Child Protection and Alternative Care Senior Technical Advisor

CRS - Catholic Relief Services

Baltimore, MD, United States

Primary Functions:

The primary responsibility of the Child Protection and Alternative Care Senior Technical Advisor (STA) is to provide leadership in CRS’ efforts serving vulnerable children who are living in residential care or at risk of entering residential care and instead, to promote family-based care. The STA will ensure technical excellence through contributions made to proposals, publications, strategic plan development, trainings, development of guidelines and tools, and support of strategic initiatives. As a member of the Health and Social Services technical team the STA will provide technical assistance to the Agency, CRS regional offices and CRS country programs to build the capacity of staff and partners as well as to promote growth. With vulnerable children’s interdisciplinary focus, the STA will liaise closely with technical advisors from other sectors to ensure seamless quality programming. The STA will represent CRS through its leadership in technical forums and professional conferences and will initiate and coordinate operations research endeavors. Finally, the STA will ensure that organizational know-how, information, and experience in vulnerable children programming is shared within and outside the Agency.

Job Responsibilities:

Promote agency growth in programming focused on vulnerable children living in residential care or at risk of entering residential care and promote family-based care

  • Provide technical support and leadership to the development of CRS’ proposals focused on residential care for children;
  • Review country-level project idea notes, concept papers and proposals; provide technical assistance on proposal development as needed;
  • Liaise with the CRS Business Development Teams to ensure seamless and comprehensive support to country programs and regions as concerns growth opportunities.

Provide Technical Leadership

  • Stay abreast of state-of-the-art developments in quality and innovations related to children in residential care and share relevant information as appropriate with headquarters, regions and country programs;
  • Contribute to the identification, collection and dissemination of program approaches and technical information, tools, resources and training materials related to children outside of family care;
  • Identify opportunities and support efforts for operations research related to children and residential care at the regional and country program levels;
  • Share best practices and lessons learned from CRS projects with CRS regions and the Health and Social Service community of practice;
  • Liaise and provide guidance on advocacy issues related to donor funding of residential care for children.

Backstop country-level residential care project implementation

  • Provide technical assistance to the implementation of CRS country-level initiatives related to residential in priority countries as efforts evolve;
  • Provide trainings, tools and other resources as necessary to project managers;
  • Serve as a liaison between the CRS Program Impact and Quality Assurance Department, USOperations, OverseasOperations, Marketing and Communications and the country-level projects;
  • Support the monitoring and evaluation efforts of country-led residential care projects.

Represent CRS internally and externally

  • Represent CRS to relevant organizations and institutions;
  • Interact with international organizations to build relationships between CRS and other organizations to share experiences, increase learning and raise the visibility of CRS’ programs among key actors;
  • Collaborate with relevant international development, donor, research institutions as well as faith based communities through relationship building, information sharing, representation and advocacy;
  • Coordinate with CRS’ Advocacy, Publications, US Operations and other Departments on issues that concern vulnerable children and residential care.

Provide leadership in agency strategic priorities and staffing

  • Contribute to Agency strategic planning and priority activities;
  • Provide leadership in the implementation of the agency’s Integral Human Development Framework, particularly as it relates to vulnerable children;
  • Advise and support in the recruitment, assessment and professional development of headquarters and/or field-based technical staff.

Key Working Relationships

Internal: Program Impact and Quality Assurance Department, Foundations and Corporate Engagement team, Advocacy, Institutional Donor Engagement and Advancement Department, Country Program and Regional Office staff, US Operations and other relevant departments in headquarters as necessary.

External: Vulnerable children and child protection networks, CRS partner organizations, donors, United Nations agencies and other international development organizations.


  • 8 years’ experience with PhD or equivalent degree (MD, Dr.PH, EdD) or 10 or more years’ experience with Master’s degree in public health, social sciences or related field;
  • Minimum of 7 years’ overseas field experience;
  • Technical expertise in principles, theories, concepts and techniques in programming for vulnerable children in residential care or at risk of entering residential care, alternative care, factors influencing residential care (e.g., US and European donor funding), etc.;
  • Knowledgeable of residential/alternative care programming contacts and resources both within and outside CRS;
  • Familiarity with communications and knowledge sharing technologies and practices;
  • Ability to build strong working relationships with colleagues at headquarters, regional office and country programs;
  • Ability to introduce new concepts and ideas and develop best practices and lessons learned;
  • Ability to work independently and in teams;
  • Experience with working with faith-based organizations and individuals;
  • Experience in operations research and/or evaluation of programs for children outside of family care;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Excellent computer skills, specifically in MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint;
  • Fluency in English;
  • Proficiency in French or Spanish a plus;
  • Ability to travel 30% time.

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