Family Engagement Specialist - Gaza
April 2021- March 2022
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the international relief and development agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS supports more than 100 million people in more than 100 countries on five continents. CRS works with local partners to promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies; and serve Catholics in the United States as they live their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world. CRS’ World Headquarters is located in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
CRS established an office in Jerusalem in 1961 and has maintained a continuous presence throughout the intervening decades of turbulence and change. Today, CRS’ strategic focus is on programs addressing food security, civil society strengthening, peacebuilding, the provision of humanitarian assistance. CRS employs 48 staff, spread across three offices in Jerusalem, Gaza City, and Bethlehem.
In Gaza, CRS has maintained an active presence and diverse portfolio of humanitarian response and development programs. CRS’ current work includes e-vouchers to support vulnerable households with access to food and critical living supplies, shelter rehabilitation for families living in sub-standard housing, psychosocial support for children, adolescents, and caregivers, job training and career opportunities for female youth, and medical and emotional support to children with severe disabilities. CRS is supporting COVID-19 prevention and response at both the household and facility level.
CRS seeks a family engagement specialist for its MOVE+ Project supporting children with disabilities and the Missionaries of Charity in Gaza.
Children and youth with multiple or severe disabilities are the most disadvantaged in access to sufficient and quality services in Gaza. The Missionaries of Charity (MoC) provide care on average to 40-50 children and adolescents with cognitive and physical disabilities, often experiencing multiple or severe disabilities. MoC staff and daily workers provide these children and adolescents with care, including meals, a place to sleep and referrals to external medical care as needed, while encouraging family engagement and connection with the children and adolescents. From 2019, CRS implemented a Pilot MOVE project to help increase the abilities of children to lead more interconnected and independent lives. This new project offers an opportunity to provide further support and help targeted children and adolescents with severe disabilities in Gaza to have improved motor skills (e.g. ability to sit, stand, walk, and transition).
Description of Work:
The family engagement specialist’s tasks will include:
- Liaise with the project team and families: Participate in discussions and meetings related to children’s cases and progress, summarize key information in a concise and timely manner, and elevate key findings. Support care plans of children and other technical and care providers through dedicated individualized and responsive plans to include any special considerations, especially family engagement.
- Facilitate increased family engagement with children under the following parameters: Apply MOVE-informed care in engagements with children, modeling behavior and strategies to increase families’ safe interactions with children and comfort level for doing so. Provide training to families for engagement with children with disabilities, including on individualized plans for skills required for self-reliance, personal hygiene, safety, and food preparation.
- Identify family engagement needs of children in environment: Serve as CRS’ focal point for family engagement needs and recommendations as related to children in their environment and any adaptive measures. Provide CRS concise and accurate analysis of existing capacities of facilities and support needed. Regularly assessing the progress of each child, collaborate with relevant stakeholders to make environments more appropriate and accessible.
Facilitate family engagement visits and communications: Under the guidance of the FO and PM as well as the MoC, support the review of programming that has been piloted to understand its implementation and any adaptations required or recommended. Collaborate with the project team and families to maintain accurate and complete records of the children and their families as well as working to reduce barriers to engagement as appropriate.
Initial assessment for each family
Individualized assessment plan for each family
Individualized engagement plan for each family
Family engagement plan in coordination with MoC
The family engagement specialist will receive an initial briefing from the Program Manager (PM), Field Officer (FO), and other relevant staff to provide additional context and parameters to the scope of work.
The family engagement specialist should plan for daily check-ins and coordination with key stakeholders and CRS project staff.
The family engagement specialist will work at the MoC home.
The family engagement specialist will report directly to the FO and MoC staff, with close coordination with PM and other project staff.
The family engagement specialist will participate in travel for training or to carry out project objectives as necessary.
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Consultant/s should possess the following expertise and skills:
University Degree required. Master’s Degree in Social Work or related field a plus.
Minimum of 5 years work experience in family engagement, social work, or related field.
Knowledge of local resources and community organizations that provide services to children with disabilities strongly preferred.
Experience in case management or similar work.
Demonstrated competency in building buy-in and collaboration with counterpart teams strongly preferred.
Experience working as a family engagement specialist required.
Previous experience providing technical assistance to individuals with disabilities.
Demonstrated application of technical principles and concepts in family engagement for individuals with disabilities. General knowledge of other related health disciplines to ensure proper cross-sectoral approach.
Familiarity with MOVE methodology preferred.
Understanding of partnership principles.
Knowledge of child protection and safeguarding principles.
Fluency in Arabic required; English a plus.
Ability to travel to different areas in Gaza in order to make home visits
Excellent relationship management skills and ability to work with diverse team of individuals and stakeholders.
Strong strategic, analytical, problem-solving skills and ability to make sound judgment.
Strong written and oral communication skills.
Strong presentation, facilitation, training, mentoring, and coaching skills.
Proactive, resourceful, and results-oriented.
Ability to communicate effectively with families of children with disabilities