Current Hiring Practices and Trends in the Development Sector
- BY David Mackenzie
Project: Urban Refugee Programme (URP)
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Reports to: Project Director
Contract: 1 year
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international non-governmental organization with a mission to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. The organization was founded in November 1980 and has a presence in over 50 countries. JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with the support and guidance of an international office in Rome. The style of JRS service is human and spiritual, working in situations of greatest need, seeking the long-term wellbeing of refugees and displaced persons, while not neglecting their immediate or urgent needs. JRS offers opportunities to a wide variety of staff, local and international, while maintaining a realistic and localized scheme of salary/stipend, insurance, etc.
In Thailand, JRS manages four programmes spread throughout urban and rural areas serving refugees, asylum seekers and forcibly displaced persons. JRS Thailand has field offices in Bangkok, Mae Hong Son, and Tak. The main areas of work include education, psycho-social services, livelihoods, emergency assistance and advocacy. For more information about JRS in Asia Pacific and Thailand, visit: http://www.jrsap.org
Although half of the world’s refugees live in urban areas such as Bangkok, the vast majority of assistance is focused on refugees living in camps. Guided by Pedro Arrupe’s vision for JRS – to go where no one else is working and serve the most forgotten – JRS Thailand is dedicated to serving, accompanying and advocating for urban refugees and asylum seekers. Established in 1990, the Urban Refugee Programme in Bangkok supports urban refugees and asylum seekers in Bangkok through emergency and casework assistance, psychosocial counselling, and community capacity building.Over the years, the number of people arriving in Bangkok to claim asylum has substantially increased. There are now over 8,000 urban refugees, asylum seekers and other persons of concern registered with UNHCR in Bangkok. The majority of asylum seekers and refugees are from South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
The Urban Refugee Project Caseworker (URP Caseworker) serves as frontline staff, responding to the needs and problems of those seeking asylum in Metropolitan Bangkok. The Caseworker conducts interviews/needs assessments to identify vulnerable individuals in need of support services (including financial assistance, casework support and psychosocial counseling). The Caseworker serves a critical role in the Urban Refugee Project as it adapts to meet the growing needs of urban refugees in Bangkok. The Caseworker works to ensure that those approaching JRS for assistance are provided with timely and appropriate support. The Caseworker works closely with Project Director as well as the JRS urban team members including: fellow Caseworkers, Psychosocial Counselors, Reception and Interpreter staff.
• To conduct intake interviews and needs assessments. Based on specific criteria, identify and screen individual and family cases for the provision of intensive casework, financial assistance and referral services.
• To conduct intensive casework.
• To conduct home visits and accompany clients in negotiations with landlords to access accommodation.
• To provide information and counseling to asylum seekers on living in Thailand.
• To prepare individual case and home visit reports using the JRS – URP intake/assessment forms and maintain updated case files and progress notes.
• To refer emergency crisis situations to the JRS Psychosocial Counselor and/or Project Director for appropriate intervention.
• In consultation with the Project Director, develop strategies, formulate action plans, and identify interventions to address individual or family case needs and problems.
• To provide support to Project Director in terms of case management and related aspects.
• To support fellow case workers in order to enhance their capacity and ability to make appropriate decisions.
Managing the work of JRS at the field level
• To safeguard the vision, identity, and unity of JRS at the project level.
• To know and understand well JRS policies and to implement them at the project level.
• To implement relevant aspects of the project according to the approved proposal.
• To analyse the needs of the refugees and to suggest new initiatives to the Project Director.
Strengthening Partnerships and Networking
• To build relationships with asylum seekers, refugee and local host communities to increase trust and understanding.
• To maintain strong working relationships with UNHCR, Thai authorities, INGO, CBOs and church groups working on urban refugee issues.
• To identify resources and connect with services available to asylum seekers and refugees
• To communicate regularly with the Project Director, reporting on all major issues and developments in the field.
• To submit monthly activity reports to the Project Director.
• To write other project/situation reports as required, together with the project team members.
• To participate in regular team meetings.
• To maintain a supportive and professional relationship with clients, avoiding emotional involvement and focusing on approach of empowerment
• To carry out casework in accordance with the priorities set out in the project proposal and organizational policies
• To abide by JRS Personnel Policy and Standards for staff
• To maintain positive communication with team members.
• To assist Project Director as requested.
This position is opened to Thai Nationals only. It offers a localised salary with insurance, health and other benefits. Interested applicants must apply by sending a cover letter and CV (including 3 references) and address how they satisfy the criteria described above.
Qualifications & Experience:
• Thai nationality with university degree in social science, development, social work, counselling or related field.
• Strong commitment to serve, accompany and advocate on behalf of urban refugees and asylum seekers.
• Understanding of and empathy with migrant and refugee communities.
• Able to work successfully in a multi-cultural with limited resources and challenging environments.
• Ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
• Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office.
• Strong teamwork skills, able to work successfully in a multi-cultural and flexible environment and to handle multiple priorities.
• Compatible with the vision-mission of JRS.
• Prudent to maintain professional boundaries.
• Adaptability, patient, self-motivated, service-minded and a good sense of humor.
• At least 2 years’ of direct case work experience working with an NGO or humanitarian agency.