School Counselor

at Better Days Greece
Published January 24, 2023
Location Athens, Greece
Category General  
Job Type Full Time  


Better Days is looking for a School Counselor for Gekko Kids Athens.

This is a position that requires compassion, commitment and excellent programmatic skills. The role will ensure that ‘Gekko Kids’ fulfills its main function as a non-formal, non-traditional educational center: to offer quality education to its students and enhance their prospects for personal growth and career/academic development. Specifically, the role requires confidence with the provision of one-on-one counseling and group work, curriculum D&D, HR management, and MEAL, since it will oversee Gekko’s MHPSS activities to ensure that students receive personalised care and support to overcome or deal with difficulties, and manage trauma.

Children and young adults who have been exposed to trauma or multiple traumatic experiences have less capacity to process things; which makes them less permeable to knowledge. Our MHPSS goals are to restore human dignity and a sense of hope in the lives of the people we work with. Our objectives have humble and realistic intentions: we do not aspire to treat all of the students we work with, but to alleviate their suffering and reduce the number of students paralysed by hopelessness, anxiety, stress and depression. If we help our students identify their emotions, we can train them to deal with them. We believe that we have the utmost responsibility of facilitating a healing process for those who enter our classrooms whilst acknowledging the barriers their living circumstances pose to education as well as to treatment. Only then can we unleash their true potential and support them in meeting their academic goals.

This is a field-based position, located in Athens. The right candidate must be experienced with the provision of MHPSS services in Greece. They will manage a small team of MHPSS staff and volunteers who will be responsible for implementing the MHPSS curriculum. They will be confident with teaching and training their team and others as required on Child Protection, Safeguarding, Trauma Support, SEL methodology. They will also be responsible for promoting a trauma-aware environment and creating a safe space in which staff, volunteers and students can seek advice about difficult matters in privacy.

The School Counselor will work closely with the Head of Academics, the social worker and special education teachers, other educational staff, the volunteer coordinator and the management of Better Days.

Main functions include

Conduct a first assessment with all new students (integrated component of our admissions protocol)
Diagnose students' individual needs to access, attend and meet their learning objectives/ submit report to HoA
Provide one-on-one counseling as required and monitor student progress
Refer students to external partners or procure services as required to allow our students to access adequate care in areas such as basic aid, mental health, medical care, social support and so forth
Design and develop Gekko’s MHPSS curriculum
Oversee the implementation of the MHPSS curriculum
Be aware of emerging approaches in education for disadvantaged groups and propose innovations that lead to improving our services
Promote an inclusive environment through the implementation of teachers' training, investment in physical spaces and equipment, appropriate use of verbal and written language and the adoption of inclusive educational practices
Create robust safeguarding strategies (preventive measures and coping mechanism) to promote a positive experience of education for all and prevent harm within the premises of Gekko Kids. For example, in order to promote an inclusive culture in our classrooms we can celebrate diversity, encourage integration amongst people from different backgrounds, educate students on the serious consequences bullying can have on people’s mental health, hold regular antibullying campaigns, address gender and other disparities at school by intentionally targeting marginalised groups and so forth
Contribute to the design of a Learning and Development (L&D) plan for all staff to ensure that Gekko Kids’ services meet quality standards. Train the team in areas of expertise: SEL, Child/Youth Protection, Self-Care, Inclusive Education, Humanitarian Standards, and Safeguarding to mention but some
Ensure compliance with the QMS as required by the Management
Create or develop Better Days’ Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and relevant documentation to ensure the effective implementation of counseling and MHPSS services
Identify development opportunities and establish external pathways/partnerships that enhance student development and wellbeing
Support with HR recruitment and performance management of both staff and volunteers involved with MHPSS activities
Monitor compliance with BD’s Child Safeguarding and Protection standards by all staff, volunteers and partners
Produce Senior-level reports
Represent BD in national or international advocacy forums (as required) and lead advocacy efforts in their area of expertise
Educational Requirements and Experience:

Excellent level of English and Greek language
Familiarity with the operations of the Greek mental health public system
University degree in Psychology, Counselling, or Social work. Candidates with accreditation in teaching, school or child psychology, social education, special education, business administration, and/or refugee education will be prioritised
3+ yrs professional experience as a psychologist/ school counselor/ social worker or similar post. Candidates with previous experience working with displaced populations will be prioritised
Previous humanitarian experience is required
Advanced IT skills
Experience with management is a requirement
Key characteristics: experienced, determined, self-driven, versatile, resourceful, positive, excellent communicator with project management skills and passionate about the cause
Previous experience working with youth will be an advantage

To apply, all applicants should please send their CV and a cover letter in English by email with the subject “School Counselor application”.

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