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Autism Advisor

Closing date: 22 October 2020 (This position will close early if a suitable person is found or by Thursday 22 October, whichever comes sooner.)


Pay scale: £10,286.00 per year

Job Type: Part-time, Permanent

Reports to: Community Engagement Worker

Location: Citizens Advice Mid Mercia – initially working from home with some visits to the South Derbyshire office (owing to current COVID-19 guidelines) and then working from the South Derbyshire office.  Our offices have COVID-19 safety measures in place.

Work Pattern: 18.5 hours per week – Tuesdays and Wednesdays 09:00-17:00, Thursdays 09:00-12:30.

Start date: As soon as possible

Probation Period: 6 months – with possible extension if performance review is required

 

Our CORE values

Communicate: We will be consistent, positive, passionate, and listen

Ownership: We will be accountable, make a difference, meet deadlines, keep promises and have solutions

Respect: We will be honest, work with integrity, trust each other, be fair, tolerant and stand for equality

Effective: We will deliver quality, focus on detail and be professional

3 things you should know about us

We’re local and we’re national. We have 6 national offices and offer direct support to people in around 300 independent local Citizens Advice services across England and Wales.

We’re here for everyone. Our advice helps people solve problems and our advocacy helps fix problems in society. Whatever the problem, we won’t turn people away.

We’re listened to - and we make a difference. Our trusted brand and the quality of our research mean we make a real impact on behalf of the people who rely on us.

Overview of Citizens Advice Mid Mercia

Citizens Advice Mid Mercia is an independent member of the Citizens Advice network, which is made up of the national charity and a network of around 300 local Citizens Advice members.

Citizens Advice Mid Mercia delivers free, impartial, independent and confidential advice, training, peer support and advocacy services to approximately 22,000 people each year. Services are delivered across South Derbyshire, Derby City, East Staffordshire (Burton-upon-Trent and Uttoxeter) and Tamworth.

Citizens Advice Mid Mercia has over 60 members of staff and 140 volunteers delivering services from four main offices and 20+ community venues.

The Service

Citizens Advice Mid Mercia delivers an Autism Information and Advice service that supports individuals living with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), their parents and carers and friends and family, as well as professionals within Derbyshire County. The service supports adults aged 16+.

The service was launched in March 2020 and has gone from strength to strength, despite the national pandemic. The service offers the following provision:

1. An information, advice and guidance help-line: operational Mon-Fri, 09:30-16:30, excluding public holidays.

2. An Autism Alliance: a quarterly peer support meeting for Derbyshire’s ASC community.

3. ASC awareness raising and training.

4. An up to date website and active social media platforms.

5. Drop-in sessions across the county in accessible locations, such as GP surgeries.

6. Close working partnerships with a wide number of organisations supporting individuals living with ASC in Derbyshire County.

7. An engaging monthly newsletter.

The role

In response to our growth, we are now recruiting an 18.5-hour advisor post. The successful candidate will respond to contacts via the service’s initial points of contact – such as answering the service’s help-line and responding to emails. The advisor will then triage the contact and provide up to date, relevant and accurate information and advice to the contact – which could be an individual living with ASC, a parent or carer, or a professional. The primary purpose of the advisor role is to show empathy and understanding, provide initial information and finally signpost to specialist information and advice on benefits, entitlements, debts, housing, relationships and family and to ensure relevant referrals to specialist agencies are processed. The role will also support with the service’s evaluation and reporting processes, promotion, and literature and content development.

Role profile

  • Initial Point of Contact
  • Assess client enquiries using sensitive listening and empathetic questioning;
  • Conduct triaging over the telephone or via virtual means;
  • Identify and summarise the essence of the client’s issue/s;
  • Identify key information about the issue/s, including time limits, key dates and any requirement for urgent advice or action (using agreed procedures and any other diagnostic tools, as necessary);
  • Assess and agree the appropriate level of support, taking into consideration the client’s ability to take the next step themselves, the complexity of the issue/s and the Services’ resources;
  • Refer/signpost clients appropriately (both internally and externally) to suit client’s needs following agreed protocols, including managing expectations and informing clients of what to do/expect;
  • Accurately record details of the triage and next steps onto the organisation’s case management system (Casebook);
  • Manage any professional enquiries/bookings for ASC training sessions and ensure they are appropriately booked and saved in relevant calendars.
  • Professional development
  • Keep up to date with legislation, policies and procedures and undertake appropriate training – especially in relation to understanding ASC and supporting individuals living with ASC;
  • Prepare for and attend supervision sessions/team meetings/staff meetings/external meetings as appropriate.
  • Administration
  • Use of various IT packages for record keeping;
  • Production of promotional materials/literature and website/social media content when required;
  • Conduct and record all evaluation processes;
  • Keep up to date and accurate records that will contribute to the Service’s weekly/monthly/quarterly reports;
  • Ensure all work conforms to CAMM’s systems and procedures.

Other duties and responsibilities

  • Undertake any other duties and tasks as may lie within the scope of this post;
  • Demonstrate commitment to the aims and policies of the Autism Service;
  • Be willing to support other services within CAMM should that be required;
  • Abide by safeguarding, GDPR, and health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for own safety, that of colleagues and clients.

Person specification

ESSENTIAL

Experience of supporting and understanding the needs of individuals living with ASC/their families/carers and professionals in this sector;

At least 2 years’ experience of providing advice or information through various channels.

Knowledge of the issues faced by individuals living with ASC;

Knowledge of GDPR, consent and confidentiality;

Knowledge of client recording systems or databases.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills;

Ability to use a variety of IT/digital systems and packages;

Ability to keep good records and contribute to report production;

Experience of managing time against competing priorities and a varied workload with the ability to monitor and maintain service delivery against agreed targets in a busy environment;

Good interpersonal skills and client care skills.

An understanding and commitment to the aims, principles and policies of the Citizens Advice;

Commitment to Citizens Advice Mid Mercia’s Core Values;

Commitment to team working;

Commitment to excellent client service.

Ability and willingness to work within guidelines, protocols and procedures;

Driving Licence and access to own transport.

DESIREABLE

Good understanding of the Autism Act 2009 and Autism strategies and how this relates to the lives of individuals living with ASC;

Experience of delivering telephone advice/information.

Experience of providing information using web-chat or other digital means;

Experience of working in a customer/client focused role;

Understanding of wider issues affecting society and their implications for clients and service provision.

Demonstrable sensitive listening and empathetic skills to understand the needs of others;

Ability to work in a client-centred manner;

An understanding of and commitment to client empowerment;

An understanding of the need for evaluation and reflection for good working practice and service development.

Commitment to improving the lives of individuals living with ASC.

Ability to be flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of the service.

Want to chat about this role?

If you want to chat about the role further, you can contact Tiffany Webster by calling 07939323192

Benefits

25 days annual leave plus bank holidays

Up to 5% pension contribution

Training and development opportunities

In accordance with Citizens Advice national policy the successful candidate may be screened by the DBS. However, a criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to your being able to take up the job.


If you are interested in this vacancy, please visit our website to download the application form from the website here.

Please return the completed application form to staff@citizensadvicemidmercia.org.uk

Job related downloads

File Job Description and Person Specification