London, Greater London
£27,000 - £30,000 per year, pro rata (depending on experience)
Contract, Part-time
Job description

JOB TITLE: Senior Education and Wellbeing Support Worker
REPORTS TO: Head of Specialist Education and Wellbeing Support
STAFF RESPONSIBILITY: None (may occasionally have opportunities to manage volunteers or interns)
HOURS: 3 days per week        
SALARY: £27,000 - £30,000 pro rata (salary will depend on candidate’s experience)

CONTRACT: Fixed term until August 2021 (with a 3 month probation period)


Application Process

You must have a visa that allows you to work in the UK to apply for this job.

To apply, please submit your CV and cover letter through CharityJob by 09:00am on Friday 28 February 2020. 

In the covering letter (maximum 2 pages of A4) please demonstrate how you meet the competencies of this post as articulated above, with reference to the listed behaviours, and explain why you would like to work within the specialist educational and wellbeing support programme.


About the Senior Education and Wellbeing Support Worker role 

The mission of the Senior Education and Wellbeing Support Worker is to provide bespoke support, advice and guidance to young refugees and asylum seekers who are NEET or facing significant barriers to educational progression, enabling them to remain in or (re-)enter education, grow in basic skills, reduce isolation and improve their emotional wellbeing and resilience. Support is intensive, provided over fortnightly 1:1 sessions with each young person, and for a period of at least 6 months or more. Young people who experience mental ill health, many of whom will have survived trauma(s), are prioritised, and it is vital that the support worker is able to build trust and rapport over a longer-period through which to effect sustainable pathways (back) into education 

Working as part of our specialist education and wellbeing support team (alongside the programme manager and an education and wellbeing support worker whose work focuses on young people in our mentoring programme), the Senior Education and Wellbeing Support Worker will receive referrals of young asylum seekers and refugees who are facing acute challenges or entrenched obstacles to educational progression. The majority of referrals will have limited existing support structures in place and may be highly isolated. 

Following a referral, they will meet the young person to assess their support needs and develop and outwork a bespoke support plan. It is envisaged that this will be outworked over a period of a minimum of 6 months (with some support work exceeding  1 year), with intensive support provided on a fortnightly basis. A rolling caseload of between 10-12 young people at any one time is anticipated. This includes:

  • Effective and timely education pathway planning with young people, taking into consideration their age, residency status and support structures and how these will impact on their educational access and progression. Support can include helping young people identify courses and course progression, enrol at college and/or apply for bursary or travel-funding support;

  • Basic skills development, with a view to promoting skills that will enhance a young person’s education or training pathway or will promote their understanding of and confidence in advocating for their rights and entitlements. Support can include briefings on key rights and entitlements, helping young people to complete application forms, to write a CV or cover letter, or to  navigate systems (health, welfare, immigration, housing) in the UK;

  • Promoting young people’s emotional wellbeing and resilience, and supporting them to better manage their mental health. Support can include  providing advice about building and maintaining resilience, stress management techniques, sleep hygiene practices, developing healthy diet and exercise routines or referring to specialist mental health services. The support worker will also create a safe space for young people to discuss and share feelings about their current challenges and support needs;

  • Ensuring that young people are linked in to longer term support services or social groups to increase their sense of belonging in their new communities.

We are looking for someone who will be skilled at building relationships with young people, particularly those who are at the margins of society and who are risk of withdrawing from education or failing to access education. We are looking for someone who is patient and who thrives on interactions with young people who need time, space to process and explore feelings and concerns, and the capacity to slowly build trust in their support worker.

The post holder will also be able to work effectively with other professionals, including teachers, social workers, personal advisors, key workers, GPs, mental health specialists, welfare or housing advisors and solicitors. They will enjoy working as part of a small and dynamic team but will need to be a confident independent decision maker, able to use their initiative, confident to escalate more complex issues appropriately, and able remain calm in unexpected situations. 

The post holder will need to be an excellent administrator who is able to maintain weekly accurate and up-to-date records and deal with any concerns in a constructive manner. This role will be based at RSN’s head office in Brent but will require frequent travel across London, including to our young people based in Barking, Croydon, Hayes, Hounslow, Barnet, Enfield and locations in-between. There may be some work required in early evenings.


Job outcomes

The Senior Education and Wellbeing Support Worker will deliver the following outcomes.

Outcome 1: at least 20 young people each year will access regular and intensive support from the Senior Education and Wellbeing Support Worker.

To this end, the post-holder will:

  • Process and prioritise all referrals in conjunction with their manager.

  • Meet young people for an initial assessment to identify their needs and create a bespoke support plan.

  • Facilitate fortnightly follow-up meetings to support young people to outwork their support plans.

  • Maintain a balanced caseload throughout the year, taking a proactive approach to meeting the project’s targets.

Outcome 2: the young people in this new project receive the specialist support they need to move forward in their education, increase their basic skills, manage their mental health and  experience reduced loneliness and isolation through access to relevant forms of support.

Of those supported through this project, we anticipate that 85% will (re-)enter or move forward in education, 90% will increase their basic skills and 75% will be able to better manage their mental health issues, and 90% will experience reduced isolation and loneliness through successful signposting to other relevant services..

To this end, the post-holder will:

  • Develop clear bespoke support plans with young people.

  • Meet with young people on a fortnightly basis to outwork all elements of their support plans.

  • Create a space in which to build and foster the young person’s trust and to work towards promoting their self-esteem and belief in themselves. 

  • Build and maintain relationships with the other professionals and agencies who are working with the young person to ensure joined-up support.

  • Provide clear, correct and up-to-date information and advice to young people about education opportunities, wider support services, relevant resources and emotional wellbeing.

  • Support young people to understand and use simple techniques for promoting their mental health. This could include resilience-building activities, stress management techniques, sleep hygiene advice and tips for maintaining a healthy routine. The support worker will also provide a safe space for young people to bring and discuss their challenges, express themselves and be heard.  

  • Ensure that young people who are not in receipt of professional mental health support but who would benefit from and would like to access this, are referred to appropriate and relevant mental health services. In so doing, the post-holder will maintain strong links with specialist mental health services in the sector, enabling referral pathways between organisations. 

  • Develop and maintain relationships with other organisations and make appropriate referrals, for example to counselling services, social services, benefits agencies, medical services, schools and colleges.

  • Accompany young people to external appointments when they need additional support. 

  • Carry out necessary actions and follow-up work after individual support sessions, including advocacy work on young people’s behalf.

  • Liaise with college tutors and other education providers to keep up-to-date on the educational opportunities available for young refugees and asylum seekers.

  • Escalate all safeguarding concerns to the head of specialist education and wellbeing support, developing individual risk assessments for relevant clients in conjunction with the programme lead and outworking safeguarding action plan. 

Outcome 3: the specialist education and wellbeing support programme provides a high quality joined-up service to some of RSN’s most vulnerable young people.

Our current strategy seeks to integrate our specialist education and wellbeing support programme more closely with our mentoring programme. This role is one of two London-based roles and the post holder will join the programme at an exciting time of growth and development. The team members will work together to deliver a high quality service to some of RSN’s most vulnerable young people, addressing safeguarding concerns and taking a proactive approach to improving our support to them.  

To this end, the post-holder will:

  • Escalate any safeguarding concerns and follow RSN’s safeguarding policy.

  • Work closely with their team to streamline the services provided and support their colleagues with particular cases. 

  • Share their ideas for programme developments and participate with enthusiasm in the programme’s various components, such as providing email advice or supporting with training and workshops.

  • Provide up-to-date statistics and project updates to the programme manager for reporting and monitoring purposes. 

  • Carry out any other reasonable activity required by their manager.

Required competencies

In order to achieve this role’s mission and deliver the above outcomes, candidates must demonstrate the following competencies as evidenced by the listed behaviours:

Competency 1: work with young people

  • Can display a track record of working with vulnerable young people from a variety of backgrounds, evidencing ability to sensitively explore and understand a young person’s needs, provide appropriate support and help them build resilience.

  • Can display a track record of activities and workshops that aim at building resilience and promoting emotional wellbeing amongst young refugees and asylum seekers. 

  • Deals promptly and calmly with safeguarding concerns as they arise and follows safeguarding processes accurately.

  • Respects and is inspired by the uniqueness of individual young people and shows commitment to their perspectives being heard and their potential being realised.

Competency 2: work with stakeholders and external agencies

  • Communicates professionally, promptly and warmly with the project’s stakeholders and partner organisations and services, including schools, colleges, social services, health services, welfare support organisations and legal representatives. 

  • Can display a track record of working collaboratively and positively with external stakeholders, partner organisation and services, recognising the specific responsibilities and areas of specialism each one holds in coordinated support to young people.

  • Asks appropriate questions to elicit information which facilitates informed decision-making and explains information succinctly and compellingly.

  • Is able to engage others when speaking about this project- communicates accurately, clearly, demonstrating technical expertise and passion for the issues.

Competency 3: written and verbal communication skills

  • Can display excellent verbal communication skills with a range of audiences - from those with very little English to senior staff within referring and peer organisations.

  • Writes clearly, accurately, succinctly and appropriately for a range of audiences, including by email. . 

Competency 4: knowledge 

  • Demonstrates a strong understanding of the rights and entitlements of refugee and asylum seeking young people in terms of accessing secondary school and further education. 

  • Demonstrates a strong understanding of the principles of resilience and building and maintaining emotional wellbeing amongst young people and adults. 

  • Demonstrates an awareness of key practitioners within the refugee, education, psychosocial support and youth sectors that could complement our specialist educational and wellbeing support. 

  • Demonstrates a strong understanding of the refugee/education/psychosocial support/youth sectors in which RSN operates, and proactively seeks to develop and maintain technical knowledge in these areas.

Competency 5: personal working style

  • Prioritises actions appropriately when juggling competing deadlines.

  • Maintains stable performance when under heavy pressure or stress, demonstrating strong willingness and internal motivation to work hard and get the job done. 

  • Takes the initiative to reflect critically on their own performance and develop improvement strategies, and is keen to learn and receive feedback. 

  • Does not cut corners ethically. Earns trust and maintains confidences. Does what is right, not just what is politically expedient. 

Competency 6: administration

  • Keeps accurate and up-to-date records and fortnightly notes from all support work sessions, adhering to data protection commitments. 

  • Confident assessing safeguarding risks and escalating these to the head of specialist education and wellbeing support. Keeps up to date records of ongoing safeguarding concerns. 

  • Works efficiently to develop and implement simple and transparent systems for monitoring and evaluating project developments in ways that are clear and manageable for all team members.

  • Is confident and flexible  in their use of technology, including casework databases and project management tools, email and google drive.

Competency 7: team working

  • Contributes to a positive working environment by taking time to build relationships with everyone they engage with through this role, being helpful, kind and sensitive to their needs. 

  • Speaks plainly and truthfully and shows respect to everyone.

  • Is adaptable and patient, especially in the context of a new and growing team.

  • Demonstrates appetite to support or oversee the implementation of work by volunteers or interns. 

  • Willing to support wider specialist education and wellbeing team in times of staff absence, including cover for education and wellbeing support worker (mentoring integrated role). 

Competency 8: self care

  • Has developed and practices effective self-care to avoid burn out, including the ability to maintain appropriate boundaries in order to keep workload at a sustainable level. 

  • Models self-care within the team and can confidently develop strategies to support accountability amongst peers. 

Competency 9: ethos

  • Is passionate about RSN’s vision enabling young refugees to build more hopeful futures through education. Is inspired by the possibility of positive change and committed to nurturing hope within their sphere of influence.

  • Motivated by personal core beliefs (whether Christian or not) and values being part of an organisation which is founded on, and seeking to outwork, the Christian faith.


Equal opportunities 

RSN is committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment. Any job applicants will, except in circumstances justifying different treatment that are not unlawful (for example to comply with an occupational requirement), receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (Protected Characteristics). If you feel you would require reasonable adjustments in order to carry out the role or attend an interview at RSN due to a disability, caring responsibilities or any other reason, please give details in your cover letter or get in touch with Bryony Norman, the Head of Specialist Education and Wellbeing Support, to discuss further.


Disclosure of a Criminal Record

The Rehabilitation of Offenders 1974 (Exceptions) (Amendment) Order 1986 does not apply to posts where there is access to children. This means that applicants for employment which involves working with children and young people must disclose any criminal record. If your application is successful, you are required to make these disclosures and consent to Refugee Support Network verifying the accuracy of your response with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). References will be taken up and a DBS check carried out for the successful candidates, but as part of our safer recruitment policy all shortlisted candidates are required to complete a Self Disclosure form and provide names of references before interviews.


More about Refugee Support Network
Refugee Support Network

At Refugee Support Network we are working towards a world where all young people displaced by conflict or crisis are able to build more hopeful... Read more

Posted on: 14 February 2020
Closed date: 28 February 2020
Tags: Support Worker, Practitioner

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