Job for a Social Worker at The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network

International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network – The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP), started in 2010, was designed ‘to assist seafarers and their families with the humanitarian aspects of a traumatic incident caused by a piracy attack, armed robbery or being taken hostage.’ Previously a stand-alone programme as a limited company, in August 2015 MPHRP was brought into an established maritime charity, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN).

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Social Worker, Nigerian National

Job ID: #1505701
Location: Nigeria

The activities of the programme include:

  • The design and delivery of resource and training materials for the maritime industry to support seafarers and their families;
  • The distribution of charitable funds to seafarers and their families who have suffered from piracy and are in need of financial assistance for living expenses, education or medical costs;
  • Working with other charities, governments and organisations to improve the humanitarian response to seafarers and their families who have been the victims of piracy or armed robbery.
  • We seek to engage a qualified and experienced social worker for a programme in Nigeria to assist seafarers and their families who have been affected by piracy or other maritime crises.
  • Employed for an initial term of one year, and working for the National Seafarers Welfare Board (NSWB)of Nigeria, the social worker will be working in collaboration with ISWAN, the Sailors’ Society Crisis Response for Africa and other international agencies concerned with the welfare of seafarers.
  • The postholder will need to be engaged with seafarers who have faced maritime crises – both Nigerian nationals and foreign seafarers calling in Nigerian ports – and also with the families of Nigerian seafarers. With local stakeholders in the maritime industry, many of whom are part of the NSWB, the postholder will also need to arrange training courses with suitably qualified trainers to increase the number of people available to assist seafarers with their welfare needs in Nigerian ports.
  • While this initial engagement is for one year, it is possible that this may be extended depending upon the needs of the seafarers and their families and the quality of the response which is achieved. This post might then be extended for a further one to two years, subject to established needs and the funding available to cover this post.

The Maritime Social Worker responsibilities include:

  • Identify seafarers who may need assistance though outreach and by referrals from SeafarerHelp/Piracy Hotline.
  • Assess seafarers’ immediate needs and presenting problems, within the overall context. Review potential assistance through personal skills and experience and using established support networks.
  • Assist seafarers in determining their own goals.
  • Develop written action plans with the affected seafarer or family member with the aim to improve the individual seafarer’s or family member’s wellbeing.
  • Respond to crisis situations, and travel locally and internationally when required.
  • Prioritise case handling in discussion with the National Seafarers Welfare Board and/or considering other professional assistance available.
  • Develop and maintain the network of MPHRP trained volunteer “Welfare Responders” and coordinate, support and liaise with them to ensure their ability to assist seafarers in their ports and communities.
  • Follow-up with seafarers after interventions to ensure that their situations have improved.
  • Evaluate services provided to ensure that they are effective and present outcomes in written reports and case studies.
  • Maintain and update a database to document the activities above and the resources available to help seafarers in Nigeria.
  • Assist seafarers in adjusting to changes and challenges in their lives, such as trauma associated with work-related and other crises.
  • Research and refer clients to community resources, such as trade union services, re-employment assistance, and welfare provision through government, charities, and any other appropriate organisations.
  • Advocate for and assist seafarers in accessing resources that will improve their wellbeing including professional psychological or medical intervention, when needed.
  • Assist seafarers when needed with documentation to relevant government agencies to apply for and receive any available benefits.

Person Specification

  • A qualified social worker, i.e. a member of one of the professional bodies endorsing social work within Nigeria, holder of a recognised qualification in social work.
  • Demonstrated capability at report writing, and clear evidence of research capability – baseline studies, and / or monitoring and evaluation, and/ or needs assessment.
  • Ability to conduct interviews, make assessments of cases, and indicate areas for further professional help or welfare assistance, if needed.
  • Ability to provide some benefits for traumatised seafarers and their families through counselling and information.
  • Ability to work constructively and cooperatively with a wide variety of stakeholders, including port welfare committees.
  • Willingness to learn about, and interest in, the maritime sector.
  • Willing and able to travel within Nigeria to any Nigerian port, principally to Lagos, Port Harcourt, Onne and Warri. Also able to travel to meet Nigerian seafarers and their families in Nigeria, and foreign seafarers in Nigerian ports / prisons. Willing to visit seafarers in prison.
  • A good level of written and spoken English, and at least one of the languages spoken in southern Nigeria.
  • Able to work in Nigeria.
  • Ability to work on own initiative, reporting to a designated member of the National Seafarers Welfare Board of Nigeria and copying reports to ISWAN in London.


  • Experience of leading and arranging training courses.
  • Experience dealing with cases of mental and physical trauma.
  • Experience in the maritime, fisheries or justice / prison sector.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send a copy of their CV’s with a brief covering letter / email explaining their suitability for this post, salary expectations, contact details of two referees (who will not be contacted without prior notification) and what date they would be available to start this work, by email, to: [email protected]

Application Deadline  17th May, 2016.

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