Specialist Welfare Rights Adviser

Organisation: Toynbee Hall
35 hours per week
£28,000 - £29,400 per annum
Location: East London
Deadline: 22 November, 2017

Toynbee Hall

Toynbee Hall is a charity where people come for excellent local services and where they can share ideas and experience, gather information and knowledge that we use together to take action to change lives and eradicate poverty. Our programmes include free advice services, financial inclusion services, wellbeing services, including work with older people and community learning services supporting young people and new migrants. Toynbee Hall is also the lead partner of Capitalise, a London-wide partnership of organisations funded by the Money Advice Service to provide free debt advice to Londoners who are experiencing or at risk of financial exclusion and debt.

Job Description and purpose of the job

The post holder will provide information, advice and guidance to clients through Toynbee Hall’s advice services; in particular our Macmillan funded Welfare Benefits Project, providing a welfare rights advice service to people affected by cancer with the aim of maximising their income. The postholder will undertake casework, assisting clients to access their entitlements to welfare benefits and other sources of financial help. Advice will be delivered through a range of channels, including face to face, telephone, email, and other means.

The post-holder will also attend events to promote the service and to raise the profile of the service in order to ensure people know about our services and can access them.

The post holder will be employed by Toynbee Hall, but will be required to hold a honorary contract with the relevant NHS Trust/s.

Main duties and responsibilities

  1. to provide advice and information to the general public concerning their rights and/or liabilities
  2. provide a full welfare benefits casework service for people affected by cancer, including disability benefits and other sources of financial support, such as grants and help with health and travel costs.
  3. assist clients to prepare for benefit appeals, research and draft written legal submissions and provide representation at tribunals as required.
  4. provide advice sessions through outreach, including at hospitals - currently St Bartholomews, Homerton, Royal London, Newham and Whipps Cross; and at Toynbee Hall through telephone, email, and any other channel.
  5. liaise and negotiate with other statutory and voluntary organisations to progress the client’s case and ensure they receive all assistance available.
  6. meet targets as set with line manager, which will change regularly depending on the needs of the services.
  7. form effective working relationships with outreach agencies and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that a good service is being provided.
  8. provide day to day support for volunteers, as required.
  9. deliver welfare benefits training to health and social care professionals working with the client group.
  10. refer clients on to colleagues or other agencies as appropriate for specialist help with major issues that fall outside the remit of the service, including housing, debt and employment.
  11. support Macmillan Toynbee Hall Welfare Rights Advice Service’s social policy work by providing case studies and feedback on issues of concern to people affected by cancer; including attending internal and appropriate external meetings, and to identify and act upon social policy issues.
  12. support the promotion and marketing of the advice services and Toynbee Hall generally.
  13. work at all times within Toynbee Hall policies and procedures, including ensuring that all work conforms to the relevant Quality Mark Standard and other organisational standards.
  14. work as a member of a team, give and receive support, to work considerately and co-operatively and attend team/management meetings as required.
  15. support the work of the Macmillan Toynbee Hall Telephone Welfare Rights Adviser and Service Administrator, including covering the helpline and processing referrals when required.
  16. participate in the supervision of volunteer advisers and provide practical guidance to other workers

Professional development

  1. maintain an up to date knowledge of the benefits system, legislation and regulations relevant to the post.
  2. to undertake training and personal development in order to develop skills and increase knowledge and understanding of the impact of cancer and its treatments on people affected by cancer and their ability to access financial help.
  3. attend relevant internal and external meetings as agreed with the line manager, including attendance at project steering group meetings as required and undertake regular service review with relevant representatives from Macmillan and Toynbee Hall, if and when required.
  4. participate in supervision and file/peer review of colleagues.
  5. ensure consistent quality assured advice by monitoring and checking case work.

Administration

  1. maintain thorough and detailed case records for the purpose of continuity of casework, information retrieval, statistical monitoring and report preparation
  2. use all relevant case management systems, such as Advice Pro and Key 2, as well as Microsoft Office applications, for statistical recording, record keeping and document production. Ensure all work conforms to Toynbee Hall’s systems and procedures.
  3. maintain filing systems in accordance with the project's systems and procedures.
  4. along with the rest of the team ensure stocks of leaflets, posters and stationary, are ordered from suppliers and distributed to outreach locations.
  5. gather statistics and feedback in order to monitor and evaluate the service, providing reports as required to the steering group, funders and partners.
  6. assist with reviewing and delivering appropriate outreach services and participate in setting up new outreach services as required.

Managing Yourself

  1. work to an agreed work-plan meeting targets and milestones.
  2. prioritise and manage your own workload.
  3. take responsibility for your personal development and seek out opportunities for support and development.
  4. prepare for and attend supervision sessions/team meetings/staff meetings as appropriate.

General

  1. to undertake other relevant work as required.
  2. work flexibly across all our advice services, when necessary. Providing generalist advice in a range of areas including housing, welfare benefits, debt and money management, appropriate to the level of experience and expertise of the adviser in the relevant subject area.
  3. cpmply with Toynbee Hall Equal Opportunities policy and work in an anti-discriminatory/non-judgemental manner.

Person Specification

Experience and knowledge

  1. recent Welfare Benefits advice work experience, particularly in the areas of health and disability, with at least one year’s specialist welfare benefits casework experience gained within the last 2 years.
  2. demonstrable in-depth knowledge of welfare benefits including those related to disability and sickness.
  3. experience of preparing for tribunals and representing clients within the last two years.
  4. experience of welfare rights casework and managing own case load.
  5. experience of working in a hospital or healthcare setting.
  6. experience of working with people who have a long term health condition.
  7. experience of providing generalist advice and information to clients across a number of areas of law including housing, welfare benefits, employment, health, debt and money management and family matters. If gaps exist the knowledge and ability to access this information.
  8. recent experiences of working in a performance driven environment and evidence of meeting targets set.

Skills/Abilities

  1. ability to write detailed accurate case records and draft, letters reports and statements in plain English.
  2. an ordered and disciplined approach to managing a challenging caseload, meet targets; plan and prioritise work in the face of competing demands on your time.
  3. strong interpersonal skills and an experience of working with clients suffering with health problems in a professional but empathetic manner, and the ability to respond sensitively to clients.
  4. an understanding of the issues facing people affected by long-term illness and disability, including cancer.
  5. ability to research, understand and explain complex information both orally and in writing.
  6. good knowledge of IT including familiarity with Microsoft Office applications, e.g. Word, Outlook or equivalents, and case management systems.
  7. commitment and ability to taking part in social policy, research or evaluation activities as required, e.g. by responding to surveys.
  8. commitment to working flexibly across all Toynbee Hall’s services, including evenings and weekends if required.
  9. ability to work without close supervision, to prioritise own work and meet deadlines.
  10. understanding of and commitment to the organisation’s equal opportunities policies.
  11. knowledge of or willingness to gain an understanding of Macmillan Cancer Support’s services and policies relevant to people affected by cancer.
  12. an ability and willingness to work as part of a team.
  13. an ordered approach to casework and an ability and willingness to follow set procedures concerning casework and file management etc.
  14. ability and willingness to support volunteer advisers.
  15. numeracy to the levels required in the tasks.

Desirable

  1. an ability to speak a Syhleti or any other community language.

To apply for this role

To apply for this role please visit: http://www.toynbeehall.org.uk/opportunities/444/specialist-welfare-rights-adviser

Learning and Development

Toynbee Hall provides all necessary induction and project training where necessary, and encourages and, where possible, supports the upgrading of appropriate skills and qualifications as well as other learning and development opportunities. All employees will receive regular support and supervision to facilitate their learning and development.

Volunteers

Volunteers are at the heart of Toynbee Hall’s work .The organisation is committed to involving volunteers in its continuous development and to offering volunteers the best of experiences. All Toynbee Hall staff members will be expected to support the volunteering ethos and to work alongside the volunteer team to promote and facilitate the involvement of volunteers wherever appropriate.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Toynbee Hall takes an outcomes and theory-based approach to its self-evaluation and monitoring. This means that the organisation is committed to gathering evidence of its effectiveness, and to using this information to learn, improve and communicate. All Toynbee Hall staff members will be expected to support this approach and to take part where appropriate in monitoring and evaluation planning and practice.

Location and Working Hours

This post is based at outreach locations across London and at Toynbee Hall with some home based working. Working hours will be 35 hours per week plus one hour for lunch each day.

 

Contact

Address: Toynbee Hall
The Community Centre
52 Old Castle Street
London
E1 7AJ

E-mail: recruitment@toynbeehall.org.uk

Tel: 0207 392 2934