should have successfully completed training for foster parents, conducted by the SS of “Supervisory Bodies” in accordance with the programme developed, available on anynet.gr.

As a signatory of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the country should ensure that the process for adoption of children is conducted in a way to ensure the rights of the child are respected, especially with regards to the ‘best interest of the child’. In 2018, the Greek Government introduced a law which provides the framework for foster care and adoption. While the implementation of the law as well as the development of secondary legislation was initiated in late 2019, at the moment, certain gaps still exist (e.g. the access of unaccompanied minors to the national foster care system, the development of professional foster care, the complete implementation of the foster care financial benefit etc.) and the need for foster care to be regulated.

In November 2017, the Government made a commitment to end placement of children from 0 to 3 in large scale institutions by 2020. In line with this commitment, and as part of the support to the process of de-institutionalization, UNICEF and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy are currently seeking a Foster Care Experts who would work in the Ministry of Labour and with relevant authorities to provide technical support in the strengthening of the foster care system in Greece.

The UNICEF Greece Country Office aims to ensure that the rights of all children in Greece are protected and promoted. This includes ensuring that children have access to family and community-based care, in the context of a strengthened child protection system.

How can you make a difference?

Within the framework of UNICEF’s mandate, and in line with priorities of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA), UNICEF is seeking to recruit a foster care expert to provide the technical support to MoLSA to help strengthen the foster care system in the country. The expert will be situated in the office of the Ministry of Labor, and work closely with relevant authorities and national experts to provide technical assistance in order to strengthen the regulatory framework for foster care and build the capacity of agencies and providers involved in the delivery of foster care.

The individual consultant will work closely with the Child Guarantee UNICEF Focal Point in Greece and the respective team members involved. The consultant will regularly coordinate with UNICEF ECARO and contribute to the learning process deriving from the 7 pilot countries of Phase III of the EUCG.

The individual consultant will provide technical inputs to the MoLSA and other authorities involved (e.g. EKKA, Welfare Centre of Attika Region) ensuring that the development of foster care is addressing the needs of children that are removed from their biological family in a child centered manner and by considering the needs of the child as the highest consideration.

The consultant will:

  • Analysis of existing foster care and adoption system, and development of recommendations on how to strengthen the system and improve collaboration among various authorities, and periodical updates (quarterly).

    II. Work with legal team to inform drafting of a regulatory framework including relevant standards and procedures with regards to foster care.

    III. Revise existing standards and protocols with proposed recommendations for improvement, as needed; develop standards for specialized foster care, including for children with disabilities,for the on-going support to foster caregivers, including psychosocial support and counselling as well as supervision (and the suggested recourses and frequency)

    IV. Draft Inter-disciplinary collaboration protocol on identification and selection of foster caregivers as well as monitoring the quality of care provided by the foster caregivers, following the development and wellbeing of the child

    V. Contribute to the finalisation of National Minimum Standards for Child Protection Institutions

    VI. Carry out a capacity building needs assessment with a focus on institutions, professionals and foster families and make recommendations on a capacity building plan taking into account actions under way and/or completed make recommendations to build the capacity of agencies and providers involved in the delivery of foster care.

    VII. Revise and further develop the regulations and guidelines for recruitment, training and supervision for foster families. This will include supporting the development of protocols and tools for the different stages of foster care starting from matching to the placement, support and review monitoring of placements.

Work Assignment Overview:

i.Support the coordination of the different streams of work related to Child Guarantee implementation with the MoLSA and facilitate information flow and effective cooperation with UNICEF Child Guarantee focal point (ongoing)

ii. Draft a set of recommendations on how different stakeholders should coordinate in order to increase efficiency of the functioning of the system(Due: June 2022)

iii. Provide input to legislation, standards, procedures and guidelines on foster care – including professional Foster Care, inclusion of UAC in the mainstream system of foster care, transition to Supported Independent living and other issues prioritised by the ministry (Due: ongoing as needed in coordination with MoLSA legal team) iv. Support the review and adaptation of the training package on foster care for professionals, including hospital and municipal social workers and informed by regional and global good practices (Due: May 2022)

v. Monthly progress reports and final end of contract report summarizing progress towards results and final conclusions (Due: 1st of every month)

vi. Support the Foster Care sub Working Group for the development of protocols regarding administrative procedures following the matching of children including formalisation of reviews (forms, steps to be followed, professionals to participate, how to include the wish of the child).

vii. Review the data inserted in Anynet in collaboration with EKKA to draw conclusions and draft recommendations (ongoing)

viii. Design a direct referral system to foster care for children removed from family care and placed in hospitals for short period (Μay 2022 )

ix. Finalisation of National Minimum Standards for CP institutions, including Εσωτερικό Κανονισμό Λειτουργίας, Minimum Standards for volunteers in CP institution (Due: June 2022)

Work Assignment Overview

Tasks/Milestone:

Deliverables/Outputs:

1. Monthly progress reports and final end of contract report summarizing progress towards results and final conclusions

Monthly

2. Draft a set of recommendations on how different stakeholders should coordinate in order to increase efficiency of the functioning of the system

June 2022

3. Support the review and adaptation of the training package on foster care for professionals, including hospital and municipal social workers and informed by regional and global good practices

May 2022

4. Finalisation of National Minimum Standards for CP institutions, including Εσωτερικό Κανονισμό Λειτουργίας, Minimum Standards for volunteers in CP institution

June 2022

5. Design a direct referral system to foster care for children removed from family care and placed in hospitals for short period

May 2022

6. Final report with recommendations for the way forward and further development

July 2022

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Post graduate degree in social work, social policy or relevant field

    ▪ Minimum 5-7 years of progressively responsible professional work experience in protection and care for children

    ▪ Expertise and experience in the area of foster care - knowledge of the national childcare system in Greece

    ▪ Excellent analytical and written skills

    ▪ Fluency in Greek and English (oral and written)

  • F****or every Child, you demonstrate…

    • UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

    View our competency framework at http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

  • Management -Reporting

    The said Consultant will be contracted directly by UNICEF and report to the UNICEF Child Protection Specialist.

    All UNICEF rules and regulations related to travel of Consultants/ Individual Contractors apply.

    Equipment

    IT Equipment may be provided to the consultant, upon availability, to carry out the deliverables. Interested applicants are expected to have already the necessary IT equipment (lap top, mobile phone).

    Timeframe and Payment Schedule

    Fees:

    Candidates are asked to indicate their required all-inclusive fees for the services to be provided. The final rate will be communicated to the candidate upon recommendation by the selection panel.

    Payment schedule: Payment will be made on a monthly basis, based on agreed deliverables and a submission of monthly progress reports to UNICEF by the consultant, upon approval by the direct supervisor. Monthly progress reports will be brief, produced in English and summarize key activities, achievements and challenges faced during the reporting period, priorities for the next reporting period, highlighting any support needs from or recommendations for UNICEF.

    Deadlines regarding the deliverables are subject to revision depending on the date of recruitment.

    UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines. All materials developed will remain the copyright of UNICEF and UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future.

    HOW TO APPLY

    Applicants are invited to:

    a. complete their UNICEF profile

    b. attach latest CV and Motivation Letter (http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_53129.htm))

    c. Indicate a monthly fee for the aforementioned deliverables (Full time deployment)

    Remarks:

  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
  • UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
  • All regulations for Consultants and Individual Contractors, including General Terms and Conditions, do apply for this contract. UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
  • Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.
Added 11 months ago - Updated 11 months ago - Source: unicef.org