Caseworker – South West

Caseworker – South West (covering Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset)

Permanent Full Time Post
Home Based
Salary £26,439.00

About the Perennial Family

Perennial’s purpose is ‘to build better futures for people in horticulture and their families’.  We are the only charity in the UK that works exclusively with people in horticulture and have been offering advice and support to them and their families since 1839.  180 years later, Perennial is needed more than ever.  The financial and social pressures on those working in, and retired from, horticulture is acute and Perennial is a ‘lifeline’ for many people and their families.

At Perennial we believe that every horticulturist should have access to the services and support they need.  We are entering an exciting period of growth and development with a new strategy in place to enable us to meet current demand and develop a range of preventative services.  This, along with an increased in demand for our services, has resulted in this new Caseworker role.  We are now looking for a new homebased caseworker based in the South area of England with travel across the region, including Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset, to join our existing team of caseworkers based remotely across the South of the UK.

Together with our network of partners we provide free support, information, advise, financial assistance and services for those experiencing illness, disability, bereavement, family breakdown and financial difficulties.  Our ‘prevent programmes’ put individual needs, interests and voices at the heart of life changing outcomes, providing the scale and reach needed to meet the increasing number of individuals and their families experiencing challenging times.

Help us to achieve our vision

Job Description

In this important role, you will be expected to:

  • Consistently manage a complex caseload in a timely, efficient and effective manner ensuring a quality service and in line with targets and Key Performance Indicators
  • Review and assess individual’s needs analysing information against criteria, interpreting financial information and collaborating with other professionals to reach recommendations on financial assistance
  • Ability to attend multi-agency and partnership meetings to raise awareness of the needs of people working in horticulture and Perennial’s services
  • Ensure individuals receive the highest level of service to include;- Advice on income maximisation through making applications for welfare benefits to Tribunal Representation (training provided)
    – Advice on statutory support and co-ordination applications to other grant giving bodies
    – Advice on any additional support which may be available
    – Co-ordinating and assisting people to access statutory support or their contact with authorities, welfare providers and other organisations
    – Advocating and negotiating in consideration of individual circumstances and additional care and support needs
  • Authorise the payment of crisis and other grants within levels of delegated authority
  • Produce clear assessment summaries for internal review and for reports to Senior Management and government meetings
  • Keep detailed and accurate case and financial records recording data received and actions taken in line with current policies and procedures
  • Maintain confidentiality in all areas of the role in line with procedures and General Data Protection Regulations
  • Maintain a comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of all areas relevant to the role and develop specialist knowledge related to the role as directed
  • Have the ability to work collaboratively with key stakeholders to foster a co-operative, flexible and team-working environment
  • Attend meetings, contribute to project and the development of annual work places as required
  • Participate in training as required to maintain and improve the relevant level of knowledge and skills needed to deliver a quality service
  • Undertake other duties appropriate to the grade and relevant to key tasks and responsibilities

Person Specification

Our ideal candidate will have:

Technical and Specialist knowledge

  • Two years’ experience of working in a welfare rights related environment providing a range of holistic information and advice to individuals/families
  • Experience of assessing the needs of individuals and developing strategies, solutions and plans to manage/overcome difficult and complex problems
  • Experience of working and identifying other organisations that can help and co-ordinating their support, working with them when appropriate
  • Current knowledge of, and the ability to clearly explain, the key principles of income maximisation, money management, welfare benefits and statutory funding
  • A strong interest or experience of housing advice or mental health support.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Must have highly developed communication skills including discretion and the capability to deal efficiently and effectively with people experiencing crisis situations or difficult circumstances caused by life changing events
  • The ability to provide advice, information and guidance
  • Skilled in providing telephone support responding calmly, sensitively and positively to people who may present a range of emotions
  • Ability to produce concise reports, comprehensive case records and high-quality correspondence
  • Proven experience in advocacy, representation and negotiation
  • Experienced in giving presentations and the confidence and ability to train others if required
  • Ability to work effectively and accurately within organisational policies and procedures

Personal Skills

  • Must be able to work both on a self-motivated basis and collaboratively within the team and across Perennial
  • Highly developed ability to prioritise work under pressure ensuring targets and service standards are consistently met
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills
  • Ability to maintain professional boundaries at all times
  • Willingness to work flexibly which will include regular travel and occasional overnight stays
  • Occasional travel and evenings away
  • Commitment to personal development including keeping up to date on all subject areas relevant to the role
  • Commitment to upholding the mission and values of the charity including equality and fairness

General Skills

  • To have good IT skills with the ability to use Windows Operating systems effectively and programmes including Word, Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint and SharePoint
  • Experienced in using databases including case management software
  • Ability to work within financial limits and organise financial assistance payments
  • Awareness and understanding of the impact that life changing events and financial hardship can have on individuals and families
  • Demonstrable understanding of the need for confidentiality and data protection requirements.

If you are passionate about making a difference to the lives of the people who use our services and want to drive forward our vision, contact: Carrie Laslett-O’Brien on: 01372 869938 or clobrien@perennial.org.uk for information and an application form or download it here.

Closing date for applications:     9:00am Monday 15th July 2019
 Interviews will be held at:           Holiday Inn, Bristol Airport BS40 5RB
                                                                On Wednesday 24th July 2019