Position: Psychosocial Counsellor
Project: Urban Refugee Project
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Reports to: Project Director
Contract duration: 1 year
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international non-governmental organisation with a mission to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. The organisation was founded in November 1980 and has a presence in over 50 countries. JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with the support and guidance of an international office in Rome. The style of JRS service is human and spiritual, working in situations of greatest need, seeking the long-term wellbeing of refugees and displaced persons, while not neglecting their immediate or urgent needs. JRS offers opportunities to a wide variety of staff, local and international, while maintaining a realistic and localised scheme of salary/stipend, insurance, etc.
In Thailand, JRS manages three programmes spread throughout urban and rural areas serving refugees, asylum seekers and forcibly displaced persons. JRS Thailand has field offices in Bangkok and Mae Hong Son. The main areas of work include education, psycho-social services, livelihoods, emergency assistance and advocacy. For more information about JRS in Asia Pacific and Thailand, visit: http://www.jrsap.org
Although half of the world’s refugees live in urban areas such as Bangkok, the vast majority of assistance is focused on refugees living in camps. Guided by Pedro Arrupe’s vision for JRS – to go where no one else is working and serve the most forgotten – JRS Thailand is dedicated to serving, accompanying and advocating for urban refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. Established in 1990, the Urban Refugee Programme in Bangkok supports urban refugees and asylum seekers through emergency and casework assistance, psychosocial counselling, and community capacity building. There are over 7,000 urban refugees, asylum seekers and other persons of concern registered with UNHCR in Bangkok, of which half are asylum seekers. The majority of asylum seekers are from South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Because many refugees have fled violence and conflict in their home countries, JRS is committed to providing psychosocial support services to those who have experienced traumatic or extremely stressful experiences.
The Psychosocial Counsellor is responsible for developing and implementing JRS psychosocial support services for asylum seekers in Bangkok and works closely with the Project Director.
- To provide mental health counseling, psychosocial support and case management for clients who have experienced trauma, torture, sexual and gender-based violence, depression or mental illness.
- To conduct mental health assessment as part of counseling.
- To maintain a supportive and professional relationship with clients, avoiding emotional involvement and focusing on approach of empowerment
- To refer client for further psychosocial or psychiatric assistance when they require special care.
- To develop and implement psychosocial assessment tools to monitor client progress.
- To facilitate psychosocial community and group activities for the improvement of psychosocial well-being among urban asylum seekers.
- To conduct mental health and psychosocial support training sessions with selected asylum seeker groups.
- To coordinate closely with caseworkers in managing vulnerable cases.
- To provide emergency support to the casework team and Project Director in managing clients in distress.
- To support and provide training to other staff members to enhance their understanding of the psychosocial needs of urban refugees in Bangkok, and strengthen their capacity to integrate psychosocial support into the management of cases.
- To participate in regular supervision and/or case conferences.
Managing the work of JRS at the field level
- To conduct mental health training for community and partner organizations, in coordination with the Project Director.
- To safeguard the vision, identity, and unity of JRS at the project level.
- To know and understand well JRS policies and to implement them at the project level.
- To abide by JRS personnel policy and standards for staff.
- To implement relevant aspects of the project according to the approved proposal.
- To analyse the needs of the refugees and to suggest new initiatives to the Project Director.
Strengthening Partnerships and Networking
- To promote mental health activities in refugees communities and partner organizations.
- To lead in conducting case conferences with relevant stakeholders on mental health issues.
- To develop partnerships with refugee support groups and local agencies to sustain the provision of psychosocial and mental health services to urban asylum seekers and refugees.
- To communicate regularly with the Project Director, reporting on all major issues and developments in the field.
- To submit monthly activity reports to the Project Director.
- To develop/complete project proposals and reports (6-month and annual) according to JRS format as well as write other project/situation reports as required, together with the project team members.
- To participate in regular team meetings.
- To maintain positive communication with team members.
- To assist Project Director as requested.
Qualifications, Competencies & Experience:
- Female, University degree in psychology, social work, nursing, or related mental health field that included counselling training
- Strong commitment to serve, accompany, and advocate on behalf of urban refugees and asylum seekers
- Fluency in spoken and written English.
- Compatible with the vision-mission of JRS.
- Prudent to maintain professional boundaries.
- Understanding of and empathy with migrant and refugee communities.
- Ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
- Strong teamwork skills, able to work successfully in cooperation with others in a multi-cultural and flexible environment.
- Good organizational skills and ability to handle multiple priorities.
- High degree of self-awareness and maturity, open to continuous learning and improvement.
- Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office.
- Willingness to travel to/from sites, and be able to use public transport to/from clients’ residence as needed.
- Direct case management experience with an NGO or humanitarian agency will be preferred.
This position offers a localised salary with insurance, health and other benefits. Interested candidates must apply by sending cover letter and CV (including 3 references) and address how they satisfy the criteria described above. Local and international applicants are welcomed.
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Applications close on 10 March 2017. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
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