Senior Support Worker, Bridgend Bond Board

Introduction

The Wallich is a homelessness charity delivering innovative housing and support services to homeless and vulnerably housed people. The Organisation formed in 1978 in Cardiff and now supports around 8000 people a year across Wales. Our work falls into four principal areas:

1. Residential supported housing projects, including direct access hostels, emergency night shelters and accommodation for people with specific issues such as substance misuse, youth services etc.

2. Floating (Tenancy) support projects in which we support people who have tenancy difficulties, sometimes with a contributing health or other need, and are in danger of losing their homes.

3. Prevention or intervention projects supplied through Homelessness Prevention Grant funding which are a broad range of services that prevent homelessness or make life better for homeless people.

4. Participation and Progression services, which are embedded in all our projects enhancing support through providing opportunities for Service Users to take an active part in their community. These services include those designed to enable people to move into meaningful activities including employment and training opportunities.

The Wallich’s values are of empowerment and treating people with dignity, respect and unconditional positive regard. The Wallich is committed to providing services that are trauma informed and delivered with Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) at the heart of its support. A PIE is an approach to supporting people out of homelessness whilst making significant and positive progress in overcoming trauma, substance misuse and mental illness. It also considers the psychological needs of staff: developing skills and knowledge, increasing motivation, job satisfaction and resilience. At the heart of what we do are the people we support, who are actively and meaningfully involved in their own support and encouraged to participate in the design, development and delivery of services.

Project Description

The project operates across Bridgend working with couples or single people, with or without children, who have been referred to Bridgend Bond Board to apply for a bond to access private rented accommodation. The project is an integral part of the provision for dealing with potentially homeless single and family groups, providing a link between Bridgend Housing Department and other providers, private rented landlords and Floating Support. The project is funded through the Section 180 funding grant and is required to meet the Welsh Government’s National Outcomes Framework. The Framework’s four main aims are:

  • Promoting Personal and Community Safety
  • Promoting Independence and Control
  • Promoting Economic Progress and Financial Control
  • Promoting Health and Wellbeing

Purpose of Role

To administer the Bond Board Scheme;
To assist qualifying people with ensuring tenancies are set up in a manner that helps them to be sustainable;
To liaise with landlords and other agencies;
To ensure work is recorded and all administrative paperwork completed.

This role is subject to an Enhanced DBS Disclosure

Main Duties, Responsibilities and Person Profile

1. To administer the Bond Board Scheme, assisting qualifying people with ensuring tenancies are set up in a manner that helps them to be sustainable

a) To interview and assess the eligibility of applicants in line with current housing legislation and the scheme’s eligibility criteria.

b) To visit and inspect potential accommodation and approve its use.

c) To support applicants to find and access accommodation through negotiating with landlords and offering the bond guarantee.

d) To offer landlords ongoing advice and support.

e) To investigate and process landlord’s claims, arrange compensation and seek recompense.

f) To ensure that Service Users are aware of the mission, aims and objectives, policies and procedures of the scheme and the duties, responsibilities and obligations of staff.

g) To ensure that all Service Users are treated fairly and afforded equality of opportunity.

h) To ensure that Service Users’ needs are met through the consistent application of the Wallich’s model of support.

i) To manage a Service User caseload with particular reference to:

  • Providing information, advice and guidance that enable Service users to make informed decisions about their needs and support.
  • Ensuring that Service Users have a means of expressing their views and that this expression receives appropriate consideration.
  • Actively involving Service Users in their support, the project and/or organisation.
  • Making referrals to and liaising with relevant agencies and individuals with or on behalf of Service Users.
  • Coordinating and carrying out the reviewing of needs, risk and support plans in line with procedure.
  • Coordinating and carrying out the monitoring of Service User’s progress by assessing levels of control, understanding and involvement in working towards their goals.
  • Representing and advocating with/for Service Users.

j) To ensure that the service standards set out in the organisational document ‘Great Expectations’ are met or exceeded.


2. To liaise with landlords and other agencies

a) To liaise with other agencies and similar projects to ensure that they have access to the scheme

b) To liaise with lettings agents and landlords to secure properties

c) To liaise with appropriate officers of the local authority housing department.

d) To liaise with the local housing benefit department in submitting and pursuing housing benefit claims.

e) To liaise with other member of the local homelessness strategy.

f) To liaise with other Wallich projects to provide support to Service Users.


3. To assist in monitoring the effectiveness of the projects ensuring objectives and targets are met.

a) To meet the monitoring requirements of the Outcomes Framework and other commissioners.

b) To assist managers with gathering quantitative and qualitative information relating to objectives and targets.

c) To ensure that records of Service Users accessing the service are maintained.

d) To provide statistics and other information as requested by managers.



4. To assist in the overall running of the project.

a) To work in line with all Wallich policies and procedures.

b) To participate in own supervision.

c) To undertake relevant training.

d) To represent The Wallich at relevant external meetings.

e) To liaise with relevant bodies – Housing Associations, support agencies etc. – as appropriate and as the organisation’s representative.

f) To develop links with voluntary and statutory bodies in furtherance of the organisation’s work and for the benefit of the Service User.

g) To report to manager regularly informing him/her of issues arising during the course of the work that require policy decisions.

h) To ensure adequate administrative records are kept.

i) To ensure the maintenance of good standards of cleanliness, hygiene and adherence to Health and Safety regulations.

j) To take part in all aspects of lone working as directed by the policy.

k) To partake in a team handover where applicable.

l) To undertake other duties within the remit of the post.


5. To supervise and mentor an allocated number of volunteers.

a) To provide regular supervision to allocated volunteers in line with The Wallich Supervision Policy.

b) To mentor volunteers providing hands on experience in a safe environment.

c) To agree with volunteers any development needs and take appropriate measures to action these.

d) To monitor work done by volunteers and to ensure that duties and responsibilities are fulfilled and obligations are met.

e) To ensure that the volunteers have a consistent understanding of the mission, values, aims, objectives and policies and procedures of the project.


6. Other

a) To partake in rota and on call system as required.

b) To work and travel across Bridgend.

The list of duties and responsibilities is not an exhaustive one and may be varied from time to time by the organisation. This job description is subject to regular review.

Person Profile

1. Knowledge

a) Knowledge and understanding of current Homelessness Law, Tenancy Law and DWP Benefits, and the current legal framework within which you are expected to work.

b) Knowledge and understanding of the private rented sector, lettings agencies and/or tenancies.

c) Knowledge and understanding of how complex needs, such as substance misuse or mental health, can affect individuals and their vulnerability.

d) Knowledge and understanding of how your personal life can have positive and negative impacts on your own performance and attendance.

e) Knowledge and understanding of the need for professional boundaries.


2. Experience

a) Experience of working with individuals with complex needs.

b) Experience of the private rented sector (this can be from a personal perspective).

c) Experience of monitoring and recording systems.

d) Experience of working with diverse people in a non-judgemental way.

e) Experience of effectively dealing with challenging situations whilst maintaining professional boundaries.

f) Experience of professionally and effectively representing the wishes and best interests of Service Users and the organisation whilst building beneficial relationships with a range of agencies.

g) Experience of lone working on own initiative and without close supervision.

h) Experience of organising resources and prioritising workloads to meet deadlines.


3. Other

a) Driving licence and own vehicle essential.

b) Ability to communicate in Welsh is desirable but not essential.

Interview details: 8th October 2020

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