Global Safeguarding Director

About SOS Children’s Villages International

SOS Children’s Villages International is the umbrella organisation for the global federation of SOS Children’s Villages. As a non-governmental social development organisation, we support children without parental care and families in difficult living conditions through services in care, education, health and emergency relief, and we advocate for the rights of children and young people, in alliance with a great diversity of partners. We work in 136 countries and territories, reaching over one million children, young people, families and caregivers each year.

SOS Children’s Villages strives to create and ensure a safe environment for everyone who engages with us internally or externally. An environment that does not expose children, young people and adults to harm, sexual exploitation and abuse. As a Child-focused organisation, people are the focus of organisational safeguarding aspirations. Our care approach is distinct in that it provides 24-hour direct primary care to tens of thousands of children and young people through a system of primary caregivers directly employed by SOS CV.


To support us with this important responsibility, we are looking for a committed Global Safeguarding Director.




The Safeguarding Department fulfils its purpose in the following key aspects:

Safeguarding children and adults from abuse by leading and championing the safeguarding priority, strategies and action plans to ensure safeguarding is mainstreamed across all parts of the Federation.

Building and fostering organisational capacity across the federation to live, understand and respond to international safeguarding concepts; through, but not limited to, developing and supporting the implementation of relevant policies, practices, capacity building, awareness raising and other activities for prevention of harm, sexual exploitation, abuse, fraud and corruption wherever people engage with SOS Children’s Villages.

In particular, taking ownership of the incident management process and related environment necessary to support a robust management response and actions when dealing with allegations made. SOS CV is strongly guided by and committed to “Do no Harm” principle and applies a victim/survivor-centred approach.

In cooperation with relevant safeguarding functions building and leading a network of experts across the federation in support of timely and professional response to safeguarding incidents. This is done in conjunction with the independent audit and investigations unit and in liaison with the SOS Ombuds system and with respective safeguarding functions, including those who provide services to victims/survivors as necessary.

Monitoring, evaluating and reporting on progress in delivery of strategies, outcomes and learning to Governance, Leadership and Management.

Participating in, sharing with and learning from external networks to improve internal practice and to influence sector-wide thinking and initiatives and facilitating relevant knowledge management.

Ensuring the financial capacity to deliver on our mission, we also take responsibility to protect the integrity of the use of assets and financial means; this in turn will safeguard the trust of donors and individual givers supporting our cause.

Therefore, the Safeguarding Department, with people being at the centre of its consideration, expands its scope of People Safeguarding and includes an oversight responsibility for Anti-Corruption and Asset Protection; this should allow for strong alignment of processes and required policies with the aim to protect organisational assets to keep them free from fraud and corruption.

Purpose of the role

The purpose of the role is to deliver on the SOS Federation’s Safeguarding responsibility and accountability in line with its defined expected outputs.

  • Safeguarding children and adults from abuse by leading and championing the safeguarding priority, the strategies and action plans to ensure safeguarding is mainstreamed across all parts of the Federation.
  • Championing and mainstreaming safeguarding concepts and required international standards across the Federation.
  • Leading the development and implementation of related strategies, policies, processes, tools, training, systems and monitoring processes.
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders across the Federation to enable governance, leadership, management and staff to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities including asset protection. Reporting on progress, outcomes and overall incident management picture to Leadership and Senate.
  • Managing the Safeguarding Department and its experts at the International Office including keeping oversight of the anti-corruption and asset protection function with its strong technical lead.
  • As the federation’s Global lead on Safeguarding concerns, leading, advising and guiding Federation Leadership including its federation-wide network, supporting the respective teams and individuals in GSC run Regions and countries and Member Associations.
  • Taking responsibility and ownership of the incident management process and put into practice the environment necessary to support a robust management response and actions when dealing with allegations made. Ensuring that the SOS CV commitment to “Do no Harm” principle is strongly positioned and that a victim/survivor-centred approach is applied.



Main Duties and Responsibilities

Global leadership of Safeguarding

  • Leads, champions and enables mainstreaming of Safeguarding across the organisation’s staffing, functions, geographies and its programmes including supporting and constructively challenging Governance, Leadership and Senior Management roles.
  • Leads the development and implementation of Federation safeguarding strategies and supports GSC and MA leadership in implementation of those.
  • Leads and builds the capacity of the safeguarding network (IO and IOR teams, focal points in GSC and MAs) as well as leadership and staff across the Federation.
  • Works with other leaders to ensure strong integration of safeguarding principles and approaches with child rights-based, child and youth participation, programmatic, fundraising and other relevant approaches.
  • In particular considers child and youth participation and primary caregiver safeguarding needs as key elements in the safeguarding strategy.

Supporting management and others across the Federation to build a safe environment   

  • Ensures that there is a full suite of aligned global policies, standards, processes, tools and systems for use by leaders, managers and staff across the Federation for Safeguarding.
  • In close collaboration with respective safeguarding functions, ensures awareness raising, training and other tools are developed to foster an understanding of a safe environment, respective responsibilities and how to implement the safeguarding approach.
  • Collaborates with leaders across the Federation and as possible identifies synergies and cooperation in support of the best interest in delivering on our mission (e.g., Care Giving, Organisational Culture)

Incident Management

  • Takes ownership over the incident management process and to puts into practice the required environment necessary for a robust management response and actions when dealing with allegations made.
  • Ensures that processes follow international standards and best practice considering principles such as do-no harm, survivor/victim -centred approaches and safeguard fair, respectful and transparent processes for all involved including subjects of complaints.
  • Enables and supports as necessary the IO team and Regions to operate a robust Incident Management for GSC managed entities (countries, programmes, IO, Regions); equally ensure the required standard setting and tools to enable the capacity of MAs in operating high quality incident management processes.
  • Works with Audit and Investigations team as well as with other respective safeguarding functions to ensure coherent, comprehensive and aligned compliance audits and investigations.
  • Ensures learning is used to improve incident management processes.
  • Liaises with the Ombuds in its role to protect the rights of survivors.

Monitoring, evaluation, learning and reporting

  • Reports progress on implementation of strategies and outcomes to leadership and the Senate.
  • Leads on monitoring and evaluation of safeguarding approaches, strategies and outcomes.
  • Ensures learning is captured, shared and utilised across the Federation via management and the internal safeguarding and asset protection networks.
  • Participates in external networks to share and learn from best practice across the sector and similar organisations.
  • Works with Advocacy team to inform policy positions for use with external duty bearers e.g.: legislators, governmental execution functions

Leads and keeps oversight of Anti-Corruption and Asset Protection

  • Supported by a strong senior subject matter expert, and her/his team of experts, keeps an oversight of Anti-Corruption and Asset Protection responsibilities and liabilities ensuring the necessary strategy and organisational environment in making the federation resilient to corruption, misuse of resources and assets.
  • As necessary and appropriate, ensures alignment and synergies of processes, tools and trainings between people safeguarding and asset protection.
  • Ensures cross-functional collaboration between subject matter experts related to incident management and response.
  • Oversees the development and support of required policies, process and tools to enable a strong asset protection network across the federation.

Management of staff and other resources

  • Manages, strengthens and lead a diverse and collaborative team of Safeguarding experts and advisors at the international office (IO) based in different locations and virtually connected.
  • Manages the GSC Safeguarding Budget but also seeks additional project or permanent funding from PSAs or external donors.
  • As part of the leadership, role-models organisational values, behaviours and Code of Conduct


Skills and Experience

Essential Functional Competencies

Expert competency level

  • Strong leadership skills, strategic thinking, organisational and people leadership skills
  • Excellent communication skills with strong ability to influence and advocate at all levels
  • Proven ability and competence in designing safeguarding approaches, strategies, policy, standards, processes, systems for use across all functions, geographies and levels in a large organisation or network
  • Extensive knowledge of safeguarding legislation across multiple jurisdictions
  • Ability to demonstrate championing the rights of survivors over organisational reputation issues or management layer barriers
  • Demonstrated ability to design quality assurance systems to support improvements in safeguarding

Advanced competency level

  • Demonstrated ability to influence decision makers, leaders, management and staff at all levels from global governance bodies down
  • A track record of strong team management skills with the ability to build and lead a diverse and inclusive globally distributed team and enable every team member to reach their full potential.
  • Proven ability in developing and enabling the utilisation of successful monitoring, evaluation, learning and knowledge management culture, processes, tools and systems
  • Member, contributor and influencer in global safeguarding networks
  • Experience and ability in effectively assessing and managing complex risks
  • Ability to maintain the highest standard and quality of work, managing stress effectively whilst prioritising multiple tasks and competing deadlines.


Desirable Functional Competencies

Advanced competency level

  • Experience working for an International NGO or UN agency focused on child rights.
  • Has experience in co-creation of strategy, policies, processes etc with meaningful youth participation
  • Has worked extensively or is based in the Global South
  • Knowledge of Asset Protection sufficient to integrate and align policies, processes and tools and to manage a Head of Asset Protection.

Values-based competencies

  • Inclusiveness/ mindful of diverse perspectives and experiences, respecting and valuing every person equally.
  • Role Model/acting as a role model for the organisation and living its values inspiring and learning from others
  • Strategic thinking/ living the values and mission, setting realistic goals and translate them into actionable plans.
  • Collaboration/removing barriers to participation, share decision making and build partnerships
  • Empowerment/promoting inclusion and equitable sharing of power
  • Results orientation/prioritizing safeguarding, look for solutions and focus on desired results.



  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in leading a safeguarding function, team or network in a complex global organisation with multicultural context; gained experience in a non-profit and child focused environment
  • Strong leadership and management experience of multicultural teams including virtual and remote across cultures and time zones
  • Understanding and practical experience/application in incident/case management
  • Experience in promoting and advocating for safeguarding principles in global/multilateral fora
  • membership of international and/or national safeguarding networks
  • Proven experience in managing (designing/operating) the incident management function for an organisation with large and complex case load in a global setting of multiple regions/cultures/applicable laws.


We offer

  • Meaningful and stimulating work with the possibility to make a significant, positive contribution to innovating child safeguarding
  • Remote and in-person work arrangements
  • The opportunity to work for an INGO that is a member of a recognized international network

In accordance with the organisation’s child protection policy, this position will be subject to applicable background checks, including criminal record checks. The successful candidate will be required to understand and sign the SOS Code of Conduct.

What We Stand For: **

SOS Children’s Villages is committed to creating and maintaining a caring and protective environment, which promotes its core values, and prevents and addresses child abuse and exploitation. We strongly condemn all forms of child abuse and exploitation, be it within or outside of our organisation, and always respond to any case of proven, alleged or attempted abuse within our sphere of influence according to its nature. Efforts ensure that mechanisms are in place to raise awareness, aid prevention, encourage reporting and ease response. They range from human resource development actions such as training and counselling to measures such as suspension, dismissal, and legal action SOS Children’s Villages is committed to creating and maintaining a safe working environment for our staff, the children and young people and the communities that we work for. The organisation prohibits harassment, exploitation and abuses by or of any employee, supervisor, manager, child, young people, community, contractor, applicant, or other individual with whom SOS Children’s Villages employees come into contact by virtue of their work. All employees are expected to carry out their duties in accordance with our prevention and protection against Sexual Harassment, Exploitation and Abuse policy. In addition, SOS Children’s Villages apply a zero-tolerance concerning any fraud situation.


Appointment details

Location: Innsbruck, Vienna (Austria), Dakar (Senegal), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Nairobi (Kenya), London (UK), Skopje (Macedonia). Other locations where SOS has a registered presence may be considered. Work permits in the preferred work locations would be desirable.

Reports to: CEO

Direct reports: Head of Child Safeguarding, Head of Adult Safeguarding, People Safeguarding Environment Coordinator, Head of Anti-Corruption and Asset Protection

Indirect reports: Child Safeguarding Team, Adult Safeguarding Team, Asset Protection Team



How to Apply

Closing date: 12th February 2023.

If you are interested in this position, please submit your detailed application and click ‘apply for job’ at Global Safeguarding Director - Red Sea Search

As part of the application process kindly submit an MS Word version of your CV and a cover letter. All application documents (cover letter and CV) should be submitted in English.

Need help? Should you require access to information in a different format to facilitate your application please contact us via

Please name your submitted files with the following reference: SOS_GSD