Senior Support Worker, Drop In Service, Torfaen

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 in Torfaen, working with people who may be homeless, potentially homeless or vulnerably housed. The service provides housing related support within people’s homes or in the community, with the aim of preventing homelessness and increasing independence. The project is funded through the Supporting People Programme 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

This role is subject to an Enhanced DBS Disclosure.

Purpose of Role

To be the first point of contact for individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in need of housing related advice or support to prevent or resolve their situation. Working with a range of stakeholders, including the Council’s Housing Team, this is a pivotal role that provides a proactive and solutions focused approach to preventing homelessness ensuring that individuals are accessing the necessary support to meet their needs.

Providing advice and support via community based drop-in sessions this role aims to proactively work with individuals to prevent homelessness where possible or refer to statutory homelessness services to provide necessary interventions.

This is a demand led role that enables and empowers Service Users to address housing and/or personal difficulties, build their skills and confidence, and ultimately improve their ability to maintain their current or future accommodation. The post holder will be responsible for:

  • The provision of initial advice and support
  • Coordination and completion of follow up activity (including feedback / updates to SU)
  • Liaison with statutory and stakeholder services (including necessary forms and paperwork)
  • Co-ordination of on-going referrals
  • Occasionally required to deputise for support team

The advice & support will not create or increase dependence. It will ‘do with’ rather than ‘do for’ to enable people to improve their control, understanding and involvement in dealing with the issues that affect them, and assist Service Users to achieve their preferred outcomes. This role would suit someone with an inquisitive mind and good problem solving skills who relates well individuals from a broad cross section of the community.

Main Duties, Responsibilities and Person Profile

Main Duties and Responsibilities

1. To delivery community based drop-in advice sessions and provide follow up casework or referral onto other housing related support services.

a) To provide information, advice and guidance that enables Service users to make informed decisions about their needs and support with particular reference to:

  • Identifying the goals and aspirations of Service Users.
  • Proactively working with individuals to prevent homelessness where possible or refer to statutory homelessness services to provide necessary interventions.
  • Applying various conversational and psycho-social intervention skill sets to the benefit of the Service User (i.e. Solution focused working and Motivational Interviewing).
  • Ensuring that the necessary paperwork is completed and that each Service User’s records are up to date and accurate.
  • Liaising with statutory and stakeholder services
  • Ensuring that Service Users have a means of expressing their views and that this expression receives appropriate consideration.
  • Actively involving Service Users in their advice & support.
  • Actively involving Service Users in the delivery and development of services.
  • Coordinating referrals to and liaising with relevant agencies and individuals with or on behalf of Service Users.
  • Representing and advocating with/for Service Users.

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

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

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

e) To respond to service users accessing advice according to the procedures and eligibility criteria of the project.

f) To maintain regular communication with Senior Support Workers relating to the need for changes to Service Users’ needs and risk assessments and support plans where they have been referred onto longer term support.

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

2. To assist in monitoring the effectiveness of the project ensuring objectives and targets are met.

a) To meet the monitoring requirements 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.

3. 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.

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

a) To act as a mentor for Support Workers and new staff.

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

c) To participate in own supervision.

d) To undertake relevant training.

e) To represent The Wallich at relevant external meetings.

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

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

h) To work collaboratively with the Housing Options Team.

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

j) To ensure adequate administrative records are kept.

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

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

m) To partake in a team meetings.

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

5. Other

a) To work and travel across Torfaen and further afield as and when required.

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, Housing & Tenancy law, DWP Benefits, and the current legal framework within which you are expected to work.

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

c) Knowledge and understanding of signposting and referring onto specialist advice and support providers.

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.

f) Knowledge and understanding of safeguarding procedures.

2. Experience

a) Experience of working with individuals with complex needs.

b) Experience of housing related support or homelessness (this can be from a personal perspective).

c) Experience of planning and delivering advice.

d) Experience of monitoring and recording systems.

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

f) Experience of working collaboratively with statutory and stakeholder services.

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

h) 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.

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

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

3. Other

a) Driving licence and own vehicle is essential.

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

Please note: Due to the on-going COVID-19 situation The Wallich are currently undertaking interviews via video calling. We will be keeping this under constant review and hope to be able to commence standard interviewing again soon.

T2

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