Protection Consultant for San Diego Host Family Network
Since 2018, IRC San Diego has intentionally served asylum seekers through its ASF (Asylum Seekers and Families) comprehensive case management program. The ASF client population served by IRC San Diego have recently arrived in the U.S. and do not have family, friends or any other connections in the United States. This population will likely stay in San Diego indefinitely and lacks access to US systems and resources to meet their basic needs. Amongst the most urgent needs for recently arrived asylum seekers is access to affordable housing, a particularly acute need in San Diego given the skyrocketing cost of living in recent years.
Through a formal partnership with Safe Harbors Network (SHN), IRC San Diego supports ASF clients with housing. SHN is a coalition of individuals, congregations and organizations who support refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants. The purpose of SHN is to connect these vulnerable populations with community members and institutions who are willing to provide safe shelter and basic needs for a defined time. SHN recruits, vets, and maintains ongoing communication with potential host families or institutions where IRC clients can be placed. The IRC and SHN work together to provide donated temporary housing support for asylum seeking individuals and families who are enrolled in IRC’s comprehensive case management program.
In order to leverage and expand the partnership with SHN, IRC seeks a Protection Consultant for San Diego’s Host Family Network over a course of approximately five months. The Consultant will develop policies and procedures for proper vetting and onboarding of host families, safety protocols, and standard agreements to be put in place between incoming host families, SHN and clients enrolled in IRC ASF services. The Consultant will report to IRC’s Technical Advisor for Cross Border throughout the development of these materials and will train SHN's Program Manager on fully operating and executing them. The Consultant will also act as an escalation focal point for SHN in cases of concern.
This position requires knowledge of a) trauma informed principles that uphold the safety and security of ASF clients who have experienced trauma while supporting their resiliency and recovery b) the U.S./Mexico border context regarding asylum and protection for vulnerable people on the move, including the needs of vulnerable people on the move and c) strong communication and coordination across multiple stakeholders both internally and externally.
The Protection Consultant San Diego’s Host Network will develop and fully train SHN staff on the following protocols, procedures and agreements to advance the protection of ASF clients housed in SHN’s host family network. The consultant must use a trauma-informed approach in developing these safeguards to support the resilience and recovery of ASF clients who have experienced trauma. Continual assessment of ongoing changes in behavior of host families and/or ASF clients as well as changes in the general housing conditions that could impact the safety of clients should be considered in the design of protocols and procedures:
1. Standard Operating Procedure for vetting and onboarding host families, including any necessary background checks, clearances and assessment of security in the host’s property.
2. Safety Protocols – detailing baseline measures that must be in place in order to mitigate risks and protect the safety and security of ASF guest clients as well as host family members; along with clearly established channels of communication and steps to take in escalating concerns that threaten the safety of either party.
3. Two standard agreement templates that outline rights and responsibilities between:
a. SHN and Host Family Agreement – detailing both the host families’ responsibilities as well as the training and ongoing support that SHN will provide them. The agreement should also name the measures that will be in place to hold both parties accountable to these commitments.
b. Host Family, ASF Guest Client Agreement and IRC Caseworker Agreement – detailing the host families’ responsibilities, ASF clients’ rights and responsibilities while living in host family property, as well as the IRC Caseworker’s responsibilities. The agreement should also name the measures that will be in place to hold parties accountable to these commitments.
4. Feedback tool/mechanism to asses and measure impact on ASF guest clients during and after their placement.
- Master’s degree (MSW, MHPSS/Counseling preferred) or equivalent professional experience required.
Preferred Skills and Experience:
- Minimum 5 years of progressive and related experience within the context of programs, policy and advocacy for the rights and protection of refugees, asylum seekers, displaced persons and vulnerable people on the move. - In-depth knowledge of trauma informed safety and security principles developed through direct service provision, program development, and/or advocacy in the U.S./Mexico border context, ideally with a special focus on the San Diego region. - Ideally experience developing frameworks for hosting / sponsoring newcomers. - Demonstrated success working with vulnerable populations who have experienced trauma. - Previous experience in consulting and/or project management. - Expert communication skills (written and verbal) with a demonstrated ability to synthesize complex materials and technical topics into training material, as well as experience facilitating training and coaching. - Practical experience in providing thought leadership, analytical thinking, and translating ideas into long- and short-term organizational strategy. - Pro-active self-starter that is able to develop and complete work plans independently in a complex, dynamic environment. - Highly proficient in English and ideally a second language (Ukrainian, Russian, Haitian Creole, Spanish preferred).
Payment Rate and Schedule
Please include a proposed rate and schedule in your application materials.
Application and Bidding Procedure
Interested applicants should develop and submit a proposal to respond to the above-mentioned tasks. The proposal should include:
- Applicant’s CV - Motivation for applying - Relevant professional background including past performance conducting similar assignments - Consider the following scenario and describe how you would develop/improve upon protocols to help safeguard against the scenario happening in the future:
ASF clients (three adult women and four children) live in the unoccupied property of a host family. The host family shows up at the property, unannounced, along with two of their close friends. The host family asks to come in as they want to give their friends a tour of the house.