Re-advertisement: International Consultant to develop Standards on Family Outreach Service
Application deadline 5 months ago: Thursday 7 Jul 2022 at 21:55 UTCOpen application form
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, equality.
The Social and Child Protection System reform in Montenegro, led by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) has intensified since 2011 with the EU and UN (UNICEF and UNDP) financial and technical assistance. Over the past decade, legal and policy framework have been largely aligned with relevant international standards, institutional capacities have been strengthened, and an important shift from institutional to family- and community-based care has been made. Some of the key reform achievements include the development of the Law on Social and Child Protection (2013), comprehensive reform of the Centres for Social Work (new organization and modern work methods i.e. case management), establishment of the Institute for Social and Child Protection, the MoLSW’s Division for Development of Social and Child Protection Services and Social and Child Protection Inspection within the Administration for Inspection Affairs, capacities of different sectors’ professionals improved in the area of intersectoral cooperation and prevention of family breakdown, quality assurance system introduced, and expanded family and community based services (foster care system strengthened, expanded network of day care centres for children with disabilities, established a small group home service for children without parental care, family outreach service for the prevention of family breakdown and institutialization introduced and expanded, established national SOS helpline for children and young people, etc.).
Within the overall reform, the deinstitutionalization and development of a variety of family support and community-based services are seen as key to developing a contemporary human rights-based system of social and child protection. The Law on Social and Child Protection has introduced the prevention of institutionalization and availability of services in the least restrictive environment as key reform principles and enabled a pluralism of services and services providers (state and non-state). Thus, the Law provides that the public institutions providing placement services to children, youth, adults and elderly shall be transformed with a view to developing services supporting independent living, counselling-therapeutic or socio-educational services, in accordance with the plan of transformation adopted by the competent state administration body. In addition, the Law on Social and Child Protection provides for ending placement of children under three years of age in residential institutions. To ensure proper quality of social and child protection services delivery, a system of licensing was introduced in accordance with the developed standards for the services.
In line with the above, the network of day care centres has been established across the country (from only one in 2010 to 17 currently), significant efforts have been invested in the development of foster care and the rise of preventative services for children and their families for several years. This, along with the legal reform, capacity building of relevant professionals, quality assurance mechanisms, and mass media campaigns, contributed to achieving zero children from 0-3 years of age in institutional care, 50% decrease of a number of children in institutional care overall and 15% increase in the number of children in foster care in the period 2010-2020. At the end of 2021, there were 119 children in Montenegro’s institutions. However, over the years, children with disabilities remained overrepresented in institutional care (accounting for more than 50% of children in institutions). In addition, due to significant stagnation in the last 3-4 years there is a serious lack of available services , particularly preventive and family support ones.
One of the services developed since 2016 and successful in preventing family breakdown and institutionalization of children is the Family Outreach Service. The service has continuously provided support to children from Roma communities, children with disabilities, children who are victims of abuse and/or neglect, children placed in foster families and children aged 0-3. Since 2016 the service has supported 316 families and 869 children, with 99.3% of children who were supported by family outreach service remaining in a family environment and avoiding institutionalisation, and virtually all families voluntarily remaining involved with the service during its entire course, often asking for future support after the initial 12 months had expired. In addition, the Family Outreach Service is highly appreciated by the professionals working in the Centres for Social Work who refer families at risk to this service. However, the future of this service has been seriously hindered given its reliance exclusively on external funding in 2021. Namely, the service has been provided by an NGO and funded on a project basis by MoLSW by 2021, and since 2021 by external funding sources i.e. UNICEF. To enable sustainability, UNICEF is working with the MoLSW on identifying models for integrating the service into regular service provision. As a key step in this direction and to ensure the quality of the service, UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare by providing an expert to develop the norms and minimum standards (rulebook) for its provision in line with the relevant Montenegrin legislation and international standards and best practices. The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare will establish a working group for the development of the norms and minimum standards (bylaw) for the provision of Family Outreach Service with relevant institutions’ representatives to provide inputs, suggestions, and recommendations to the consultant during the process of development of the minimum standards.
How can you make a difference?
The purpose of the assignment is to contribute to quality and sustainable provision of family support service – Family Outreach Service - preventing family breakdown and institutionalization of the most vulnerable children in Montenegro.
More specifically, the objectives of the consultancy will be to:
- Draft the norms and minimum standards for the Family Outreach Service containing clear purpose and aim of the service in line with the Law on Social and Child Protection;
- Clearly define the required elements of the Family Outreach Service i.e. beneficiaries of the service with criteria for referral to the service, content of the service, desired outcomes of the service which can be used to monitor its success and to be able, in the future, to evaluate the service, keeping records on beneficiaries, safeguarding procedures relevant to beneficiaries, development of beneficiaries' potentials and strengths, physical requirements that need to be met – facilities/space needed for the provision of services as well as professional workers and competencies that the service provider needs to provide and other relevant elements;
Scope of Work: Under the direct supervision of UNICEF Child Protection Officer, the consultant is expected to undertake the following tasks:
- Desk review of all available relevant international standards and best practices, national strategic, legal and other documents (reports, analyses, data) on provision of intensive support to families to prevent family breakdown (3 days);
- Preparation of a brief review/overview of best practices in the EU and other countries in provision of the service equivalent/similar to family outreach support, including available evaluations of the service (e.g. in Serbia) (5 days);
- Interviews and consultations to collect data and information from the relevant professionals from the following key stakeholders: MLSW, ISCP, NGOs, professionals of Centers for Social Work, and other relevant stakeholders and professionals as needed (3 days);
- Development of the draft norms and minimum standards (bylaw) for the Family Outreach Service and outcomes/measures that can be used to assess service success and impact (7 days);
- Presentation of draft standards (bylaw) for the Family Outreach Service to the members of the Working Group for the development of minimum standards (bylaw) for the provision of Family Outreach Service (2 day).
- Development of the final version of minimum standards (bylaw) for the Family Outreach Service based on feedback received from the Working Group and UNICEF (3 days);
The consultant will be responsible for delivering:
Work Assignment Overview
Tasks/Milestone: Deliverables/Outputs: Timeline
Desk review of all available relevant international standards and best practices and national strategic, legal and other documents (reports, analyses, data) on provision of Family Outreach Service (3 days);
Desk review conducted
By 10th August 2022
Prepare a brief comparative analysis/overview of best practices in EU and other countries in provision of the service equivalent/similar to family outreach support, including available evaluations of the service (5 days);
Brief comparative analysis/overview of best practices prepared
By 17th August 2022
Interviews and consultations to collect data and information from the relevant professionals from the following key stakeholders: MLSW, ISCP, NGOs, professionals of Centers for Social Work, and other relevant professionals (3 days);
Interviews and consultation with stakeholders organized
By 15th September 2022
Draft minimum standards (bylaw) for the Family Outreach Service developed and shared with MoLSW (7 days);
Draft standards (bylaw) developed
By 26th September 2022
Presentation of draft minimum standards (bylaw) for the Family Outreach Service for the members of the Working Group for the development of minimum standards (bylaw) for the provision of Family Outreach Service (2 day).
By 01st October 2022
Inclusion of comments and feedback from the stakeholders and UNICEF to finalize the minimum standards (bylaw) (3 days);
Comments included and document finalized
By end November 2022
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- Advanced university degree in legal, social work, psychology, social policy or a similar technical field.
- At least 7 years of relevant professional experience in child protection, particularly in relation to child protection service delivery standards.
- Strong management, interview, facilitation skills and demonstrated ability to deliver quality results within strict deadlines.
- Excellent writing and communication skills.
- Good knowledge of local language.
- Previous experience of collaboration with the UN is an asset.
Payment schedule: Payments will be made upon successful completion of the deliverables and submission of invoices. 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.
Mandatory E-learning: Upon conducting the recruitment process and prior to the signing of the contract, the consultant will be required to complete the following online courses. All certificates should be presented as part of the contract: Ethics and Integrity at UNICEF, Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority (PSEAA), Sexual Exploitation Abuse (PSEA)
Consultants and Individual Contractors must complete the following course before commencement of any travel on behalf of UNICEF: BSAFE security training. Any consultant or individual contractor who is issued a UNICEF email address must complete the following courses no later than 30 days after signature of contract: Fraud Awareness, Information Awareness Security Course (only for consultants/individual contractors with a UNICEF email address). The above courses can be found on Agora through the following link: Summary of Mandatory Learning for UNICEF Staff. Course completion certificates should be shared and retained with the human resources unit of the hiring office.
Selection method: All applicants will be screened against qualifications and requirements set above. Candidates fully meeting all the requirements will be further evaluated based on the criteria below. Persons with disabilities, particularly women with disabilities, are strongly encouraged to apply. The proposal will be evaluated against the following criteria:
A) Technical criteria – Technical evaluation process / Maximum points: 70 1. Technical Criteria – 70 % of total evaluation– max. 70 points • Education: 20 points • Previous experience: 25 points • Technical questions at the interview: 20 points • Other: 5 points
Only candidates who obtained at least 70% of points from the technical part (who will score at least 49 points) will be qualified for considering for financial proposal evaluation
B) Financial criteria – evaluation of financial proposal - Maximum points: 30 The applicants are requested to submit their financial proposal consisting of a professional fee only for the services to be provided. • Financial scores will be calculated using the formula [lowest offer / financial offer of the candidate x 30].
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.
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.
Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
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.
The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. The candidate may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid).