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TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR A REGIONAL BASELINE STUDY TO MAP OUT CHILD PROTECTION PRACTICES AND RELATED WORKFORCE NEEDS IN SOUTH EAST EUROPE


Background of the project:

The Regional Resource Centre for Child Protection (namely Child Protection Hub) aims at developing a strong regional community of practices and innovations in South East Europe, among stakeholders who are contributing directly to the development and delivery of child protection services (professionals, academics, decision makers, experts, users). The project strategically articulates 3 types of interventions (knowledge management, capacity building and advocacy) around a regional network of professionals and agencies, supported by an online platform. The focus of this platform is given to services and skills addressing situations of abuse of and violence against children. The Child Protection Hub will enable networking and professional cooperation among stakeholders in SEE countries. It will increase opportunities for upgrading knowledge and skills and generate a process of continuous practices improvement, (through training, peer-to-peer exchange, an online library or resources available in 5 languages). The Child Protection Hub will also offer a platform for advocacy for policy development and innovation. The target groups are (a) 1000 professionals, academics, policy makers from the region, as well as (b) a pool of 150 experts in child protection, that will act as enablers for the modernization of services and child related policies. It is expected that more than 500.000 children and families will be impacted positively by the project, as final beneficiaries. The project is led by Terre des hommes’ regional office in Budapest and benefits from strong partners from 8 countries of the region. Their role is to make sure that all challenges encountered in SEE countries are addressed effectively and are included in the Child Protection Hub analysis, policy recommendations, and advocacy initiatives (challenges such as the significant deprivation of families following the economic crisis, as well as migration of children’s parents and of professionals, discrimination of minorities, political unrest and uneven funding mechanisms for community services etc.

At the beginning of development of this Child Protection Hub, we are interested to conduct a study that would offer an overview and critical analysis of the needs and gaps to be addressed in order to best support professionals from different fields and disciplines in improving the quality of child protection interventions and responses. This study, composed of national studies compared and analysed at regional level, will also offer a baseline for developing the interventions of the Child Protection Hub and monitoring the impact of the work conducted.

Some of the questions the study would try to answer to inform the Child Protection Hub’s interventions would include:

  • What are the real needs expressed by the workers[1] in child protection field?
  • What kind of support is really requested from the range of different actors involved in the child protection field?
  • Who request what and how best can these gaps be filled?
  • What have been the successful and less successful experiences so far in answering this demand?
  • Who had ownership/initiative of the responses so far?
  • What is the effectiveness of the existing offer in terms of capacity building, knowledge sharing and advocacy?
  • Is capacity building demand or supply driven?
  • How best to convert the real needs of professionals into concrete support and solutions for them?

Focus of the regional baseline study:

In order to inform the development of strategies, features, tools and learning outcomes that would best serve the needs and interests of the child protection related workers, the Child Protection Hub for South East Europe is looking to partner with national researcher(s) to conduct this baseline study in order to identify the existing child protection practices and the social workforce related needs to recommend strategies for improving effective social work and child protection interventions and strengthen the social workforce in eight countries in South East Europe.

The study should be articulated around two main areas of interest:

  1. Provide a basic overview of the context in which child protection practices are delivered in the region: i.e. the systems in place for the delivery of child protection services, related policies and frameworks, child protection education and resources management
  2. But more importantly, conduct a study of the child protection workforce key skills, knowledge, and interests based on methodologies and tools developed by the international experts.

Some key questions to be addressed by the baseline could include but are not restricted to:

Social workers / child protection workers panorama:

 

  • Policy and regulatory frameworks: Job description, legal mandate, licensing process, continuous education systems and plans, quality standards, monitoring systems, etc.
  • Child protection systems: organization of child protection and social services systems, funding for performing basic social work functions, etc.
  • Who does what, where: who is responsible for what in the different countries, geographic repartition, types of jobs and duties.
  • Perception and understanding of social work by the civil society in the different countries.
  • Child protection education and human resources management
  • Qualification requirements, institutions responsible for training, organizations delivering trainings (and on what), initial education and continuous education plans, career-path and promotion, educational and accreditation standards etc.
  • Organizational environment: existence of recruitment/ retention policies, working conditions, physical infrastructures (available and accessible for all)
  • Social workers / child protection workers skills, knowledge and interests:
  • Map out of the child protection related social work practices (from formal and non-formal actors) and conduct an overall assessment of skills, knowledge and learning needs based on competency frameworks
  • Identification of expressed needs from the child protection related social work professionals including levels of motivation, support needs, access to knowledge and information, opportunities for policy influencing, clients’ experiences, etc.
  • Identification of personal factors influencing child protection workers practices: professional commitment, education, personal characteristics, capacities.
  • Overview of organizational factors influencing child protection practices: work conditions, supervision, opportunities, etc.

 

This baseline study should contain recommendation derived from addressed questions within it for each country involved, with purpose to improve effective social work and child protection interventions and strengthen the social workforce in South East Europe. 

Conducted under the lead of an International researcher, the national researcher(s) will be responsible for the following:

Expected tasks from the national researcher:

 

  • Undertake in-depth literature and desk review
  • Develop and adapt research tools to local context
  • Conduct interviews and focus group discussions, as per methodology developed by lead researchers
  • Collect and analyse the data
  • Develop the country study report

 

Expected timeframe of the research project

 

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUNE

JULY

Literature and desk review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Development of the tools and methodologies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coordination of the field studies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review and finalization of the local studies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regional analysis and recommendation report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budget proposal

Terre des hommes, the lead coordinator of the Child Protection Hub will negotiate the exact number of days of engagement (including any costs that may occur from engagement such as travel costs, support costs and similar because it will not be able to provide later) with the selected researcher/s on the basis of financial offer that will specify the following:

Activity

Days

Rate per day

Total

 

 

 

 

 Add columns as needed depending on the number of activities needed to perform the assignment

 

 

 

*

Subtotal    EUR_________

Travel related costs EUR_________           

Other costs (specify) EUR_________

TOTAL   EUR_________



[1] Child protection related workers should be understood as practitioners from different disciplines such as social work primarily, but also potentially psychosocial animators, care workers, psychologists, etc.