Chelmsford, Essex
Pro rata, 21 hours pw (flexible). FTE £23,836 - £25,295 per year (depending on experience).
Permanent, Part-time
Job description

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced practitioner to join our valued team, to provide quality information, advice and practical/emotional support to families/young people including disability related benefits, education and reforms, health and social care.

The ideal candidate will be committed to helping families at the most challenging of times, supporting families with warmth and empathy, whilst maintaining a calm and professional approach.  They should have previous family support experience in either a health, education, social care or third sector setting, together with a good understanding of the statutory entitlements for health related benefits and educational support.

This position requires travel around the Chelmsford area with some travel to other parts of the county. Own transport is essential.  Head office is based in Chelmsford.

Main Purpose of the Job:
To use well developed experience, expertise, together with knowledge of reforms and legislation (e.g. Welfare, Special Educational Needs and Disability reforms and Children and Families Act 2014), to help any Essex family who has a child/young person with any disability or special need, requiring quality advice, information, practical and emotional support across a wide range of issues to achieve positive outcomes that will benefit the whole family.

The post-holder will be responsible for own case work (targets) and will need to work collaboratively with other key professionals (across health, education, social care and housing) to enhance multi-agency, integrated working practices and demonstrating families’ confidence and ability to effectively take part in person-centred assessment and planning processes.

Specific Job responsibilities:
To provide consistent and current information, sound advice, practical and emotional support to families (parent carers) with children/young people (CYP) with SEND and young people (YP) directly (as appropriate) across a wide range of issues including:

-  Disability related benefits for the CYP & family support e.g. Disability Living Allowance (CYP) including preparing for and attending appeals and tribunals; Personal Independence Payment (YP 16+); Family Fund, Carers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and other financial support including tax credits and debt advice.   Housing and social care issues. 

-  All SEND educational issues including information, advice and support with Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment and EHC plan, including preparing for and attending appeals and tribunals, One Planning, SEN support, together with information on options for Personal Budgets and the ‘Local Offer’. 

This support could be provided via: 
- 1:1 face to face, telephone helpline, outreach through home visits to families assessed as needing additional support, accompanying to multi-agency/planning meetings and group advice surgeries.

- Contributions to local events/briefings, group information sessions, parent/carer drop-ins, information stand at Activities Club.

- On-line services via e-mail, e-bulletins, social media (e.g. Face book/Face Time/Skype), report and letter writing and signposting to other websites/sources of information. 

To empower and support parent carers and young people, quickly building a supportive and trusted relationship with the family, helping to identify the strengths and needs of individual family members ensuring they understand and are confident about options for their child/young person’s educational attainment, social learning, development, achievement levels, contributing to aspirational as well as realistic short/medium/long-term outcomes crossing different aspects of their life, including building their resilience.

To identify and engage with relevant agencies (statutory, voluntary organisations and other groups) as appropriate to assist families in accessing appropriate services and to support cross-referrals/signposting. 

To facilitate mutual support amongst families and individuals attending drop-ins and other facilities, and to enable them to make best use of the services available. 

To organise, attend and facilitate specific group activities and events (e.g. drop-ins, workshops/talks for parents/carers and professionals, activity club, outings) including undertaking risk assessments, health and safety, record keeping systems, ensuring compliance with relevant legislation at all times. 

To work collaboratively with other key professionals (health, education, social care and housing) to enhance multi-agency and integrated working practices, contributing to plans to achieve better and co-ordinated outcomes for families.

To carry out the necessary administration and diligently keep appropriate user records, presenting issues (case management system), and statistics up to date, providing data/case studies in a timely manner for monitoring reports. 

To keep up to date with new policies, reforms and commitment to continuous personal and organisational development.

To undertake relevant training in Safeguarding, SEND reform and EHC planning. 

To assist with the training and support of volunteers engaged in a variety of tasks and to ensure that confidentiality is observed at all times by volunteers who assist with activities. 

To raise the profile of the organisation through building trusting relationships with families and professionals and networking.  

To work flexibly as required by the nature of the post which will entail working in the school holidays and attendance at some evening and weekend activities. 

To carry out other duties that may be allocated from time to time and to contribute to the smooth running of the office and ‘team working’. 

To take part in social, cultural and fundraising activities of the organization.
Underpinning job responsibilities
• At all times to promote safeguarding of CYP and vulnerable adults
• To contribute to good practice and development of projects/services including evaluations as required, feeding up strategic issues or trends as these are identified
• To be an effective member of the team, attending regular team meetings and supervisions
• To maintain confidentiality of information at all times
• To adhere to policies and procedures of Families InFocus (Essex)

Applications must be received no later than 3pm on Tuesday 31 March 2020, applications received after this will not be considered.

Interviews will take place on 6 April 2020 and 7 April 2020.

More about Families InFocus (Essex)
Families InFocus (Essex)

Parent led independent and active Essex charity, founded in 1996, following extensive research into the needs of families of children/young peo... Read more

Refreshed on: 24 April 2020
Closed date: 08 June 2020
Tags: Advice, Information, Advocacy

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.