London

£31,000

Permanent

About the organisation

Led by Patrons Ed Sheeran and Dermot O` Leary the charity is based in Camden with satellite offices throughout London and serves the Irish and ... Read more

Job Description

Legal advocate

Accountable to: Director of Community Services 

Base: LIC Camden square

Salary: £31,000

The VISION of the London Irish Centre charity (LICC) is to be the Heart of the Irish Community. Established in 1954 to cater for the needs of young Irish emigrants, the Centre has always been a place of welcome and assistance – a home from home. The charity Patrons are Dermot O’ Leary and Ed Sheeran.

Through CARE we support our clients across three services:

Care is the general descriptor for our welfare work and is broken down into these three areas:

  • Advice and Outreach: The LICC provides specialist accredited advice and culturally sensitive support and assistance on a wide range of welfare issues. Based in Camden Square and through satellite surgeries our dedicated workers offer advice on a wide range of issues including pensions, debt, housing and homelessness, health related issues as well as providing crisis interventions such as food, clothing, travel and food vouchers. In 2017/18 we will `case work` 1,400 clients in advice and outreach and carry out over 2500 face-to-face advice sessions. Outcomes include attendance at over 30 mandatory tribunals and assessment all of which we have won. As a service we have been successful in recovering over £1.5m in benefits.
  • Befriending service: The Befriending scheme was set up to address loneliness and isolation for our older community.  Volunteers who become befrienders are matched with older Irish clients who have shared interests and hobbies (Many of our befrienders are younger Irish clients who do not have close family connections in the UK). The Befriending service gives elderly Irish clients the opportunity for social interaction and supports clients to participate in a range of social activities. In 2017/18 we will provide befriending partnerships for over 30 elderly clients.
  • Wellbeing and Elders service: Within Camden we host a day service, lunch club, tea dance and a dementia service. Additionally we host five social clubs in West and South London for clients who cannot come to Camden. These essential services support and encourage older Irish clients to connect to their community and gain a better quality of life. Our older person’s service is supported by specialist outreach workers who support and monitor clients to ensure they are receiving appropriate support and advice. Our clubs support elders from across many communities.

In CULTURE, we manage London’s leading Irish cultural programme:

  • Culture and Arts - London`s leading Irish cultural programme reaches over 20,000 people.
  • Space for our Community - We give space and assistance to facilitate over 400 events and meetings for Irish groups.
  • Mentoring and Support - We provide essential support to Irish individuals and organisations for the promotion of Irish culture and heritage.
  • The Library – Our Library holds over 6,000 books of Irish interest, one of the largest collections of its kind in Britain.
  • Platform - We offer Irish artists multiple performance opportunities
  • Gaelige – Each year our Irish language programme allows over 300 people to reconnect with their native language.

The COMMUNITY will always be at the heart of the charity. Our Irish community is diverse and the charity brings the community together online and in person to communicate, connect and come together. 

  • Online - our resources, information and social media bring the community together online
  • Volunteering - Over 150 volunteers play a vital role in the operations of the organisation whilst developing their own skills and networks
  • Family playgroup - This vibrant Saturday group connects young families with their culture and language
  • Venue - The Camden Centre hosts multiple events which address the needs of the Irish community as well as being a wonderful venue for major events and conferences as well as being a charity hub and a venue for conferences and social gathering. We welcome over 60,000 people each year

About the role

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 has seen the implementation of a wide range of changes to the Welfare System. We have seen an overall increase in clients needing support to evidence their entitlement. Clients need intensive support in this challenging time. To address this need we are looking to recruit a Tribunal worker to provide intensive casework, advocacy and representation for the Irish community throughout all stages of the process, including representation at tribunal hearings. As a charity the LICC recognise that with appropriate representation, challenging social security decisions are more likely to be successful. To date, the LICC has had 100% success rate in overturning social security decisions at tribunals. This role is a wonderful opportunity to develop your casework and advocacy experience.

Job Purpose

The role will contribute to the strategic aim of the London Irish Centre to meet the needs and support the well-being of the Irish community in London and those planning to move to London.

Accountabilities

Principal Tasks and Responsibilities

  1. Undertaking Casework and Advocacy

  • Provide detailed casework covering the full range of welfare benefits
  • Act for the client where necessary by calculating, negotiating, drafting or writing letters and telephoning
  • To be responsible for the follow up casework including representation at appeals and reconsiderations
  • To provide a specialist welfare rights case work service to the Irish community
  • Negotiate with third parties as appropriate
  • Ensure income maximisation through the take up of appropriate welfare benefit
  • Prepare and present cases to the appropriate statutory bodies, tribunals and courts as appropriate
  • Assist clients with other related problems where they are an integral part of their case and refer to other advisers or specialist agencies as appropriate
  • Make home/outreach visits as necessary
  • Provide advice and assistance to other staff across the whole range of welfare benefit issues
  • Maintain case records for the purpose of continuity of casework, information retrieval and statistical monitoring and report preparation

2.  Training, Professional Development and Social Policy

  • Keep informed of all new relevant legislation and changes in existing legislation and social policy
  • Attend relevant internal and external meetings as agreed with the line manager
  • Attend training courses to meet Quality Mark requirements
  • Keep in touch with local issues, developments and changes in procedures of other agencies To work in partnership with the advice team to develop effective referral networks between community and voluntary groups and other external agencies to improve access to services
  • Keep up to date with policies and procedures relevant to welfare and undertake appropriate training
  • Attend internal and external meetings as agreed with the manager.
  • Maintain a library of reference material and case law

3   Administration

  • To provide information and statistics for progress reports going to departments and other bodies
  • To comply with the requirements of the Advice Quality Standard in relation to case and file management
  • To record and report on work carried out, via use of case-recording software and paper files
  • Keep up to date with policies and procedures relevant to welfare and undertake appropriate training
  • Attend internal and external meetings as agreed with the manager
  • Maintain a library of reference material and case law

4 Public relations

  • Liaise with Tribunal services, local government bodies such as local authorities, DWP on behalf of individual clients and on good practice and policy issues
  • To explore, develop and disseminate best practice

5. Other duties and responsibilities

  • To participate, speak at conferences and prepare presentations as required
  • Carry out any other tasks that may be within the scope of the post to ensure the effective delivery and development of the service
  • Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for own safety and that of colleagues
  • To comply with legal and regulatory requirements and LICC policies
  • To provide input for communications activities and events, particularly good news stories
  • To undertake other related tasks as and when required
  • A demonstrable understanding of Equal Opportunities

6. Financial responsibilities

  • To ensure that expenses and any other financial returns are completed accurately, comprehensive and submitted on time, in accordance with LICC procedures

  • To ensure that any expenditure is necessary and offers best value to theLIC

Person Specification

  1. A recognised legal qualification

  2. At least one year’s (full time or its part- time equivalent), welfare benefits advice work experience.This can be paid or unpaid work and need not have been gained in a specialist post

  3. This experience must also include a substantial element of in-depth casework on all aspects of welfare benefits advice

  4. Demonstrable knowledge of Law relating to Welfare Benefits

  5. Knowledge of procedures at tribunals

  6. Undertake and manage a multiple welfare benefit caseload to tribunal level

  7. Plan, provide and monitor an appropriate, efficient and effective welfare benefits advice service for the local community

  8. Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with particular emphasis on negotiation and representation skills and preparing reviews, reports and correspondence

  9. Have the ability to work to standards and methods required by the Advice Quality Standard

  10. Have the ability to work without close supervision and manage competing priorities and meet deadlines

  11. Proficient use of Microsoft Office packages: Word, PowerPoint, Excel

  12. Understanding and knowledge of the issues affecting the Irish community in England.

Job title / Keyword

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