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Program Specialist, MHPSS

Department: Resettlement & Integration
Location: Silver Spring, MD

POSITION SUMMARY: 

HIAS seeks a Program Specialist, MHPSS to implement a Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Program in the U.S. Programs’ Resettlement & Integration department. This position will work closely with the Social Integration Manager, other HIAS staff and 8-12 partner agencies in the U.S. to implement refugee-led, group-based MHPSS programming for newcomer communities. 

Organizationally, HIAS is guided by its Refugee Rights Framework. This rights-based approach, founded on international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law and practice, provides a programming framework for HIAS’ focus on refugee protection. This framework prioritizes programming impact that ensures forcibly displaced people realize their potential and become contributors to society, with this impact being achieved through the realization of legal and civil rights and social and economic rights including: 1) the right to protection from harm, violence and discrimination; 2) the right to recovery from the shock of displacement; and 3) the right to economic self-sufficiency and inclusion.  

Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support programming at HIAS includes a focus on individuals, families and communities. The overall goal of HIAS’ Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support programming is for forcibly displaced people and vulnerable migrants to have improved mental health and psychosocial well-being, helping them to access their rights. This goal may be achieved through three key outcome areas: 1) Family, community and social structures, including refugee and host communities and public and private partners, promote psychosocial well-being and resilience; 2) individuals and communities develop healthy coping mechanisms; and 3) people with mental health and psychosocial problems use appropriate focused care, including referral to specialized care when needed. 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: 

  • Oversees implementation of the MHPSS program with an established curriculum at 8-12 affiliate partner agencies, providing training, oversight and technical assistance to implementing staff. 

  • Leads the ongoing development and cultivation of MHPSS group work in HIAS’ U.S. resettlement network. 

  • Collaborates with the Social Integration Manager and other HIAS staff to coordinate the implementation of a MHPSS group-based program. 

  • Provides technical support to partner agencies, receives feedback and input and offers creative solutions to programming difficulties. 

  • Drafts programmatic agreements and MOUs, and maintains documentation to track progress. 

  • Conducts desk research and implements best practices with community-led, group-based MHPSS programming and remote service provision; infuses project with additional evidence-based practices. 

  • Supports the infusion of mental health and wellness curricula in Cultural Orientation.  

  • Cultivates a cooperative, supportive cohort of the 8-12 implementing sites; ensures smooth communication among staff and creates supportive structure. 

  • Responds to email inquiries and requests for assistance regarding mental health and psychosocial support, coordinates meetings and schedule Zoom calls and prepares presentations and training content. 

  • Develops and improves upon existing program documents (standards, guidelines and program implementation tools) to strengthen the impact and quality of HIAS’ MHPSS program. 

  • Aggregates data and narrative submissions and leads the compilation of the reports. 

  • Provides thought-leadership with potential funders, HIAS staff and external partners to advance the mission of MHPSS in the HIAS network; occasionally contributes to grant proposals and program expansion. 

QUALIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Undergraduate degree required; MSW or related graduate degree strongly preferred. 

  • 3-5 years of relevant work experience. 

  • English fluency required. 

  • Experience and/or knowledge of mental health or psychosocial programming/services for refugee and/or newcomer audiences. 

  • Experience implementing, coordinating or participating in group-based mental health and wellness programs, ideally centering newcomer communities. 

  • Experience and/or knowledge of U.S. refugee resettlement process. 

  • Experience overseeing projects and programs; strong eye for detail and good organization skills. 

  • Experience providing culturally informed, strengths-based services and support to newcomers, refugees or immigrants. 

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills. 

  • Strong experience building and maintaining relationships with a variety of staff and partners. 

  • Lived experience of migration or resettlement in a new country is preferred. 

  • Full status to work in the United States and ability to provide employment verification is required. 

SAMPLE HIRING PROCESS: 

We are committed to a fair and respectful hiring process, and we do our absolute best to respond to every applicant. We prioritize communication and transparency with all candidates, even those who are not moving forward. Here’s a snapshot of our hiring process: 

Step 1: Submit your application! 

Step 2: Phone screen with a HIAS recruiter. 

Step 3: Video interview with the hiring manager. 

Step 4: Video interview with a panel of HIAS employees. 

Step 5: Online reference check with SkillSurvey. 

Step 6: Offer and background check with Shield Screening. 

Step 7: Start your professional journey with HIAS! 

Note: Some of our hiring processes may vary, and not all candidates will advance to each step. 

ABOUT US: 

Over one hundred years ago, the Jewish community founded HIAS (originally the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) in New York City, the immigrant gateway to America. Supporting Jews fleeing persecution and poverty in Eastern Europe, our founders were guided by the traditions, texts, and history of the Jewish people – a history of oppression, displacement, and diaspora. HIAS has since helped generations of Jews facing violence because of who they were, and HIAS remains committed to helping Jewish refugees anywhere in the world. Today, our clients at HIAS come from diverse faiths, ethnicities, and backgrounds, as do our staff. We bring our experience, history, and values to our work across five continents, ensuring that refugees today receive the vital services and opportunities they need to thrive.  

HIAS is a learning community, committed to diversity and inclusion. We do our work with integrity, accountability, transparency, and a commitment to the highest ethical standards. We seek employees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences to join our teams located in the United States and across the globe. People who identify as BIPOC, people with disabilities, people from the LGBTQ+ community, and people with lived experiences of forced displacement or immigration are all encouraged to apply. We are committed to building a diverse workforce that reflects our vision, mission, and values. 

VISION: 

HIAS stands for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and opportunity. 

MISSION: 

Drawing on our Jewish values and history, HIAS provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers around the world and advocates for their fundamental rights so they can rebuild their lives. 

VALUES: 

Welcome • Acogimiento • Hospitalité • Hachnasat Orchim

We Welcome the Stranger 

Justice • Justicia • Justice • Tzedek

We Pursue Justice 

Empathy • Empatía • Empathie • Chesed

We Approach our Clients with Empathy 

Partnership • Compañerismo • Coopération • Chevruta

We Believe in Changing the World through Partnership 

Courage • Coraje • Courage • Ometz

We Act with Courage to Build a Better World 

Resilience • Resiliencia • Résilience • Ruach

We Adapt and Thrive, Continuously Demonstrating our Resilience 

DIVERSITY: 

HIAS is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. As an equal opportunity employer, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, ethnic background, ancestry, citizenship status, religious creed, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, registered domestic partner or civil union status, familial status, pregnancy, childbirth, military status, protected veteran status, political orientation, or other legally protected status. 

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