Citizens Advice Northumberland
Job Title: Macmillan/Citizens Advice Benefits Caseworker – South East Northumberland
Salary: £21,745 to £23,166 depending on experience.
Hours: As part of our commitment to being a flexible employer, applications are welcomed from candidates who are able to offer up to 37 hours a week.
Responsible to: Advice Service Manager – South East
Role Purpose: - To provide a high quality advice and casework service to the organisation’s clients in welfare benefits, with a particular responsibility for supporting people
- To provide mentoring and support to other workers which helps to develop their skills and expertise in welfare benefits.
The post holder will be part of a team responsible for delivering a high quality welfare benefits advice service across the county through telephone/digital channels and community based outreach work.
The post holder will have a base in Ashington but travel across the south east of the county will be required to deliver community based outreach services.
Main Duties and Responsibilities:
- Advice and casework
- Provide a full casework service in welfare benefits with a particular responsibility for supporting people affected by cancer.
- Deliver the service by a range of methods as required including telephone/digital channels, appointments, outreach work and home visits.
- Act for clients where necessary by calculating entitlement, completing forms, negotiating with third parties, drafting or writing letters as appropriate.
- Assist clients with other related problems particularly employment, housing and debt related issues where they are an integral part of the case.
- Refer to other advisers or specialist agencies as appropriate.
- Prepare and present cases to statutory bodies, tribunals and courts as required.
- Maintain standards of service delivery and ensure that casework conforms to the Citizens Advice membership requirements and the Advice Quality Standard.
- Maintain case records for the purpose of continuity of casework, information retrieval, statistical monitoring, report preparation and quality checking.
- Ensure that all work conforms to the organisation's systems, policies and procedures.
- Comply with the systems for monitoring and reporting on client satisfaction and the outcomes of advice.
- Work in partnership with colleagues to ensure that the service meets key performance indicators and/or targets agreed with funders.
- Assist in the smooth running of the organisation by providing back-up and emergency cover for other parts of the service as required.
- Research and campaigns
- Keep up to date with current research and campaigns issues.
- Participate in research and campaigns activity by providing information about clients' circumstances and taking action on behalf of clients.
- Learning and development
- Provide information, advice and cancer-specific benefits awareness training to health and social care workers supporting people affected by cancer.
- Work with service managers and health and social care professionals to support the development of services for people affected by cancer.
- Provide mentoring and support to staff and volunteers delivering welfare benefits advice and undertaking form filling to increase knowledge and develop capacity.
- Read relevant publications to maintain knowledge and expertise
- Keep up to date with legislation, case law, policies and procedures and undertake training appropriate to the role.
- Other duties
- Uphold the aims, policies and membership requirements of the Citizens Advice service and demonstrate a strong commitment to equality and diversity principles.
- Work cooperatively with colleagues to encourage good teamwork across the organisation.
- Develop and maintain links with statutory and non-statutory agencies and promote the work of the organisation in a positive and constructive way.
- Prepare for and attend relevant supervision sessions / staff meetings / trustee board meetings as required.
- Comply with all monitoring and reporting requirements and provide progress reports for managers, the trustee board, Citizens Advice and funders as required.
- Adhere to the organisation’s information assurance policies and procedures and report any breaches or incidents of non-compliance.
- Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for own safety and that of colleagues.
- Undertake any other duties that are consistent with the level of the post and ensure the effective delivery and development of the organisation’s services.
Person Specification – Macmillan/Citizens Advice Benefits Caseworker – South East
- An understanding of and commitment to the aims, principles and policies of the Citizens Advice service including a strong commitment to equality and diversity.
- The Citizens Advice Certificate in Generalist Advice or equivalent.
- Knowledge and understanding of Macmillan Cancer Support’s services and policies and of the problems associated with cancer.
- Recent and substantial experience of providing welfare benefits advice and casework to the Advice Quality Standard.
- Demonstrable in-depth knowledge of the legislation, documentation, rules and regulations associated with welfare benefits advice.
- Recent experience of providing advice in other areas including employment, housing and debt.
- A good understanding of the skills and techniques used in interviewing clients through a range of channels including telephone, digital and face-to-face.
- The ability to understand the needs of others and to empower clients to take action for themselves.
- The ability to monitor and maintain own standards, prioritise work and meet deadlines and targets.
- An organised approach to work and the ability and willingness to follow set procedures concerning casework and file management.
- Good numeracy skills and the ability to check calculations, prepare budgets and financial statements and understand statistics.
- The ability to analyse and interpret complex information and to communicate effectively in writing with particular emphasis on negotiation and representation skills and on preparing letters and reports.
- Good oral communication skills and the ability to communicate well with a wide cross section of people including members of the public, statutory and non-statutory agencies.
- The ability to work flexibly with a variety of individuals and organisations and to earn and maintain the trust of those people with whom the organisation works.
- The ability to give and receive feedback objectively and sensitively and a willingness to challenge constructively.
- The ability to work as part of a team and to respond positively to change.
- A commitment to continuing professional development including a willingness to develop knowledge and skills.
- Good ICT skills and the ability to ensure the best use of IT systems and packages in the provision of advice services.
- The regular use of a car for work purposes including outreach and home visiting.
- Normal hours of work for a full-time worker are Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm including a 30 minute unpaid break.
2.Full-time employees are entitled to 36 days annual leave (including bank holidays).
3.Travel expenses will be paid on authorised business.
4.Closing date for applications is: 9.00am Weds 24th April
- Interviews will be held on: Thursday 2nd May
- If you would like an informal discussion about the role please contact Rachel Turnbull using the contact details below.
- Completed applications (CV’s will not be accepted) should be returned to:
Citizens Advice Northumberland (Ashington Office)
89-91 Station Road
Alternatively completed applications can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please ensure that you receive a read receipt.