Regional Staff Counsellor


UNICEF is hiring a Regional Staff Counsellor.

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, a childhood

UNICEF is striving for a work environment where staff wellness, resilience and work-life balance are integrated parts of the organizational culture. 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 the demands related to living and working in multicultural, often unstable and insecure, environments.

The Staff Counsellor (P-4) will contribute towards the development of a corporate framework for Staff Well-Being and promote its implementation at the Regional level. The framework will identify activities aimed at: raising awareness about healthy work practices; improving the work-life balance of UNICEF staff; facilitating the provision of assistance to staff/family experiencing work-related and/or personal problems; facilitating the provision of immediate support following a traumatic incident.

The Regional Staff Counsellor will work in coordination with the network of UN counsellors globally. Frequent field missions and close collaboration with Country Offices are required.

How can you make a difference?

Under the supervision of the Regional Chief of Human Resources and the Technical Supervision of the Chief Staff Wellbeing based in Budapest (P-5), the Regional Staff Counsellor (P-4) is expected to provide expertise to the management and staff of the regional and country offices, to support the overall well-being of UNICEF staff and their families, as well as teams in UNICEF offices in the region.

Key functions, accountabilities and related duties / tasks

Under the technical guidance of the Chief Staff Wellbeing, and the supervision of the Regional Chief of HR, the Regional Staff Counsellor will facilitate the development, implementation and coordination of a corporate framework aiming at improved Staff Well-Being globally. More specifically, s/he will:

  • Assist in developing the framework;
  • Develop strategies for implementing the framework in the region;
  • Monitor the impact of the framework at regional and country levels;
  • Lobby and provide input for improvement.

Facilitate the provision of effective psycho-social support to staff, leadership, managers and individual staff, prioritizing emergency locations with the aim to mitigating stress and boost protective factors by:

  • Providing support and advice to the leadership and managers in offices on healthy work practices and approaches on how to effectively support staff and encourage resilience. Recommend suitable staff support strategies to managers during and following emergencies and other crises;
  • Providing staff with individual and/or group counselling as needed (i.e. assessment, short-term intervention, referral);
  • 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;
  • Contributing to identification of creative ways of building a network of external mental health providers available to provide services to staff around the world;
  • Coordinating the regional network of Peer Support Volunteers (PSVs), including selection, training and technical supervision;
  • Coordinate with UNDSS, agency counsellors and PSVs, to ensure the provision of adequate psychosocial support during emergencies;
  • Assess and monitor psycho-social needs and issues affecting the wellbeing of staff;
  • Update the database of institutions or professionally trained service providers available in country to provide psycho-social services to staff and their families in Country Offices.

Provide Critical Incident Stress Management to groups and/or individual staff following critical incidents. A holistic approach to critical incident management is used and may include services such as practical support, psycho-education, psychological first aid, strategic advice to leadership, family support and individual or group interventions. The Staff Counsellor will be responsible for:

  • Contacting the affected staff member(s) and offering information about typical stress reactions, support and referral information;
  • Facilitating appropriate traumatic stress interventions, following a critical incident or traumatic event;
  • Recommending and arranging for individual and/or group follow-up support to staff and their dependents.

Training and awareness raising on Staff Well-Being related topics:

  • Explore and contribute to the development of new modalities, such as e-learning and webinars, which make awareness raising material available and attractive to all staff;
  • Cooperate with Regional and Country offices to integrate subjects such as healthy work practices, managing stress and trauma, building resiliency etc. into learning strategies.

Monitoring and oversight: Provide on a quarterly basis statistics and trends on issues related to staff well-being, whilst maintaining confidentiality. Alert the Regional Chief of HR on trends that may be of concern in offices or offices requiring targeted support or Managerial intervention. Capture lessons learnt and best practices for dissemination as appropriate.

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

  • Advanced University degree in counselling, clinical psychology or related mental health profession.
  • A first university degree, professional certification in addition to the appropriate years of relevant experience may be considered in lieu of an advanced university degree.
  • Additional training or certification in staff support and traumatic/critical incident stress management, as well as a broad range of related fields, such as alcohol/substance abuse, family counselling, training, remote counselling.
  • Minimum eight years of national and especially international 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.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and French is required.

For every Child, you demonstrate:

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are:

  • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (2)
  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drives to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)
  • The functional competencies required for this post are:

Formulating Strategies and & Concepts

  • Analyzing
  • Applying technical expertise
  • Planning and organizing
  • Ability to conceptualize and implement capacity development programmes
  • Proven track record in facilitating training programmes.

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 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.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

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

Deadline: 23 Jul 2021 Greenwich Standard Time.

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