Family Consultants to support children with disabilities who fled the war in Ukraine
Job Title: Family Consultant
Project title: Emergency Early Childhood Development Support for Ukrainian Refugees (ECDUR)
Post location: Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, Romania or Slovakia.
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) is a European NGO active in 41 countries representing over 20.000 service providers for persons with disabilities. Its objective is to promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities through effective and high-quality service systems, in line with the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The war in Ukraine that started on 24 February 2022 is having a significant impact on the lives of young children and their families. According to UNHCR, as of 21 June 2022, more than 8 million people have fled their homes and crossed into neighbouring countries (over 3 million to Poland, over 924,000 to Romania, over 464,000 to the Republic of Moldova, over 426,000 to Slovakia and over 231,000 to Bulgaria). Over 2 million refugees are children (many separated or unaccompanied), of which an estimated 600,000 are under the age of 5 years.
At the onset of the war, EASPD became active in view of supporting its members across Europe, especially in the border countries, to support the refugees with disabilities coming from Ukraine. This led to the creation of 6 Temporary Regional Offices to help coordinate this process and facilitate the transfer of information.
In July 2022, UNICEF and EASPD signed a partnership agreement to provide Emergency early childhood development action to support young children with disabilities, developmental or behavioural challenges or at risk of developmental difficulties affected by the Ukraine war (regional multi-country initiative, taking place in Moldova, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria).
Part of this project will focus on increasing the availability of trained Family Consultants (professionals with a background in child health, education, protection or related fields) who will provide ECD parental counselling, support children at risk and with developmental difficulties including disabilities through face-to-face and online sessions, and in collaboration with national partners build the cross–country referral pathways to maximise support from professionals across and within countries. It will also seek to increase the knowledge and competencies of families, especially parents from Ukraine, around early childhood support and other matters related to the development of children.
Under the project, 500 family consultants and 800 Peer Support Group Facilitators (UA / RU speaking) will be trained to provide early childhood development support, advice and referrals to families with children with disabilities, developmental or behavioural challenges or at risk of developmental difficulties, displaced due to the Ukraine war. The training will be done in a cascade Training of the Trainers (ToT) approach by 10 international experts who will train 40 Emergency Early Childhood Development Response (ECDR) trainers from Moldova, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania.
EASPD is therefore looking for 500 family consultants from Ukraine to provide support to the families.
Family Consultant’s responsibilities
The family consultants are expected to implement the following package of services to support families with young children at risk of or with developmental difficulties. The package may be different depending on the qualification of the family consultants, their location, and the local context.
1. Identify children and parents in need of support, including peer support. The tasks may include one or more of the following depending on the local context:
- Community outreach or liaison with relevant community/public organisations in host countries to identify refugee children and families that need support.
- Dissemination of information to families and refugee communities about the available services, their scope, and conditions for access.
- Support the pre-assessment of the needs of the child and the family carried out by the organisation.
2. Assess the support needs of the child and the family within their environment, including as part of a multidisciplinary team (when applicable) and with the participation of the family:
- Assess the needs of children and their families (what are the needs within the family environment; what are the concerns of the family in terms of the development or the health status of the child; what ability does the family have to access their rights or resources; what are the child nutrition and health needs based on the parent rapport, quality of parental care etc.
- Conduct developmental monitoring/screening for developmental delays with the participation of the parent.
- Participate and support the multidisciplinary team of the organisation in carrying out more in-depth assessments of the child and family needs when applicable.
- Lead on or support the development (as part of the multidisciplinary team of the organisation) of a family service plan.
- Identify the needs for referral and inform the organisation in case the family and the child require more complex support from the organisation or external service providers.
3. Independently or in coordination with the other specialist in the organisation provide support to the child and the family in accordance with the Family Service Plan. This may include:
- Provide psychological first aid.
- Provide counselling/coaching or other support to parents for promoting nurturing care, as per the Family Support Plan.
- Provide information to families to facilitate access to available services provided by the organisation (including peer support) and from other service providers in the community.
- In coordination with the organisation, provide support for referral to available services in the community.
- Home visits to the child and the family (when this is possible and the person is physically located in the country, if not then – virtual counselling)
- Virtual meetings with the families for the purposes of providing, information, and support to families.
- Work in collaboration with other specialists from the organisation or other service providers to address the needs of the child and the family.
- Participate in trainings and supervision sessions
- Liaise with and report to EASPD’s National Coordinator
- Maintain simple documentation about the services provided
Professional background in one of the following fields:
- Pre-school education, psychology, medicine, nursing and midwifery, social work, speech therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, or another relevant field.
- At least 1 years of work experience with families and children. Experience in working with children under 7 years and their families would be considered an advantage.
Academic degree in one of the following fields: pre-school education, psychology, medicine, nursing and midwifery, social work, speech therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, or another relevant field
Experience or knowledge of disability, inclusion, or human rights, understanding of the development of children.
Ukrainian or Russian Speaker.
- Willing to learn
- Strong Communication skills
- Open to collaboration with national coordinator and other family consultants
Each Family Consultant will receive remuneration of 40 EUR/day for providing direct support to families (for Ukrainian citizens receiving payments as refugees: in the form of vouchers or volunteer honorarium not to suspend financial support from the receiving country).
Please send us your CV (in Ukrainian or Russian) and a short motivation letter (up to 900 characters) and add “Application to become Family Consultant in [Country]” in the subject of your email:
Bulgaria – firstname.lastname@example.org
Moldova – email@example.com
Slovakia – firstname.lastname@example.org
Poland – Mariia Pavlova (email@example.com)
Romania – Daniela Pasăre (firstname.lastname@example.org)