UNICEF India seeking Consultant to Support Alternative Care Programme

DUTY STATION: New Delhi, India with travel to UNICEF Field Offices

DURATION OF CONSULTANCY: September - December 2017

CLOSING DATE: 6 August 2017

BACKGROUND & PURPOSE:

The UN Child Rights Convention stresses the importance of family in children’s lives and makes clear Governments’ responsibility to promote family care and reunification and to provide appropriate alternative care for all children who have lost the care of their parents.

The “UN Guidelines for the appropriate use and Conditions of Alternative Care for Children” confirm the value of a family upbringing over institutional care. Child welfare practice and social policy should aim to help families remain together, promote family reunification or legally secure and stable placements with an alternative family (referred to as permanency), and show preference for family-based alternatives when separation is unavoidable.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) R Act, 2015 of the Government of India, includes the following relevant principles: the principle of best interest of the child (including ensuring permanence); the principle of family responsibility; the principle of institutionalisation as a last resort and of minimum duration; and the principle of restoration/family reunification.

The Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) includes objectives, principles, and approaches on a variety of relevant matters, including: the establishment of a continuum of services; priority towards supporting a child to remain in the care of his/her parent(s)/families; institutionalisation as a last resort; promote and increase family-and community based alternative care options (such as kinship care, foster care and adoption); promote case assessment , case management and case review; promote reunification of institutionalised children with their family when in their best interest; increase standards of care of services;, and monitoring of child protection services.

In India, the majority of children in need of care and protection are placed in institutions for lack of non-institutional care options, lack of support to family to prevent separation, lack of functioning gate keeping mechanisms, and a large number of un-registered un-regulated institutions. Once in institutional care, a lack of case management practices (including case assessment, planning, and regular review and a lack of permanency planning (to ensure a stable home, secure environment, and continued attachment to caregivers) often keeps children institutionalised.

The consultant will support UNICEF India, Child Protection’s priority area of programming in the new CPD around strengthening family based care and alternative care especially non-institutional alternatives.

  1. Develop an incremental plan of action for the programming strategy for the next 2 years
  2. Support the key partnerships on alternative care through oversight and technical expertise
  3. Compile best practices from UNICEF networks and partners on alternative care
  4. Prepare policy briefs/advocacy notes on various aspects of alternative care in India
  5. Provide support to State offices of UNICEF on training, planning and execution of programs on alternative care

For more information, or to apply, please visit UNICEF's website by clicking the link above.