Georgia: International consultant to support Capacity Development of the Social Service Agency of Georgia

Organization: Government of Georgia
Country: Georgia
Closing date: 24 Sep 2018

Background:

Social work is an emerging profession in Georgia. In 1999, 18 persons representing different professions were trained as child care social workers through non-degree training course to support newly launched pilot deinstitutionalization project. This process was originally led by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. However, since 2009 the childcare system has been transferred to the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (hereinafter – “the Ministry”), and its Social Service Agency (Subsequently – “the Agency”) that was assigned a Guardianship and Custody function and was tasked to employ statutory social workers.

Since then, the focus of child welfare reform broadened to encompass children victims of violence, abuse and neglect. The functions of the Agency’s social workers increased subsequently. Moreover, social workers gradually took over other important functions, such as care for elderly, disabled, victims of domestic violence, guardianship matters, etc. The new regulations and guidelines were introduced for the Agency’s social workers; social work supervision system was also put in place. In parallel, Georgian universities introduced social work at the BA and MA level and started to supply the field with qualified social workers.

The increased functions of the Agency’s social workers were not accompanied by the adequate expansion of the staff: Currently, 240 social workers in all regions and municipalities of Georgia carry a very high workload and conduct their work in multiple directions; Their working conditions are often inadequate, their outreach functions are extremely limited and quality of their work is increasingly criticized.

In order to improve the quality of social work, the parliament of Georgia started working of the “The Law on Social Work”, which was adopted in June 13, 2018. The newly adopted law establishes legislative framework for social work practitioners; it stipulates social work principles; elaborates generic as well as field-specific social work functions, their rights and responsibilities, and qualification requirements; the law also enforces establishment of the social worker supervision and promotion system and disciplinary actions. Important innovation of the law is introduction of the so-called municipality social worker, with the functions delegated by the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia (Law on Social Work, Article 56.2).

Objective:

The Agency represents the largest central body of guardianship and care and the largest provider of social work services to vulnerable groups of Georgian population. Experience accumulated in the field of social work in the agency and new legislative regulations require deep analysis and systematic review of the local context as well as the application of international standards and practices. Thus, it is important to analyze social work practice and develop recommendations for its improvement. Therefore, supported by the UNICEF, the Agency is seeking to hire an international consultant to assist the Agency in improving the quality of services to its beneficiaries through the enhanced quality of social work.

More specifically, the objectives of the consultancy are to:

  1. Identify and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of existing social work practices of the Agency; This work entails analysis of existing documentation and research, study of the real cases (under the condition of confidentiality); in-depth interviews and focus group meetings with the key informants and stakeholders (including social workers, relevant staff of the Agency; Agency’s beneficiaries; other partners of the Agency);

  2. Develop detailed recommendations for improvement of the Social Work quality, including introducing of amending existing standard operational procedures, identification of social workers’ qualification requirements and training needs, and development of the model for the social work supervision;

  3. In the areas of work determined by the Law on Social Work, develop detailed guidelines to the Agency to delegate its respective functions to the newly established positions of municipality social workers; support development of their standard operational procedures, working instruments, monitoring and supervision system.

The selected international consultant will be working with the project coordinator and legal expert who will support the consultant in fulfilling the consultancy work. In addition, the international consultant will be closely cooperating with the members of the professional working group – a reference group, specifically established to support the consultant and the project team to fulfil their tasks.

It is expected that through the consultancy work, the following questions will be answered:

· Whether the main goals and objectives of the Agency’s social work are being fulfilled?

· Is there a discrepancy between the existing regulations and the social work practice?

· Is there a discrepancy between the existing practice and the new legislation?

· Is the Georgian legislation concerning social work in compliance with international standards?

· What are the knowledge and skills gaps among the social workers, which hamper effective and quality social work?

· What are the organizational barriers hampering effective and quality social work practice?

· What are the strengths in social work practice of the agency that can be used for further improvement/strengthening of the quality of social work practice?

· As stipulated by the new law on social wort, what standard operations procedures and working instruments are necessary for the newly established functions of the municipality social workers? How their work should be monitored and supervised by the Social Service Agency?

Deliverables:

· Detailed study methodology;

· Survey guidelines for focus groups and in-depth interviews;

· Analytical document (1) explaining the strengths and weaknesses of the Agency’s social workers; their knowledge and skills gaps; other barriers hampering fulfilment of their duties; needs for procedural or other changes, etc and (2) providing detailed recommendations for the improvement of the quality of social work at the Agency’

· Standard operational procedures and working tools for the municipality social workers; monitoring and supervision instruments.

Time/duration and breakdown:

Total 28 days of consultancy during the month of October-December 2018, includes:

· Development of detailed methodology of the research – 2 days

· Analysis of secondary data (normative acts, analytical documents, researches, cases) – 5 days

· Development of focus group guidelines, interview guides – 2 days

· Interviews with the Key informants – 2 days

· Focus group meetings – 2 days

· Development of analytical document – 7 days

· Development of detailed recommendations to the project legal expert for the development and amendment of the standard operational procedures for the Agency’s social workers – 5 days

· Together with the project legal expert, development of Standard Operations Procedures and instruments, as well as monitoring and supervision tools for the municipality social workers – 3 days.

Distribution of the days per task can be changed based on need.

Qualification requirements:

· Advanced university degree in social science, social policy or other relevant fields

· At least 5 years of substantial experience in social policy and/or social work

· Demonstrated comprehensive knowledge of the International standards of social work

· Fluency in English

· Excellent analytical skills

· Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

· Excellent written skills

Location

The consultancy is mainly home-based with one in-country visit (in the middle of the consultancy work (around 5 working days).

Supervision

The consultant will work under the supervision of the head of the Guardianship/Care and Social Programs Department of the Social Service Agency and the project coordinator in close cooperation with the project working group and UNICEF child protection section.

How to apply:

How to apply

Applications should be sent to mtsereteli@ssa.gov.ge. The application must include:

· Cover letter

· Curriculum vitae

· Brief description of the proposed work plan

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