Head of Advocacy & Support

London, UK
Closing date
28 Sep 2020

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Contract Type
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What We're Looking For.....

The post requires the skills to lead, co-ordinate and develop Body & Soul's Support & Advocacy Service. This is a demanding role that is on the frontline of providing a responsive service often to families in distress. Candidates will be able to demonstrate an ability to work under pressure and support a diverse community with a range of often complex needs. Experience of working with mental health is desirable as well skills/qualifications relating to providing a therapeutic model of support.

Background to the Role

Body & Soul has worked for over 23 years transforming the impact of Trauma and Childhood Adversity through its unique frontline services. Our model is based on connection and community at the centre of everything we do, providing an opportunity to work creatively, therapeutically and practically to not just help, but to transform lives.

We often meet our members as they are going through a very difficult period in their life. Many live on the margins of society, excluded by the system and without hope of the care and support that can create a very different trajectory for their future. Covid-19 has further highlighted the inequalities that our members face, with many at risk of poor mental health, destitution, discrimination, domestic abuse and homelessness.

Practical, timely casework support provides a sense of safety during periods of crisis and allows a foundation from which members can begin to address the underlying needs.

Body & Soul has been a lifeline for many individuals and families over recent months. Our support, casework and advocacy services show our capacity for innovation, even in the most challenging circumstances. A dedicated team of staff and volunteers have provided outreach, hardship support and ongoing human connection to the most isolated and vulnerable members of our community. The impact has been felt and appreciated by thousands.

All of this happens through the dedication and passion of our team, but key to this is the leadership of our Head of Support and Advocacy. We invite you to step forward if you are excited and inspired by this challenge.

Aim of the post:

Working in collaboration with the Head of Legal and Casework you will manage the delivery of an integrated member support, casework and advocacy services to children, young people and families who access Body & Soul's services.

The Head of Support & Advocacy focuses on developing the casework programme to ensure we are meeting the diverse needs of all members with a focus on those facing destitution or those with complex mental or physical health needs. This involves developing a team of staff and volunteers to provide member support and advocacy on issues surrounding financial hardship, while advocating in healthcare and statutory services.

The Head of Member Support and Advocacy is responsible for leading and overseeing the Care Couriers programme, with 60 volunteers set up to financially and practically support our most vulnerable members during Covid-19.

This role works closely with Head of Member Pathways to ensure every individual experiences a tailored and integrated experience and the Head of Legal and Casework, who oversees specialised legal clinics on housing, immigration and employment issues.

A Typical Week in this Role Could Include.......
  • Develop and run the member support and casework service - this involves creating useful tools and training for all staff and the team.
  • Oversee referrals into member support and casework service
  • Manage, train and supervise a team of volunteers to deliver member support, casework and advocacy service
  • Conduct initial assessments and casework assessments to understand member needs and develop action plans in accordance with these needs.
  • Supervise and follow up on volunteers casework across housing, financial support, welfare and benefits, health and statutory services.
  • Hold a caseload of up to high needs members in need of member support, casework and advocacy.
  • Hold a caseload of high needs members under our Beyond Boundaries support call service, Manage and oversee team of volunteers under Beyond Boundaries service.
  • Working with Head of Member Pathways and Head of Casework and Legal to identify gaps in communities and develop services or partnerships in accordance with these needs.
  • Writing reports and conducting data analysis for M&E.

Responsibilities of the post include:
  • Supervising the team's workload by prioritising, allocating and preparing cases and managing personally leading work on complex cases.
  • Co-ordinating the weekly implementation of the drop-in service, the self-help centre and the legal clinics.
  • Assessment of individual and family needs.
  • Recording and communicating these assessed needs to the wider team and liaising, signposting and referring to relevant statutory and non-statutory agencies.
  • Working with families where there are complex and multiple issues including histories of abuse, torture, trafficking, poor physical health (often related to HIV), and the difficulties associated with mental health, isolation and destitution.

Qualifications, Capabilities & Experience
  • Proven management of managing a complex caseload.
  • Good working knowledge of legal and welfare rights and entitlements including immigration, housing, homelessness, welfare benefits, and health.
  • Knowledge of services, both statutory and voluntary, which provide support to the beneficiary group.
  • Excellent communication skills, including report writing and verbal presentations/training.
  • Ability to communicate with a beneficiary group from a wide variety of nationalities, cultures and backgrounds.
  • Ability to manage own time and workload, and flexibly respond to and prioritise a range of competing demands.
  • Educated to Degree / Postgraduate level. A qualification in Social Work or similar is desirable but not essential.
  • Regulated OISC immigration adviser desirable but not essential

Based at our inspirational and innovative centre in Central London, this post presents an outstanding opportunity for a dedicated, experienced and passionate individual to lead this area of work.

Application is by CV and cover letter to Jed Marsh, Assistant Director. Shortlisted applicants must be available for interview w/c 19th October 2020

Body & Soul is an equal opportunities employer.

Registered Charity no. 1060062 Company limited by guarantee 324554.
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