Terms of Reference
Consultant for the development of a Policy Paper
on legal guardianship model for unaccompanied and separated children in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Project title: Care and Protection for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in Serbia
Project duration: 11 months (1 February 31 December)
Engagement duration: 1 November 2018 – 30 November 2018 (and a date in December for the Discussion Forum)
Donor: Swiss Solidarity
Location: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in the world. The vision of Save the Children is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. The mission of Save the Children is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. In Serbia, Save the Children and its partner organizations jointly work to improving the situation for children in child rights governance, right to education, rights to protection against violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect and rights of children in emergencies.
Save the Children in North West Balkans based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina conducts its activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro and supports realization of regional initiatives in the area of South East Europe.
Children on the move represent more than 40% of the total population of refugees and migrants and include a large number of vulnerable unaccompanied and separated children - on average, 25% of children in transit are children traveling alone. Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are the main transit countries on the Balkans route for those trying to reach Western Europe, facing a migration flow that stretches the capacity of its social welfare systems to respond to the needs of vulnerable children and families. Refugees and migrants enter Serbia from Bulgaria and FYROM (rarely from Montenegro and Kosovo), trying to continue the journey through Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia or Hungary. Since the early days of the refugee crises in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Save the Children has been present in the field, providing support to the most vulnerable children and their families. In response to the migration crisis, the Government of Serbia has established an inter-ministerial working group on migrations, led by the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy. The working group’s task is to provide overall coordination of the response activities. Local centers for social welfare are responsible for adequate support to vulnerable categories, including unaccompanied and separated children, with best interest determination, appointment of guardians, case management, decisions about shelter and services required. Centers for Foster Care and Adoption coordinate foster care placements with the social welfare centers and ensure training and support to foster parents.
The inability of the guardianship system to properly respond to the specific needs of unaccompanied and separated children as well as the challenges in the guardianship procedures were identified as one of the critical gaps in provision of support for unaccompanied and separated children. Save the Children would like to initiate a more in-depth thinking about how the guardianship model in Serbia, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, can be adjusted to become more suitable for the needs of refugee and migrant children and better in line with the European standards.
3. PURPOSE AND GOAL OF THE ENGAGEMENT
For the needs of the project “Care and Protection for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in Serbia “, Save the Children is searching for a consultant with relevant experience in preparation and implementation of similar assignments. The consultant will design a methodology for the development of a Policy Paper on legal guardianship model for unaccompanied and separated children. Prior to this, the consultant shall analyze national frameworks and practice of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning the appointment and operations of legal guardians, and subsequently conduct interviews with key stakeholders in the Republic of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The consultant shall also analyze good practice examples from the EU, related to guardianship and provide applicable recommendations for Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Upon the completion of the work on the Policy Paper, a Discussion Forum will follow, where the consultant will present the findings of the Policy Paper, and initiate discussion on how to overcome challenges in the guardianship procedures. The Discussion Forum is envisaged as an opportunity to promote a policy change dialogue on the institute of guardianship in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, relevant for unaccompanied and separated children, and a knowledge sharing and advocacy event, which shall include major stakeholders. The Forum could also reflect on the plans for the European Network of Guardianship Institutions, aiming to create links between the institution in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Network.
4. METHODOLOGY OF WORK
Scope of work and methodology will take into consideration the relevant Save the Children MEAL1 standards. The entire assignment is focused on the development of the Policy Paper, and its presentation at the Discussion Forum. The consultant will need to review relevant documents that deal with the topic of guardianship, as well as relevant national, regional and international legal frameworks, in consultation with Save the Children. The consultant is required to put forward a technical and financial bid which will include description of work methodology as well as detailed plan for execution of the assignment.
5. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The consultant shall develop and implement the assignment in consultations with relevant Save the Children staff.
Responsibilities and duties of the consultant:
- The consultant shall be in contact with Save the Children staff throughout the process, providing regular information on the process and asking for information and instructions when needed.
- The consultant has the responsibility for the desk review, interviews with key stakeholders and other relevant actors, the development of the Policy Paper, and the presentation of the Policy Paper at the Discussion Forum.
- The consultant will share the draft Policy Paper with Save the Children for comments and suggestions.
- The consultant will include the feedback from Save the Children into the final version of the document, where needed.
- The consultant will respect the agreed timeline for the assignment.
- The consultant will ensure the ethical participation of children, in line with the Save the Children's Safeguarding Policy.
6. EXPECTED DELIVERABLES OF THE ENGAGEMENT
- Methodology adapted to the research topic, users and geographical area where it will be applied. The document needs to, inter alia, include: proposal of the method/s, (e.g. guidelines for focus groups with professionals, guidelines for consultations with professionals, answer sheets, etc.), explanation for the respondent sample in the selected locations and the detailed work plan with timelines;
- Consultations with key stakeholders (e.g. interviews, focus groups, etc.);
- Policy Paper;
- Presentation at the Discussion Forum.
In order for all tasks to be done within the set timeframe, the consultants shall be engaged during the period: I November 2018 – 30 November 2018, and for the Discussion Forum presentation, to be organized in December. The consultant shall prepare and implement the work plan in consultation with and with support of relevant Save the Children staff.
- Development of the methodology adapted to the research topic, users and geographical area where it is to be implemented, in Serbian or English: 05 November 2018
- Preparation and delivery of the first draft of the Policy Paper: 22 November 2018
- Delivery of the final version of the Policy Paper document: 30 November 2018
*Timeframe can be altered in consultation with Save the Children staff
8. REQUIRED EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE
Minimum expertise and skills consultants need to possess:
- At least a university degree in social sciences, law, humanities or similar (masters or doctorate degree in the relevant field is an advantage);
- At least five years of experience in implementation of similar assignments related to different aspects of protection of children, with special focus on social services, guardianship and/or alternative care;
- Experience in implementation of qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as usage of participatory approaches in work;
- Excellent knowledge of English and Serbian languages;
- Pronounced analytical and communicational skills;
- Good communication skills, including the ability of clear and accurate communicating of detailed concepts, both orally and in writing.
The consultant needs to state the amounts of compensations expected for the engagement, stating the currency, in the document titled “Bidding Response“ (Documents with the consultant bid), as well as to complete the form titled “SC-PR-10 - Request for Quotation“ if applying on behalf of a company or organization. (Example of fulfilled document). It is necessary to describe all budget items, with explanation how they correspond to proposed methodology and work plan. It is obligatory to name the items in the budget, as well as the specific budget lines within the proposed budget.
Notice* The consultant/s need to take into consideration the travel and all other expenses related to the tasks, for those will not be additionally compensated.
10. APPLICATION AND BID PROCEDURE
Interested consultant/s or companies/organizations need to prepare and submit the bid (with listed annexes) in English, in response to the above listed specific tasks. The bid needs to include the following:
Set for companies/organizations (Fill in if applying on behalf of a company/organization):
- Financial offer on company letterhead
- Proof of two successfully finished projects (including contact details)
- Biography for each team member (maximum three pages) stating relevant experience;
- SC-PR-10 – Bid submission request;
Set for individual consultants:
- Consultancy bid - consultants;
- Proof of two successfully finished projects (including contact details)
- Biographies - consultants (not more than three pages) stating relevant experience.
Interested candidates need to send their applications electronically latest by 23.10.2018. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
11. SELECTION CRITERIA
Save the Children shall decide on the best bidder, subject to available budget, based on the following criteria: relevant education and experience, methodology proposed, and the cost.
12. CHILD SAFEGUARDING
Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom Save the Children is in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation. Any violations of this policy will be treated as a serious issue.
We need to keep children safe so our selection process reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.
Deadline for applications: 23.10.2018.