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, protection
As a result of the ongoing war in Ukraine, Poland is currently hosting some 2.5 million refugees, half of which are children, representing the largest refugee crisis that hit Europe since the World War II. The situation in Ukraine is a child protection crisis of extraordinary proportions. Ukraine had the highest number of children in institutional care across Europe prior to the war - over 90,000 living in institutions, orphanages, boarding schools and other care facilities. Nearly half of them are children with disabilities. The impact of the war on these children has been particularly devastating. Tens of thousands of children living in institutional or foster care have been returned to families, many of them hastily, as the war got started. Many have not received the care and protection they require, especially children with disabilities. 6-8 thousands of children were evacuated to Poland and have been residing in various accommodations, including residential care institutions, hotels, foster homes, etc. provided by state, municipality service providers and NGOs, sometimes in collective accommodation centres for several hundreds for children placed in same location.
The impact of institutionalisation is severe and can last a lifetime. UNICEF has identified the transition from institutional care to family and community-based care as a regional flagship area of intervention in the last decade of work in Europe and Central Asia, and protection of unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) as a key priority in overall refugee response in Poland.
In an effort to further understand alternative care arrangements and system put in place, support existing government systems and social workforce, scale up investments in governmental services and local NGOs, UNICEF is seeking a consultant or individual contractor.
How can you make a difference?
Under the overall guidance and direction of the Child Protection Specialist, and in close collaboration with other members of team, the consultant will provide support to child protection team in Poland and contribute to the development and implementation of the overall UNICEF program response to the needs of Ukrainian refugee children.
Scope of Work:
Objectives and main tasks:
• Conduct desk review of the Polish national child protection system when it comes to protection and placement of children in alternative care, including children who are unaccompanied and separated, children who are third country nationals and children who have been evacuated from Ukrainian institutions and are currently residing in Poland (legal provision, roles and responsibilities of the child protection actors, etc.)
Carry out the mapping of the unaccompanied and separated children in Poland to determine their number, age, gender and disability disaggregation, legal status, location and identify accommodation/care providers and their arrangements.
• Undertake field missions to assess and analyse their situation and immediate and longer-term needs.
• Support preparation of the partnership agreements with selected number of municipalities, service providers and civil society organizations for the provision of adequate care, services, mental health and psychosocial support, free legal aid, etc. to unaccompanied and separated, children, including children evacuated from Ukrainian institutions.
• Provide support and technical assistance for setting up a national mechanism for proper tracking, registering of UASC as well as needs assessment, planning and follow up.
• Provide support for setting up of a mechanism for collaboration and exchange of information between Ukraine and Polish child protection authorities related to UASC;
• Create opportunities and channels for children’s participation, listen their views and concerns and reflect it in following action points.
• Undertake programme field visits to partners on selected locations, prepare brief reports with recommendations and follow up actions points.
• Monitor the implementation of the recommendations and action points.
• Support information management and documentation of partner contacts and outreach.
• Other programme support functions as they emerge.
The consultancy is for 6 months from the date of initial start of the contract with possibility of extension depending on the needs and situation. Given that this is a rapidly unfolding crisis and the situation is in flux, the Consultant and UNICEF team will remain flexible for a response to emerging needs.
The consultant would be paid on a monthly basis for undertaken and completed assignments outlined in the job description. There will be a monthly report prepared and submitted by the consultant of the activities performed and results achieved, according to the preliminary key tasks and deliverables.
Each monthly report will include an update on the activities listed above, in particular:
• A summary of progress report against the workplan and noting of any changes therein;
• A summary of progress, bottlenecks, challenges and actions taken in relation to programme support;
• Report on the active forum, teams site, knowledge management and sharing activities;
• A summary of monthly status reports on deployment progress.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
Degree in social work, psychology, social pedagogy or any other relevant psychosocial professional background.
At least 5 years of professional work experience in the field of child protection programmes, preferably related to alternative care.
Excellent familiarity with the national child protection system at national and local level.
Experience in programme management system strengthening.
Excellent technical understanding and familiarity with Convention on the Rights of Children.
Ability and experience in coordination, including working under pressure.
Fluency in English and Polish is mandatory. Knowledge of Ukrainian language seen as an asset.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
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.
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).