Title: Welfare Benefits, Housing and/or Employment Law Caseworker
Reports to: Legal and Social Welfare Advice (LESAS) Coordinator.
You will report initially to the Director.
Responsible for: One volunteer
Hours: 21hours per week (over three or more days)
Contract: 1st Oct. 2020 to 31st March 2021 (six-months fixed term contract)
Salary: £28,100 per annum pro rata
Location: Latin American House and/or remotely
Main Purpose of the role:
To ensure that vulnerable people seeking advice at Latin American House (LAH) are made to feel welcome and receive appropriate information and support.
Provide legal and social welfare advice to vulnerable Latin Americans, particularly in relation to benefits and/or employment rights and/or housing.
To support the development of the LESAS department, contributing to an efficient, holistic and supportive service delivery.
To assist in reaching more vulnerable members of our communities
To deliver at least a monthly webinar on key issues for our beneficiaries
To be aware of and follow LAH’s policies and procedures, particularly those relating to Advice Quality Standards (AQS).
To monitor and evaluate on a regular basis both for LAH and for the post’s funder.
You will be Latin American House (LAH)’s frontline person for those seeking welfare, housing and/or employment rights advice at LAH. You will provide high quality and proactive welfare and/or employment rights advice and adequate support, ensuring that LAH’s service and quality standards, as well as legal requirements are fulfilled.
This position will suit a flexible and proactive team player with the ability and drive to support the delivery of advice - helping us to continue sporting our communities as we have done for 37 years. The main accountabilities of the post are:
1. Advice and casework
Provide one-off welfare benefits, housing and/or employment law advice to disadvantaged Latin Americans, particularly people affected by the covid19 crisis.
Manage caseload by assisting beneficiaries in their welfare benefits, housing and/or employment matters.
Comply with the monitoring requirements of the post.
Work with other LESAS and LAH colleagues, making and following up on referrals and signposting, to ensure delivery of a holistic and joined-up service at all times.
Liaising with social services and other statutory and voluntary services when needed, ensuring that users’ needs are addressed.
2. Support the LESAS team
Deliver against individual and LESAS team targets as instructed by the LESAS Coordinator.
Keep up to date with the legal, practical and social factors involved with the service provision, and sharing relevant information within and beyond the team as relevant.
Maintain and update accurate records of all cases, and monitoring and evaluation as per funders and LESAS Coordinator requests
Deliver advice in accordance with the requirements of the Advice Quality Standard
Complete reports and case studies as needed internally and by funders
Adhere to LAH’s organisational policies and procedures, and compliance with regulatory bodies.
3. Communications and data protection.
Maintain good records of all work done in our case management system.
Monitor, evaluate and communicate progress.
Contribute to compliance with the GDPR Act (2018).
Follow up with clients when necessary.
Collaborate in the production of publicity and promotional materials as requested.
Generate content for the LAH’s website and social media channels.
4. Contribute to the charity’s organisational goals
Comply with online systems for sharing documentation relevant to the post.
Produce a monthly report on the service.
Participate in the process of planning and updating operational plans, assisting in the review and development of policies and procedures.
Represent LAH in external communications, meetings and events, promoting the LESAS service and the organisation to other agencies and potential service users.
Undertake any reasonable duties as requested by the LESAS Coordinator or the Director to support delivery of the organisation’s mission, aims and objectives.
Participate in the quarterly LESAS working group meeting.
This post is subject to an enhanced DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check.
You might be requested to participate in occasional activities in the evenings and/or weekends.
The duties of the post may change and develop over time.
At least two years experience as advisor/caseworker
Working knowledge of welfare benefits, employment and/or housing law advice
Able to work autonomously.
Experience in designing and delivering welfare related talks, workshops and webinars.
Experience in supervising volunteers.
Knowledge of institutions and local authorities in the London boroughs, particularly those with higher presence of Latin American communities.
Experience dealing with complex cases, appeals, tribunals, etc.
Experience in the voluntary and community sector, ideally with Latin Americans.
Bilingual English-Spanish speaker, or Portuguese-English speaker with advanced Spanish language skills.
Literate and numerate, including G Suite, web editing and other online and IT tools.
Familiar with case management systems as used in legal and social welfare advice services eg AdvicePro
Working knowledge of monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
Excellent customer service as well as communication and interpersonal skills.
Ability to prioritise work.
Excellent attention to detail and organisational skills.
Ability and willingness to work on own initiative, learn and apply new skills quickly.
Knowledge and Expertise
Clear understanding of the UK welfare system, housing and/or employment rights.
Confidentiality and working knowledge of GDPR
Familiarity with monitoring and outcome evaluation processes.
Working knowledge in not-for-profit legal and social welfare advice services, citizens advice centres or law centres.
Experience of involving the support of volunteers.
Understanding of the issues and needs faced by Latin Americans in the UK.
A vocational or academic qualification or professional development training in advice provision on areas of legal and social welfare law
Commitment, Values and Motivation
Strong commitment to the mission and values of Latin American House.
Proactive and able to confidently take initiative and make appropriate decisions.
Approachable, with the ability to build effective relationships with diverse. individuals and excellent customer service skills.
Able to multitask, adaptable, emotionally intelligent and resilient.
Willingness to work flexibly as the post may require some work on weekends.
Autonomous and proactive, can do attitude and able to work as part of a team.
About Latin American House
We work for the integration, social inclusion and wellbeing of Latin American and other Spanish and Portuguese-speaking migrants, as well as other communities in our local neighbourhood. Our aims are to improve their lives, to provide a local Community Centre and to promote the rich diversity of Latin American cultures. We are expanding our organisation and diversifying our income streams in order to provide a better and more comprehensive service to our beneficiaries. We are a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.
Our services include:
• Legal and Social Welfare Advice, providing specialist advice on immigration, as well as general information on benefits and employment. In 2019 we also started a EU Settlement Scheme project to support disadvantaged and at-risk Latin Americans and their families.
• Children’s Education, which currently consists of our bilingual Menchú Nursery and the Spanish Saturday School for children from 5 to 11 years old.
• Adult Community Learning, in partnership with local authorities, colleges and recognised education organisations, as well as our own volunteers. We provide practical adult education for Latin Americans and local residents.
• Community Centre, LAH is a well-established centre where people can come for activities, information and orientation.
• Culture - promoting and showcasing Latin American cultures, for people of all ages and backgrounds. From 2019 there is a dedicated culture coordinator.
The last three years have been of expansion and growth and we have had an increasing number of beneficiaries, clients and visitors reaching our organisation.