About The Advocacy Project
We help marginalised and vulnerable people make effective choices about what happens in their lives. We also support them to speak up and help improve important services we all need. We want to make sure people across all age and care groups – including learning disability and mental health – can:
- voice their concerns
- understand their rights
- make effective choices about what happens in their lives
We do this through advocacy services which support people individually, and user involvement projects that help organisations improve the services they offer.
About the role
We’re searching for an exceptional Independent Advocate to work in the medium and low secure forensic units at St Bernard’s Hospital in Ealing. You may also be required to work at other sites in West London including Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.
The role will have a strong appeal to advocates wishing to specialise in forensic contexts.
This role will provide independent advocacy for adults detained under forensic sections. You’ll also raise awareness of independent advocacy, including for people from minority ethnic communities. You’ll work as part of a team of independent advocates, reporting to the manager for the service.
- Provide a one-to-one advocacy service and undertake case work, writing accurate case notes and recording data on our system.
- Provide instructed and non-instructed advocacy.
- Give information, support and signposting to inform and empower people on any issues about their treatment under the relevant legislation.
- Meet case-working standards, monitoring system requirements and the goals for our service, making sure everyone needing advocacy is referred into the service in the right way.
- Work within the location-specific engagement protocols, security, confidentiality and safeguarding policies (in addition to the Advocacy Best Practice Handbook).
- Actively promote self-advocacy throughout all work with patients where practical.
- Raise awareness of independent advocacy amongst patients.
- Keep your knowledge of legislation and policy up-to-date, including the mental health act, mental capacity act, care act, and local / national policy.
- Keep up to date with developments and good practice in independent advocacy (including different advocacy models).
- Develop good working relationships with key staff within health and social care services.
- Be an active member of the mental health service, contributing to service planning and providing cover for other colleagues when needed.
- Participate in team meetings and training.
- Participate in personal, team and organisational development.
- Contribute to monitoring reports.
- Keep to our policies, including health & safety, and risk regulations.
- Work to our mission, vision, and values.
- Carry out other projects and tasks as needed.
Essential qualities and attributes:
- At least two years’ experience of providing advocacy or supporting people with mental health conditions.
- Understanding of the issues faced by forensic service users with mental health conditions and issues relating to mental capacity.
- Sound knowledge of forensic mental health sections and services, including current issues in policy and practice; knowledge of health and social care practice and legislation.
- Experience of the principles and practice of advocacy and an understanding of different forms of advocacy.
- Ability to listen and build trust, to encourage people to express their own views and to represent clients’ self-defined interests.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal). Good at working with a wide variety of people including commissioners, service users and colleagues.
- Commitment to working within The Advocacy Project code of conduct, equality and safeguarding policies.
- Ability to work as part of a team and on your own initiative, to plan and prioritise your own workload.
- Willingness to promote The Advocacy Project and its services in line with our mission, vision and values.
- Commitment to ongoing professional development.
Desirable knowledge, experience and qualifications:
- Knowledge and experience of advocacy under the Care Act, Mental Capacity Act (IMCA) and DOLS.
- IMHA qualification (or be studying for an IMHA qualification and committed to completing this within 6 months).
- Understanding of the Accessible Information Standard.
Benefits of working for us
We’re committed to providing an empowering, flexible and supportive working environment for all our staff.
Our employee benefits include 30 days annual leave (including up to 3 days between Christmas and New Year), participation in a pension scheme with 6% employer contribution, access to a free confidential counselling service, and an interest-free travel/bike loan.
All our staff are supported to learn and develop in a variety of ways, including a monthly lecture series where we invite sector experts to talk to our staff on topical issues.
We are a Disability Confident and Mindful Employer.
How to apply
Send your CV and a supporting statement explaining why you think you’re the person we’re looking for and how your experience meets the person specification.
It’s a legal requirement that you are eligible to work in the UK for all our posts.
Upload your application via our website .