JPO Child Protection Officer, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

UN Children's Fund, New York, United States

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
2 years of relevant work experience
Closing Date for Applications: 
22nd July, 2019

Job Description

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

Child Protection in Emergencies (CPiE) programmatic interventions include prevention and respond to grave violations of child rights including the recruitment and use of children by parties to conflict and gender-based violence, as well as family separation, sexual exploitation, and the risks of mines, as well as providing mental health psychosocial support to children and their families. As part of the child protection response, Child Protection Section, CPiE unit at the headquarters level lead strategy development, policy and programming guidelines, generating evidence, and interagency collaboration for norms-setting.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) is an institutional priority for the UN, and for UNICEF. UNICEF has always promoted a holistic, community-based approach to child and adolescent development and protection programming. The UNICEF Strategic Plan 2018-2021 identifies MHPSS as an emerging area of importance including the mental health of children and adolescents, and the prevention of mental health problems. UNICEF therefore works to operationalize these MHPSS commitments across sectors in evolving and challenging humanitarian contexts and crises through launching and rolling out of UNICEF’s Operational Guidelines “Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Settings: Three-Tiered Support for Children and Families”.

How can you make a difference?

Technical support:

  • Support the provision of technical assistance to UNICEF regional and country offices in the planning, development and implementation of MHPSS interventions for children, adolescents and families, in line with the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action.
  • Support with coordination of the joint project with the World Health Organization, to develop and implement a costed Minimum Services Package of priority actions and interventions to be carried out by humanitarian actors responding to initial MHPSS needs in both new emergencies and ongoing protracted conflict settings; and to do so with approaches that optimise potential for quality and sustainable MHPSS across sectors; with a focus on MHPSS within Child Protection and Education in emergencies.
  • Support the development and functioning of a MHPSS specific community of practice (COP) for UNICEF Country Offices
  • Support in developing and reviewing MHPSS training packages and resources linked to thematic groups led by UNICEF within the IASC MHPSS Reference Group, while continuing to update existing UNICEF MHPSS compendium of resources on

Reporting, Advocacy, Networking and partnership building

  • Provide inputs on MHPSS for briefing notes and other documents for senior management to advocate for the importance of investment in and access to MHPSS in humanitarian settings within CP and other areas of humanitarian response.
  • Support the inclusion of necessary provisions related to MHPSS for children and families affected by adversity.
  • Support the development and management of partnerships, networks and influence with a range of external partners (civil society, NGOs, UN Agencies, CP AOR, CP Alliance, and IASC bodies) as well as with other headquarters sections, to identify areas for convergence, and develop and reinforce partnerships in MHPSS related programming and advocacy.

Development of Research Initiatives

  • In collaboration with research partners, support the development of methodologies and innovative approaches to improve data collection and analysis, with emphasis on implementation science, and providing information that will contribute to improving appropriate programme responses to MHPSS needs of children and families affected by adversity.
  • Support the development of new working tools and improvement of existing tools to monitor, report and respond to needs of children and families affected by adversity.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:

  • Master degree or equivalent in mental health and psychosocial programming or other relevant field;
  • In depth knowledge of Mental Health & Psychosocial programming in the humanitarian context
  • Knowledge of latest developments (including IASC MHPSS Guidelines) and research at global level in MHPSS
  • Two to maximal four years relevant working experience in setting up or establishing mental health and psychosocial programs for children, adolescents, caregivers, and families in humanitarian settings.
  • Knowledge of latest developments (including IASC MHPSS Guidelines) and research at global level in MHPSSAll paid work experience since obtaining Bachelors degree will/can be considered.
  • Proven experience integrating MHPSS in emergency response
  • Proven experience integrated Sector MHPSS planning and programming
  • Proven experience in using and promoting the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support In Emergency Settings
  • Training and facilitating experience required
  • Strong organizational and coordination skills with excellent reporting & writing skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work within different cultural environments
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language, in particular French, Spanish or Arabic is an asset

For every Child, you demonstrate:

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The competencies required for this post are:

  • Formulating strategies and concepts (I)
  • Analyzing (II)
  • Applying technical expertise (II)
  • Learning and researching (II)
  • Relating and networking (I)
  • Planning and Organizing (II)

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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.


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