Home-based local consultancy (with travel): Peer Support and Disability Expert, Italy (130 days)
The UNICEF Refugee and Migrant Response Team is looking for a local consultant to develop a model of intervention on peer support between families, including a focus on families with children with disabilities, accompany selected Family Support Centers in the implementation and monitoring of a pilot of the intervention and systematize the model based on the pilot.
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For every child, results
Compared to the EU average (23.4%), Italian children and adolescents are more at risk of poverty and social exclusion (30.6%). As of 2020, 13.6% (more than 1.3 million) Italian children and young people under the age of 18 live in absolute poverty. According to 2019 data, 25.7% of Italian youth aged 18 to 24 are currently neither in education, nor in employment, or training. Furthermore, the most recent available data show that 27.111 children are living out of parental care in 2017, 52% of which are in foster care while the remaining 48% are in institutional care. Moreover, the disparity in the level and access to services between different areas of the country is alarming.
Starting in 2015, the European Union began the development of a Child Guarantee, meant to ensure that all children in Europe who are at risk of poverty, social exclusion, or are otherwise disadvantaged, have access to essential services of good quality in the areas of healthcare, education, childcare, housing and nutrition. In July 2020, the European Commission, through the Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, started the third phase of the Child Guarantee entrusting UNICEF’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia with the task of implementing pilot projects to counter inequalities and child poverty in four European countries, including Italy. In March 2021, the European Commission issued a Proposal for a Council Recommendation on the establishment of the EU-wide Child Guarantee to combat child poverty and social exclusion of the most vulnerable children, and for Member States to ensure they have access to free healthcare, free education, free childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition. The Child Guarantee sits in the framework of another milestone document issued in 2021 by the European Commission, the EU Strategy on Children’s Rights, which will guide the action of EU Institutions and Member States in the protection, inclusion and participation of children in the European Union.
In Italy, the Child Guarantee is being tested under the oversight of an interinstitutional Steering Committee, composed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies (MLSP), the Presidency of the Council of Ministers - Department for Family Policies, and UNICEF. During this pilot phase, a comprehensive research on policies, programmes, services, budgets, and mechanisms addressing child poverty and social exclusion will be conducted, together with the testing of models of intervention for the support of children particularly at risk of poverty and exclusion. These include foster care and other alternative care solutions for particularly vulnerable children, support of care leavers towards autonomy, skills building for adolescents to support their school to work transition, support to vulnerable families and the contrast to educational poverty.
The Department for Family Policies, as part of its ongoing efforts in providing support to children and families, is supporting the strengthening of the Family Support Centers (Centri per la Famiglia - CpF), multidisciplinary services that provide support to families in situation of vulnerability through a differentiated set of services that range from positive parenting, psychosocial and educational support to the referral to other services. As of November 2020, there were 284 Family Support Centers active in Italy, but the presence, as well as the offer of services, remains highly inhomogeneous between the different regions of the country.
Considering the central role of the CpF in bridging the gap between children and families – especially those particularly at risk of poverty and social exclusion – with support services, UNICEF, in agreement with the Department for Family Policies, plans to support the CpF through the expansion of the offer of services of the centers to include a peer support model for vulnerable families, including a focus on families with children with disability.
How can you make a difference?
Under the guidance of UNICEF’s Child Protection Specialist and the Department for Family Policies, the Consultant will focus on the development, piloting, monitoring and systematization of one of the models of interventions aimed at the reduction of poverty and social exclusion in Italy, tested as part of the pilot phase of the EU Child Guarantee. The consultant will work with the Department for Family Policies in further strengthening the support provided to families through the Family Support Centers.
Specifically, the following results will be achieved:
- An initial desk review of existing offer of peer support services and services to support families with children with disability, including those offered by the CpF is conducted to identify similar initiatives, gaps and opportunities;
- A methodology for a peer support model between families, including a focus on families with children with disability, and a handbook for the training of the CpF’s staff, are developed and validated with the Department for Family Policies;
- At least 3 Pilot CpF are selected based on the findings of the initial desk review, their interest in participating in the pilot, national priorities, territorial coverage, between other criteria;
- Workforce of the selected CpF is trained – based on the developed handbook – on the methodology for the establishment of a peer support service between families, including a focus on families with children with disability;
- Selected CpF are supported in the implementation of the pilot phase (of approximately 6 months), the pilot is thoroughly monitored, and feedbacks are collected from participant families and staff of the CpF;
- The initially developed methodology is integrated with the feedback received during the pilot phase, systematized, a document on the results of the pilot and the replicability of the model is developed and aligned with the already existing documentation for its potential scale-up nationwide.
- Duration: The contract will be for 130 days, within 11.5 months between June and 2021 and May 2022.
- Location: The consultancy is home-based in Italy with potential travel within the country, depending on COVID-19 travel restrictions. The Consultant will be responsible for organizing their travel. All travel expenses (tickets, accommodation, public transport, meals) will be reimbursed. The maximum amount allocated for travel will be USD 3,000 or EUR 2,460.
- Payment: The consultant will be paid upon timely and satisfactory submission of deliverables as per the above table.
- All UNICEF rules and regulations related to travel of Consultants/ Individual Contractors apply.
- All travels shall be undertaken only upon the prior written approval by UNICEF.
- The consultant is responsible for his/her for travel arrangements. The most economic and direct route is authorized.
- Travel costs will be reimbursed after the completion of mission upon submission of the invoice together with the supporting documentation.
- The consultant must be fit to travel, be in a possession of the valid UN BSafe certificate, obligatory inoculation(s) and have a valid own travel/medical insurance and an immunization/vaccination card.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- An advanced university degree (Master’s) in Social Sciences, Political Science, Pedagogical Science or other related subjects
- At least 7 years of professional experience working in areas related to the support of vulnerable children, including specific experience on children with disabilities.
- Proven experience in the development and roll-out of trainings.
- Proven experience in the development or implementation of peer support methodologies.
- Ability to work with vulnerable children and youth.
- Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships.
- Fluency in Italian and English is required.
For 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.
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
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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.
Interested candidates are invited to:
- Complete their UNICEF profile;
- Attach P11, CV and Cover Letter;
- Indicate a daily fee, bearing in mind that the maximum daily fee allowed for this consultancy is USD 220 or EUR 180.4, travel not included. Applications without fees will not be accepted.
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.
 Dipartimento per le Politiche della Famiglia, Report di analisi dei dati secondari e primari di livello nazionale e regionale 2019/2020 del progetto “Supporto per lo sviluppo dei Centri per la famiglia e il coordinamento di interventi in materia di servizi di protezione e inclusione sociale per nuclei familiari multiproblematici e/o persone particolarmente svantaggiate”, 2020.
 As shown by data from 2019, there are regions with 40 or more CpF (Emilia-Romagna, Marche, Piedmont and Apulia) while other have less than 3 centers in the whole region’s territory (Basilicata, Molise, Umbria and Valle d’Aosta)