Job Description Maidstone Support Coach: supporting those with criminal convictions
Responsible to Maidstone Senior Support Coach
Job location Based at Maidstone Services
Contract Twelve month fixed-term (we would hope to extend if further funding secured)
Hours of Work & Salary Full time (37hrs). Salary range: £19,645 – £24,011
Pathways to Independence is a charity providing accommodation and support to people who have experienced homelessness and may have complex needs, enabling them to develop independent and fulfilled lives. The charity seeks to work to the highest professional standards and personal integrity and requires its staff to act accordingly.
In partnership with MBC and other stakeholders throughout Kent & Medway and with the support of the NPS and CRC, we are developing a partnership of stakeholders to provide short term accommodation with support services.
Those with a local connection to Maidstone and to specific Kent & Medway Stakeholders can apply to be considered for this new service through Maidstone Borough council and applications will be assessed when a space is available.
The primary responsibly of the Support Coach role will be to provide practical and personal support and guidance to Pathways’ clients during the period of their stay in our accommodation to enable them to become more resilient and to live independent lives. This will include assessing client needs and providing support to meet these needs; completing safety plans; ensuring the client can identify and access relevant services; liaising with other statutory and voluntary agencies to ensure the appropriate support for clients.
Each Support Coach will be allocated a mixed caseload of clients with criminal convictions with varying levels of support need. Coaches will be expected to be proactive, in engaging clients demonstrating an approachable, flexible and caring style. Support Coaches will be required to participate in activities to encourage the development of skills and the building of positive relationships within the local community.
As a member of the Support Coach team you will be expected to provide an efficient and responsive service to our clients at all times, working closely with other staff and management and working within the Pathways’ policies, procedures, core values and behaviours.
Duties and Responsibilities
• Work with a mixed need caseload of up to 18 clients at any one time, as directed by your line manager. These low, medium and high needs clients may be based at different services/locations in Maidstone and will require you to travel to meet them in their accommodation and in the community.
• To work proactively and creatively with clients who are homeless and who may have a history of homelessness and other adverse life events and who have a history of ex-offending and those who may have a history of serious offences, such as of a violent of sexual nature.
• Work proactively with statutory agencies and their representatives such as NPS and CRC to positively support the client around any licence conditions that they may have.
• To prepare and issue Licence Agreements/Assured Shorthold Tenancies and complete move in paperwork ensuring clients fully understand their rights and responsibilities as well as the consequences of not complying with the terms of their residence/tenure.
• Assess prospective clients to identify support needs, identify risks to complete safety/risk plans and identifying personal goals/desires in conjunction with the client.
• Follow all stipulated lone working and safety protocols and guidance, including wearing any digital or technology devices issued by the organisation.
• Work with clients who may be in accommodation that is not Pathways owned, including move-on and resettlement support for up to 12 weeks (approx.) post departure from PTI accommodation, as directed by your manager.
• Establish positive working relationships with clients and work closely with other Support Coaches to provide practical guidance, assistance and support such as: accompanying clients to appointments and taking clients on outings or to pursue a new leisure activity; demonstrate domestic skills by helping them cook, shop or wash/dry their clothes/tidy their room (these tasks are not an exhaustive list.)
• Accompany clients to DWP/welfare appointments and with the welfare and Benefits officer, in order to maximise their income and to help the client develop budgeting skills and financial independence through addressing financial matters as a core part of key working.
• Refer to other specialist agency for any specialist support area and act as point of contact for this other agency.
• Attend any multi-agency or inter agency meetings with clients, or on their behalf, and enable them to access the service they need.
• Work alongside client and any other member of staff to enable them to live independently and maintain a tenancy in the community.
• Work holistically with all clients focussing on the whole person and using a strengths based approach, where support needs are not barriers to aspirations and goals and where appropriate, positive risk taking is encouraged.
• Understand clients own personal strengths and seek to help clients access training, voluntary placements, work opportunities and further education courses depending which suit their personal ambitions and abilities.
• Work as part of a team to create and maintain a trauma and psychologically informed environment and actively embrace the ethos of working in a trauma informed way, attending any training, as directed.
• Encourage clients’ compliance with the Code of Conduct (or equivalent) and terms of residence, including encouragement clients to pay their rent and service charges.
• Work closely with Housing Management staff & managers, to write and issue any sanctions (‘warnings’) or to recommend, and provide evidence for, termination of licences.
• To serve Notices to Terminate to residents.
• Participate in out of hours’ emergency response for all services, through On Call Rota and offer reciprocal ad hoc and holiday/sickness cover, as requested.
• Promote positive physical and mental health through healthy activities and assisting clients to access appropriate health and well-being services according to need.
• Maintain knowledge of local support needs provisions such as health, substances misuse, education, training and employment and financial agencies.
• Regularly review applications through an allocations panel and updating records by keeping in contact with prospective clients.
• Arrange and lead house meetings on a regular basis and encourage participation in any service user activities, such as quarterly forums and other initiatives aimed at listening and responding to client voices.
• A willingness to take part in ‘street counts’, where you will engage with homeless, vulnerable adults on the streets. These activities will be in groups and often take place during the night/early morning, for which you would be given TOIL.
• Report any matters of suspected safeguarding and comply with the Safeguarding Policy at all times.
• Maintain accurate and timely records, digital, CRM and paper records, as requested by your line manager.
• Respond promptly to enquiries made by internal or external staff, whether by phone, email, letter or in person.
• Adhere to the Equality and Diversity policy at all times and proactively seek to remove any barriers to clients participating or engaging with services in pathways or in other with other organisations.
• Ensure that the Health and Safety Policy is followed and take action in case of accidents or injury of residents, completing accident and incident reports promptly.
• To always act in accordance with the policies and procedures of Pathways to Independence, to report any enhancements or amendments that may be needed to management.
• Participate actively in induction, supervision, and reflective practice sessions, to build and maintain personal and professional resilience.
• Attend any required training as directed by your line manager.
• Seek to develop as a reflective practitioner, being open to receiving constructive feedback and build on learning needs in readiness for annual appraisals.
• Contribute positively to good team relationships and continuous improvement of services.
• Maintain confidentiality in line with organisational policy in respect to residents, staff and business sensitive information.
• Comply with General Data Protection Regulations at all times.
• To undertake other duties that may reasonably be required of a staff member, as directed by management.
NB: This job description is a summary of the main responsibilities of the post, is not considered an exhaustive. Duties may be subject to variation from time to time.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience
• At least two years’ proven experience of working directly with adults experiencing homelessness in the community and related successful outcomes of client progression.
• At least two years’ experience of working with ex-offenders in an accommodation or similar setting.
• Proven ability to write professional, SMART, evidenced based support and risk plans.
• Proven ability to demonstrate compassionate and creative work practices with a clients to address support needs and/or risks.
• Proven ability to establish rapport with people quickly and to understand and articulate different perspectives and how these might interplay with other people and established rules.
• Flexibility of approach to client and service, weighing up risks and needs in any given situation, and avoiding taking a blanket, ‘one size fits all’ approach to work to develop ‘elastic tolerance’.
• Good knowledge of complex needs and issues affecting homeless and vulnerable adults and the barriers these can create to sustaining a tenancy.
• Experience of assisting clients to overcome actual, or perceived, barriers to their life goals and aspirations.
• Experience in trauma informed work practices and underlying psychological approaches to work with homeless clients.
• Good working knowledge of mental health issues and how these affect daily living, including a good working knowledge of sources of help, including primary healthcare resources and other community resources.
• Strong understanding of various support agencies and services and experience in successfully navigating access to such services with clients.
• Good understanding of substance misuse issues (legal and illegal substances) and the effects these can have on daily living, as well as experience in assisting someone in their recovery journey through the ‘cycle of change’.
• Good knowledge of safeguarding and a commitment to reporting all safeguarding concerns in line with company policy.
• Good understanding of fairness, equality and diversity and how to apply on day-to-day basis.
• A commitment to work creatively to remove barriers for people.
• A non-judgemental, open-minded approach to work with clients and a willingness to learn new ideas and put these into practice.
• Ability to self-reflect on own work and actions and a willingness to consider views from another angles and receive constructive feedback.
• Proficient use of Microsoft Office software and bespoke IT systems, including INFORM.
• Strong written and verbal communication skills including writing formal emails and letters internally and externally.
• Car user with full driving licence and access to own vehicle (subject to the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995).
• A recognised, relevant qualification.
• Knowledge and experience of working in or with supported housing and/or houses in multiple occupation
As well as the above values and competencies, Pathways is committed to employing staff that display an empathy and understanding of people who have found themselves marginalised within our society.
Our recruitment processes will include assessment of all of the above competencies, values and behaviours as well as the criteria listed in the Person Specification above.
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