Individual Contractor - Alternative Care Expert, Italy

Organization: Unicef

Closing date: Sunday, 8 January 2023

Individual Contractor - Alternative Care Expert. ECARO, Italy

Job no: 558315

Position type: Consultant

Location: Italy Division/Equivalent: CEE/CIS

School/Unit: Regional Services Div (ECAR), Geneva

Department/Office: National Response Coord, O/P Rome

Categories: Child Protection

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, commitment

How can you make a difference?

Purpose of Activity/Assignment:

The Individual Contractor will work on strengthening the alternative care system in Italy promoting evidence generation and share of good practices under the framework of the EU Child Guarantee.

According to recent European statistics, around a quarter of all children in the European Union are at risk of poverty or of social exclusion. Despite the increasing European efforts to counter the cycle of poverty and its impact on children, the recent socio-economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 and the recent conflict in Ukraine is increasing poverty rates.

Starting in 2015, the European Union has been engaged with the development of a European Child Guarantee (, meant to ensure that all children in Europe at risk of poverty and social exclusion have equal access to essential services of good quality in the areas of healthcare, education, childcare, housing and nutrition. In July 2020, the third phase of the Child Guarantee started, entrusting UNICEF’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia with the task of implementing pilot projects to counter inequalities and child poverty in four European countries, including Italy and generate evidence around relevant government policies, programmes and plans.

Under this framework, in Italy UNICEF, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies and the Department of Families Policies under the Council of Ministries, commissioned a deep dive analysis to understand what the main at-risks groups of children and the state of play of the national efforts are to contrast child poverty and social exclusion, with the aim to identified gaps and areas where further investments are needed, as well as good practices. As result, the group of children living outside the family environment has been identified as at high risk of being excluded or exposed to poverty.

Around 10 million children and young people under the age of 18 live in Italy. More than 1.2 million boys and girls live in absolute poverty. 25.7% of youth aged 18 to 24 are currently not in education, employment, or training. Moreover, the disparity in the level and access to services between different areas of the country is alarming. Italian children and adolescents are also between those more at risk of poverty and social exclusion (30.6%) compared to the EU average (23.4%). Children with a migrant background are at particularly high risk of poverty, social exclusion and to the lack of access to basic services in all the five areas targeted by the Child Guarantee. With regards to housing for unaccompanied and separated children, Italian’s legal framework clearly states that "local authorities should promote awareness raising and training of foster carers to encourage primarily unaccompanied and separated children’s family foster care, as an alternative to the placement in a reception centre" (law 47/2017). Despite this provision, foster care measures are underused, due to the overutilized emergency approach and lack of a strong coordination between all key institutions (Social Services, Juvenile Courts, Prefectures, Guardians).

Scope of Work:

Lead the finalization of the mapping of good alternative care practices in Italy

Technical support:

Finalizing the report of the mapping in Italian and English of the already existing promising or good alternative care practices for children outside the family environments in selected locations to analyze the success factors, identify models which could be potentially scaled-up and promote sharing of experience.

Development of an advocacy brief to identify current gaps in the national alternative care system and provide main stakeholders with recommendations and operational tips to improve the standards and promote homogeneity across the Country.

Supporting communication material to disseminate the mapping, including short videos with identified practices.

Coordination and engagement of stakeholders:

Promote and support the engagement of key stakeholders in all technical activities, especially Ministry of Labour and Social policies and the Child Guarantee Steering Committee.

Ensure Key Institutional counterparts are involved in the review and validation process of the mapping analysis, with regular consultations.





Technical support

Final Report in Italian and English n already existing best practices on alternative care solutions for children outside the family environments in selected locations (work started under the previous contract)

Month 2

Child Guarantee Advocacy Brief

Month 3

Support for editing, final translation, and graphics of Child Guarantee materials

Month 1-3

Support for creation of short videos with selected alternative care practices to disseminate the mapping

Month 1-3

Monthly report


Coordination and engagement of stakeholders

Validation consultations with stakeholders on the mapping analysis of existing best practices on alternative care solutions for children outside the family environments


Engagement of key stakeholders in all technical activities, especially Ministry of Labour and Social policies and the Child Guarantee Steering Committee


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

Minimum Qualifications required:

Masters social work, anthropology, political science or other relevant mental health background.

A minimum of eight years of relevant professional work in child protection working in design, development, evaluation and implementation of alternative care solutions in humanitarian and/or migratory settings;
Demonstrated knowledge of UN alternative care guideline and similar international tools;
Excellent planning and organizational skills;
Excellent analytical and written skills;
Strong communication skills - both oral and written;
Fluency in Italian and English;
Good team player

Administrative details:


The consultant will work under the supervision of the Child Protection Specialist.


This is a assignment is home-based in Italy. Candidates are required to have internet connection, IT and communication equipment.


The estimate duration of this consultancy is from 15 January 2023 until 15 April 2023 (full time).

Is travel Required

The contractor will have to travel to Rome for workshops and consultations with stakeholders.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).

To view our competency framework, please visit here.


UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered "staff members" under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

Advertised: Dec 30 2022 W. Europe Standard Time Application close: Jan 08 2023 W. Europe Standard Time

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Closes Jan 08 2023

Individual Contractor - Alternative Care Expert. ECARO, Italy in Italy

The Individual Contractor will work on strengthening the alternative care system in Italy promoting evidence generation and share of good practices under the framework of the EU Child Guarantee.

Link to the organization’s job posting: