Advice and Inclusion Development Worker
Sussex Community Development Association
£20,092 - £23,079 per annum, dependant on skills and experience (Paid)
SUSSEX COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
Advice and Inclusion Development Worker
Reporting to: Advice & Inclusion Programme Manager
Work pattern: Full time 37 hrs per week
Fixed Term until 30 September 2022 in the first instance
Based: Newhaven with some travel across East Sussex to other outreach and delivery venues as required
Covid-19 working arrangements – post holder working from a combination of home and Newhaven office, observing social distancing and Covid-safe measures. Advice and Inclusion projects provide exempt services and there is an expectation for the post-holder to work from the office wherever possible,
Salary range: £20,092 – £23,079 per annum, dependant on skills and experience
SCDA was founded in 1997. Its primary purpose is the development of sustainable community-based regeneration initiatives addressing the economic, environmental, cultural and community needs, and particularly addressing the needs of those most vulnerable in the community.
SCDA now runs a range of projects and services aimed at supporting community involvement across East Sussex. Funding has been secured from a range of sources including European, Lottery and charitable trusts as well as contracts to deliver services and run projects in both Newhaven and elsewhere in East Sussex.
To support its core activities SCDA also runs a number of Social Enterprises. These include the Denton Island Nursery, two charity shops and a bicycle recycling scheme.
Service areas include:
Employability – supporting unemployed people across East Sussex, specialising in those who find it hardest to find and sustain paid work.
Advice & Inclusion – delivering a variety of services aimed at promoting inclusion for BME communities; supporting people at risk of anti-social behaviour and hate crime; offering access to a range of specialist advice provision through partners; and local Foodbank provision in Newhaven itself.
Health & Wellbeing – delivering a range of services around food; green and open spaces; promoting physical activity and mental health and wellbeing in the community.
Community Development – delivering targeted and general Youth provision locally; raising the profile of communities in which we work through regular community events; community asset building; and offering a suite of Family Learning and Inclusion activities for parents and carers of Under 5’s. We also manage Denton Island Nursery which Ofsted has registered as ‘Good’.
SCDA has a strong track record in partnership working and in the quality of service delivery to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in the community: helping the community help itself.
The context of the job
The organisation (SCDA), though fairly small in terms of staff at approximately 95 employees, continues to grow – especially in terms of its geographic remit and amended delivery in light of the impact of Covid-19 on our communities. One of SCDA’s Core Values is teamwork and support for colleagues, and we expect all members of staff to demonstrate flexibility within their specified job role and offer continued support to other colleagues and when required.
The post holder will be required to work some evenings and weekends to meet service user, volunteer and community needs, and to manage donation drives and other community interest events. Additional remuneration is not applicable, as time off in lieu may be granted in accordance with the policy, or preferably work pattern flexed in the week before or after such events occur.
SCDA have a requirement for an Advice and Inclusion Development Worker to provide a clear pathway into (and also ensure a smooth journey through) SCDA’s Advice and Inclusion services. This worker will take initial telephone/email enquiries to Denton Island Community Centre either from the public wanting to access our community initiatives or receive referrals from partners. The Advice & Inclusion Development Worker will undertake the initial assessment process to match the participant with the appropriate SCDA project in line with SCDA’s “No wrong door” policy.
This is a new role created in response to the impact of Covid 19 on our communities, and the recognition of the increase in demand for the following project areas:
1. Seahaven foodbank – which provides an emergency food parcel service for people and families in times of crisis. These are generally people who suddenly find themselves facing poverty and hunger due to loss of salary, change in benefits, unexpected large bills, illness or family breakdown. The foodbank provides food parcels to cover the immediate crisis or to give support in the intervening period before statutory agencies can begin on-going longer term assistance.
2. Advice and Information service – which provides access to Community Navigators who provide information, non-specialist advice, assistance and appropriate signposting to a wide range of clients. Many of these clients are very vulnerable and require assistance on non-specialist advice related issues, and/or assisting them to access other relevant & specific services or specialist advice provision.
3. Safe from Harm – which provides a Caseworker to practically support Persistently Targeted, Vulnerable & Insecure (PTVI) people who are at significant risk of harm from anti-social behaviour, cuckooing, hate crime or targeted harassment by offering a casework service on an exclusive outreach basis, sometimes in people’s homes.
4. Rural Domestic & Sexual Abuse Recovery Project – The project uses a collaborative approach to engage with communities, raise awareness and signpost towards support for individuals living in rural communities with the impact of domestic and sexual abuse. Referrals will be directed to our specialist Community Navigator for advice, information and support.
The post-holder will conduct a detailed suitability interview and complete a referral form to SCDA colleagues working across the projects above.
The post-holder will also be responsible for supervising and developing a small team of newly-recruited specialist advice and information volunteers, providing interim cover for our Volunteer Coordinator role.
First point of contact for our Referral Line/email contact
• Be responsible for answering calls to the Referral telephone line and email address in a professional and timely manner.
• Giving accurate information to callers/potential participants regarding the range of SCDA projects they are able to access.
• Ask appropriate questions relevant to the referral in a professional, sensitive and discreet way.
• Ensure callers/contacts are aware of the GDPR requirements in how their data will be processed and stored.
• Regularly check telephone messages left on the Referral line answerphone and emails and return calls to potential participants in a timely manner in order to undertake the initial telephone assessment.
• Regularly assess numbers and types of referrals from initial contacts for each project and update line manager on demand.
Administration and record keeping
• Ensure all initial referral documentation including names, addresses and contact details are accurately taken and stored confidentially and in line with Data Protection Law.
• Producing and sending letters and emails to clients as required.
• Ensure all initial referral documentation is forwarded to the appropriate SCDA colleague within 24 hours of receipt of enquiry.
• Maintenance of confidential client filing systems
• Keep accurate records of the numbers and types of contacts per week and provide a weekly usage report for the A&I Programme Manager.
• Create monthly/quarterly reports regarding contacts made via the Referral line to contribute to reports for funders and future funding bids.
• Supporting external/staff meetings by producing minutes and distributing to attendees.
• Supporting the team with their general admin duties incl post in/out.
• Ordering office supplies, stationery and leaflets for the services
• Assisting with marketing and publicity for the projects, including updating any related social media sites.
• Working closely with project colleagues, ensure a smooth client journey through the service via a systematic and high quality approach to problem identification and referral.
• Assist A&I Programme Manager and collaborate with the Database Development Worker with the tailoring and testing of SCDA’s database for A&I projects.
Development of A&I online profile via social media platforms
• Generate and maintain interest in A&I projects on approved social media platforms as directed by the A&I Programme Manager
• Liaise with SCDA’s Marketing and Communication Officer
Supervision and Development of volunteers – interim basis
• Develop existing volunteers and ensuring that volunteers are remaining professional and boundaried in their work, providing training as required.
• Manage volunteer availability and rota, and match volunteers’ skills with suitable tasks and opportunities.
Other support functions
• Work collaboratively with the Community Navigators, Safe from Harm Caseworker and Foodbank Coordinator to ensure smooth flow of referrals into the service.
• Meet with the team on a regular basis for review of referrals to ensure all participants are moving through the appropriate service
• Be the nominated H&S representative for A&I and attend H&S Forum meetings as required
• Be trained as a first aider for Denton Island Community Centre premises
• Any other administrative duties as required by the Advice and Inclusion Programme Manager.
• Keep accurate records, provide written reports as required, develop and maintain appropriate administrative and recording systems.
• Meet regularly with the Advice & Inclusion Programme Manager for work direction & supervision.
• Attend team briefs, full staff training events and Partnership Forums as appropriate
• Promote and comply with SCDA’s policies and procedural requirements.
Sussex Community Development Association is working towards equality and has policies relating to the equality of opportunity in employment and service delivery. All staff are expected to comply with these policies.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
All staff have responsibility to maintain the health and safety of themselves and others within the performance of their duties in accordance with SCDA health and safety policies and to undertake specific health and safety responsibilities as necessary.
This job description will be reviewed from time to time or as necessary and may be amended to meet the changing needs of the organisation. It will also be used as the basis for the determination of objectives and the content is subject to annual review.
• Educated to minimum GCSE level or equivalent with good written English.
• Working towards or Qualified to L3 in Advice/Information, or other equivalent professional qualification
• Extensive experience of working with vulnerable people in a supportive capacity
• Empathy, sensitivity and a non judgemental approach
• Excellent and clear verbal communication with the ability to communicate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds
• Evidence of maintaining skills and knowledge base post qualification
• Customer service experience, both internal and external customers
• Office administration and ability to multi-task on own initiative
• Clear understanding of confidentiality and professional boundaries required when working with vulnerable people
• Operated in a busy, customer-focussed environment with excellent, clear communication.
• Taking detailed, accurate information regarding sensitive topics and relaying clear information in a timely manner.
• Responding to queries in a timely and accurate fashion.
• Creation and delivery of regular, accurate, written, statistical reports.
• Computer literacy, particularly MS Word, Excel and working with data-bases
• Experience and sensitivity to working with people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
• Some previous experience of working with and supporting volunteers, delegating tasks etc.
• Excellent computer literacy and knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel packages.
• Organisational and workload management skills.
• Ability to communicate effectively in a clear, calm, positive and sensitive manner with a wide range of people.
Essential personal qualities:
• A flexible and positive approach to work and challenges
• Ability to work with minimal supervision but as part of a team
• Capacity to work on own initiative
• Ability to prioritise own workload
• Ability to deliver work to specified deadlines
• Personal resilience to withstand peaks in workload and working with vulnerable people and sensitive data collected.
• Understanding of or willingness to learn about the needs of a wide range of socially excluded people and the benefits system
• Understanding of and adherence to the principles of confidentiality at all times
• Conscientious and able to prioritise and manage time extremely well
• Able to undergo DBS & health checks as necessary.
• Able to work from home as required
• Able to travel in and around Lewes District area easily and economically