This is an existing role at Your Voice Counts that sits in the advocacy team. We are seeking both permanent, full-time and sessional, part-time team members.
As an Independent Advocate, you will provide statutory advocacy services to clients across the North East under the Mental Health Act (IMHA), the Mental Capacity Act (IMCA) the Care Act and will act as Relevant Persons Representative (RPR) under Depravation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS). YVC also provide a case advocacy service for those with a Learning Disability living in South Tyneside, and you may receive referrals to provide specific non statutory advocacy within this area. You will pick up referrals, arrange and attend client meetings and meetings with other professionals, ascertain and represent the client’s wishes. You will also work closely with other members of the advocacy team to ensure a high-quality advocacy service.
- Act on referrals received in accordance with statutory timescales, YVC engagement protocols and quality standards.
- Complete and submit reports that will be of a professional standard, in line with internal and external best practice guidelines.
- Maintain accurate records, including client management system data input, timesheet information and other key information types.
- Promote and raise awareness of Your Voice Counts advocacy services to professionals, potential clients and the general public.
- Work with the wider advocacy team to effectively coordinate all advocacy services, including allocating referrals, managing caseloads, providing peer and group supervision, and other activities.
- Respond to relevant queries from referrers, service users and members of the public.
- Develop and maintain contacts with advocacy networks at a local, regional, and national level, and represent the service at relevant meetings, conferences and working groups.
- Keep abreast of developments in relevant legislation and good practice guidance.
- Work in accordance with Your Voice Counts’ models of non-instructed and instructed advocacy and with commitment to the ethos and principles of independent advocacy.
- Be an active participant in the wider YVC team and seek to work with all YVC colleagues to deliver our strategy, maintain quality and embed the values of the organisation.
Just as our values are key to our ways of working, attitude is key to our staff team. We work in challenging, changing circumstances with a very vulnerable client group. We are looking for someone who is both empathetic but not afraid to challenge on behalf of their client. We are looking for someone who is non-judgemental and able to work collaboratively within the team and with external partners. We’re looking for someone who has a demonstrable belief in the rights of people who use our services.
Whilst an advocacy qualification is not essential, preference will be given to those who hold the Advocacy qualification and IMCA, IMHA and/or Care act specialist units.
The person we’re looking for will:
- Be able to communicate effectively with vulnerable people who often have significant communication barriers;
- Have experience of working with people with a learning disability, dementia, mental health problems, and/or those with acquired brain injury;
- Hold or be working towards or be willing to work towards an Independent Advocacy Qualification, including the IMHA, IMCA and/or Care Act modules;
- Be well-organised with an ability to handle a busy workload and prioritise effectively;
- Be skilled at negotiating, with strong interpersonal skills;
- Be able to write clear and succinct professional reports;
- Have excellent IT skills, including familiarity with using a contact management system;
- Be able to thrive under pressure and bring people together.
Use of your own car will greatly assist you in this role, but it is not essential.