Closing in 2 days
Tooting, Greater London (Hybrid)
£18,000 per year
Permanent, Part-time, 3 days per week
Job description

Key info:

  • Annual salary: £18000 (0.6 full time equivalent) 
  • Hours: 3 days a week, fixed days are: Tuesday,1-9pm on Wednesdays, Thursday 
  • Contract type: part time, permanent 
  • Location: Must be able to work in-person in Tooting at our Youth space on Wednesdays, other two days can be in office or remote 
  • Benefits: 16.8 days’ annual leave (28 days full-time equivalent), 7% employer pension contributions, flexible working, enhanced parental leave and sick pay, a cycle scheme, tech scheme, interest-free loans, study leave and volunteering leave. All frontline staff are offered clinical supervision and access to an Employee Assistance Programme. 
  • Start date: 5th September (pending an Enhanced DBS Check) 
  • Reports to: Head of Casework 

About the organisation: 

CARAS is a registered charity offering holistic support to refugees and people seeking asylum. The local refugee community is made up of new arrivals and longer-term residents, all experiencing varying levels of disadvantage as a result of forced migration, UK’s the hostile environment as well as systemic challenges built into London life. CARAS therefore has the following values: 

Kindness. CARAS will nurture all who are part of our community, helping everyone to develop their skills, talents and interests. 

Justice. CARAS will strive for social justice following a rights-based approach in all of our work and challenging instances when rights are not upheld in wider society. 

Empowerment. CARAS works alongside people, recognising and respecting their skills and strengths and striving together for better outcomes. 

‘With’ not ‘for’. CARAS will put the voices, opinions, experiences and needs of its community members at the heart of all that we do. 

CARAS is a thriving organisation with a highly motivated, friendly and experienced staff team, bolstered by the generous support of equally skilled volunteers and trustees who come from many walks of life. The new youth caseworker  will input into work across the organisation, welcome volunteers and be welcomed and supported by us all. 

We recognise that working in front-line roles in this sector brings people into contact with trauma. Employees need great resilience which CARAS makes every effort to support. You will be joining an experienced team, with a Head of Service who will help you prioritise your work, develop your skills, and support you and your wellbeing. 

About Casework at CARAS 

 

CARAS’ casework service offers one-to-one support to people who are in the UK seeking asylum and newly recognised refugees. In the past year we have worked with 175 young people aged 14 – 21 years old.  We are a small team, made up of two part-time youth caseworkers, of which you will be one, a full-time adult caseworker and a team of volunteers, all supported by the Head of Service. The youth caseworkers work within our wider CARAS youth team which offers holistic support including youth club, study group, English classes, workshops and sports groups.   

We recognise that young people seeking asylum and newly recognised refugees can experience issues and difficulties which impact on their wellbeing and for which they need support to resolve.  The majority of the young people we work with are in care/care leavers and are therefore navigating both the social care and immigration system. The major issues our casework team has supported young people with during the past year are access to education, access to mental health support, delays in the asylum process and unhappiness with their accommodation and social care support. In many cases, to prevent a crisis from arising, individual support and advocacy is necessary, which is where our casework service comes in.  

We work in a preventative and de-escalatory way to support children and young people to address and resolve issues. CARAS has good relationships with local authorities, colleges, foster carers and other youth organisations and most of our referrals come from these. Young people can also self-refer. We complete a needs assessment with every young person who joins CARAS and they are able to access casework whenever they need from this point. Our casework team are embedded in CARAS Wednesday youth session so are easily accessible to young people. We also offer flexible appointments with volunteers at the weekly Wednesday casework session and also work with people via phone and videocall when in-person appointments are not possible.  

From October 2022 we will restart our monthly immigration advice sessions in collaboration with solicitors from CORAM Migrant Children’s Project. 

We use an interpreting service to ensure young people are able to fully express themselves and are not limited to the English words they know. We have found this to be essential for ensuring young people feel heard, are empowered and for ensuring issues are fully understood and resolved. 

Our casework service reflects an empowerment model, recognising that young people are the experts of their own lives with strengths and experiences to draw upon.  We work alongside them to help them understand their options and remove the barriers that make things more challenging.  All of our casework therefore builds in opportunities for beneficiaries to make informed decisions, set their own goals, and ultimately thrive on their own. 

The service provides support and guidance in whatever issues are faced.  We are generalist rather than specialist and focus our work on connecting people to available knowledge, support systems and expert advice where necessary. Our team is familiar and confident working on a wide range of issues and are OISC registered at Level 1 for Asylum and Protection. We work closely with statutory services and those within a young persons support network, as well as both local and national specialist organisations. 

We have well developed case recording and monitoring systems and use these to draw out themes in the issues young people are facing. This learning is then be used to inform other CARAS activities, such as lesson content for English classes, and workshops for young people, as well as feeding into campaign and policy work led by partner organisations. We are well placed to do this through our membership of the Refugee and Migrant Children’s Consortium. 

 

The successful candidate will be joining a small but hard-hitting team working closely and collaboratively with the other part-time youth caseworker. In recent months, our caseworkers have supported young people to find and access education places, challenge local authority decisions on their care and find solicitors to apply for family reunion for younger siblings who are alone in 3rd countries. We are exceptionally proud of this work and want to find a candidate who will carry on this strong tradition of working with young people to achieve the best possible outcomes for them.  

 

   Main activities: 

Manage a caseload, from referral to case closure.  

  • Attend referrals meetings to discuss and allocate casework referrals 

  • Triage requests for casework support 

  • Provide direct casework support to young people, sharing duties and delegating to volunteers where appropriate 

  • Where appropriate, liaise with foster carers, key workers, social workers and others in the professional network 

  • Occasionally accompany young people to meetings (virtual and in-person) 

  • Participate in ad-hoc youth activities to build trust and relationships with young people 

Coordinate weekly casework sessions, including: building and supporting a team of volunteers, developing relevant resources and guidance, and coordinating a monthly specialist advice session 

  • Support the recruitment, training and development of a team of volunteer caseworkers 

  • Coordinate the weekly casework session on Wednesdays, including making appointments and supporting a team of approximately 5 volunteers 

  • Work with Head of Service to build resources and guidance documents for the casework volunteers and wider CARAS team 

  • Coordinate the monthly CORAM solicitor session 

  • Maintain and develop your professional knowledge, and share this with your team  

  • Research and remain up-to-date with specialist advocacy/advice services/activities/opportunities available  

  • Build partnerships with other organisations in the sector and share information about them with CARAS team and community members

Support the casework team to maintain a high quality service 

  • Contribute to gathering feedback on the casework service and CARAS 

  • Contribute to developing the casework service at CARAS and its strategic direction 

  • Contribute casework insight to the youth and learning team to support with curriculum development and workshop planning         

Working across the CARAS youth team 

  • Ensure that all safeguarding concerns are reported to the safeguarding lead  

  • Participate in operational, strategic and trustee meetings as required   

  • Contribute to the strategic development of CARAS 

  • Complete holistic assessments with newly registering community members 

Person specification: 

We are looking for a highly motivated individual who has a commitment to supporting empowerment through casework.  We expect applicants to meet most of the criteria below, but not everything. We value experience from volunteering, unpaid work and lived experience as well as from employment history. 

The successful candidate will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including cultural sensitivity and the ability to quickly build positive relationships with young people and other professionals. 

Essential 

  • A high level of written and spoken English and experience of writing high quality casenotes 
  • Experience of one-to-one advice and advocacy work with UASC 

  • Experience of working with interpreters 

  • A good understanding of the social care system for children looked after and care leavers 

  • A good understanding of the asylum system for UASC 

  • Experience of recruiting, training and supervising volunteers  

  • Experience of working in, or in partnership with, the third sector  

  • Ability to problem-solve and research information  

  • Thorough, with an exceptional attention to detail 

  • Tenacity, and a strong sense of social justice 

  • Calm and competent, especially at times of urgency 

Desirable 

  • Social work registration 

  • OISC L1 – Asylum and Protection 

  • Experience of managing and developing projects 

  • Experience of developing and delivering training  

  • Familiarity with Lamplight 

  • Knowledge of Tigrinya, Arabic, Somali, Pashtu, Farsi, Urdu or another relevant language 

 

To apply: 

To apply, please submit your completed Application Form and Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form by the end of Sunday 14th August. It must be sent as a Word document only. Note that we do not accept CV and covering letters. You must include everything on the application form. 

Interviews will take place on the week beginning 22nd August. 

 

Application resources
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Posted on: 01 August 2022
Closing date: 14 August 2022 at 23:59
Tags: Advice, Information, Advocacy

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