UNICEF: Staff Counsellor

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Sunday, 27 October, 2019
Opportunity type: 

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Johannesburg is inviting applications from suitably qualified South African nationals for the Fixed Term post of:
Staff Counsellor, NO-C, Johannesburg, South Africa

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.

Purpose of the Position

Due to the nature and location of their work, UNICEF staff are frequently exposed to high levels of day-to-day cumulative stress, including those stressors related to their workload as well as critical incidents related to living and working in multicultural, often instable and insecure environments.
Reporting to the ESARO Regional Staff Counsellor (P-4) in Nairobi, the Staff Counsellor (NO-C) will assist in further developing and implementing the elements of the staff well-being and resilience building programme for the Southern Africa sub-region.
Key Expected Result

The objectives of the programme are to contribute to the well-being of staff and their families; to raise awareness about building personal resilience and managing stress; to facilitate the provision of assistance to staff and their families experiencing work-related and/or personal problems; to facilitate the provision of immediate support following traumatic incidents and to contribute towards a policy framework aimed at improving the work-life balance for UNICEF staff in the Southern Africa sub-region.

Facilitating effective management of work-related stress and critical incident stress for all staff and family members by:

  • Providing staff/family members with individual and/or group counselling (i.e. assessment, short-term intervention, referral), following self-referral or referral by the supervisor or another professional.
    • Facilitating the treatment of psychiatric disorders primarily through referrals, including to the medical services division, and through guidance to supervisors and senior management, where appropriate.
    • Identifying competent local resources for referrals whenever necessary.


  • Coordinate and further develop the Southern Africa sub-regional network of Peer Support Volunteers (PSV’s) by:
    • Providing regular support and technical supervision to all Peer Support Volunteers.
    • Delivering Basic and Advanced PVS training in the region.
    • Revise and further develop PSV training manuals on the basic and the advanced level. 
    • Support Country Offices in recruitment including the nomination process and selection.
  • The Staff Counsellor will provide emergency psychosocial support to staff who have been involved in critical incidents by:
    • Contacting the affected staff member(s) by e-mail or phone, offering information about typical stress reactions, stress disorders, support and referral information
    • Facilitating appropriate traumatic stress interventions, following traumatic events.
    • Recommending and arranging for individual and/or group follow-up support to staff and their dependents.
    • Training and awareness raising on stress management issues.
  • Through field missions to Country Offices in the Southern Africa sub-region the Staff Counsellor will facilitate regular resilience building training activities to increase staff awareness regarding the manifestations of stress and to promote individual, team and office resiliency building by:
    • cooperating with Human Resource and Country Offices in their activities aimed at integrating stress management into their learning strategies;
    • developing/revising training modules, as well as assemble other materials for training on stress management issues;
    • developing and disseminate information and materials about stress and stress management;
    • contributing to effective policies on staff well-being;
    • establishing, develop and maintain a resource inventory of stress management information;
    • serving as the focal point for the exchange of information between COs on stress management approaches and referral and consultant resources.
  • Administrative duties, including participating in regional meetings and other activities, completing reporting requirements. Any other duties assigned by the Supervisor.

Core Values

  • Care
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Accountability

Core competencies:

  • Communication (II)
  • Working with People (II)
  • Drive for Results (II)

Functional Competencies:

  • Analysing (II)
  • Applying Technical Expertise (II)
  • Planning and Organizing (II)
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts (II)
  • Discretion and high regard for confidentiality;
  • Keen social awareness and judgement;
  • An empathic non-judgmental clinical approach;
  • Good interpersonal skills;
  • Resourcefulness and awareness pertaining to common counselling caveats (e.g. overzealous client advocacy, burnout, etc.);
  • Collegiality;
  • Awareness of the need for self-care and personal counselling;
  • Prudence in adhering to professional boundaries (administering only those services for which supervised training has been administered). 

Qualifications of Successful Candidate

  • Advanced University Degree (Master’s or higher) in counselling, clinical psychology or related mental health profession.
  • Additional training or certification in staff support and traumatic/critical incident stress as well as a broad range of related fields, such as alcohol/substance abuse, family counselling, training, stress management.
  • Additional training in traumatic / critical incident stress as well as a broad range of related fields desirable.

Experience Required

  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in staff support, mental health, cross-cultural communications, counselling and related areas, preferably gained within the UN system or international development/humanitarian aid sector.
  • Professional experience with delivering alcohol/substance abuse and family counselling an advantage

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or local language of the duty station is considered as an asset.

How to apply:

Interested and qualified candidates are requested to submit their application to the following link: https://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=526358 by 27 October 2019.

This notice will appear on http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/, UN Job List, UN Jobs and Relief web.

This vacancy is open to qualified South African Nationals only.

If you have not been contacted within 2 months of the closing date, please accept that your application was unsuccessful. Regret emails will be sent only to shortlisted/contacted candidates.
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

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