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Generalist Outreach Adviser

Employer
Oxford Citizens Advice
Location
Cutteslowe Community Centre, St Francis Church Hollow Way & Homeworking
Salary
£22,000 pro rata
Closing date
23 May 2022
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Hours: 21 hours per week over 3-4 days, hours by agreement

Duration: Fixed term contract for 12 months

Context of role

This is a pilot project funded by local County Councillor priority fund and the Energy Advice Programme to meet the needs of local people, particularly those who are unable to access online, telephone or email advice.

The post holder will provide generalist advice including benefit checks, basic debt advice to drop in clients, and some appointments including energy appointments. They will also be responsible for promoting the service locally and proactively engage with local groups to ensure the services is able to support those most in need.

Role purpose

To provide an effective and efficient generalist advice service to local residents within the aims, policies and principles of the CA service.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Information and advice giving

  • Interview clients using sensitive listening and questioning skills in order to allow clients to explain their problem(s) and empower them to set their own priorities.
  • Use the Citizens Advice Information System to find, interpret and communicate the relevant information.
  • Research and explore options and implications so that clients can make informed decisions.
  • Act for the client where necessary by negotiating, drafting or writing letters and telephoning.
  • Liaise and negotiate with other statutory and voluntary organisations to progress the client’s case and ensure they receive all assistance available.
  • Signpost and refer internally and externally as appropriate in order to link clients into additional relevant support
  • Ensure that all work conforms to the office systems and procedures
  • Maintain detailed case records for the purpose of continuity of casework, information retrieval, statistical monitoring and report preparation.

Promotion and partnership development

  • Ensure good uptake of the service via a variety of promotional activities including online, social media, leaflets, providing talks to local groups etc.
  • Establish good working relationships and referral mechanism with local partners

Research and Campaigns

  • Assist with research and campaigns work by providing information about clients' circumstances.
  • Provide statistical information on the number of clients and nature of cases and provide regular reports to CAO management.
  • Alert other staff to local and national issues.  
  • Alert clients to social policy options.

Professional development

  • Keep up to date with legislation, policies and procedures and undertake appropriate training.
  • Read relevant publications.
  • Attend relevant internal and external meetings as agreed with the line manager.
  • Prepare for and attend supervision sessions/team meetings/management team meetings as appropriate.
  • Assist with Service initiatives for the improvement of services.

Administration

  • Use IT for statistical recording, record keeping and document production.
  • Ensure that all work conforms to office systems and procedures.
  • Provide statistical information on the number of clients and nature of cases.
  • Keep up to date with policies and procedures relevant to work and undertake appropriate training.

Other duties and responsibilities

  • Carry out any other tasks that may be within the scope of the post to ensure the effective delivery and development of the service.
  • Demonstrate commitment to the aims and policies of the CAB service.
  • Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for own safety and that of colleagues.

Person specification

  1. At least two years’ experience of advice work.
  2. Ability to work sensitively with a diverse range of clients.
  3. An understanding of the issues involved in interviewing clients, particularly who may be experiencing stress and anxiety
  4. An ordered approach to casework and an ability to follow set procedures concerning casework and file management etc.
  5. Ability to use IT in the provision of advice and the preparation of reports and submissions.
  6. Good oral communication skills with particular emphasis on negotiation and representation skills on the telephone.
  7. Ability to communicate effectively in writing with particular emphasis on negotiation and representation skills and on preparing grant applications, reviews, reports and correspondence.
  8. Numeracy skills required to understand statistics and check calculations.
  9. Ability to monitor and maintain own work to comply to set standards.
  10. An understanding of and commitment to the Aims and Principles of the Citizens Advice service including the services Equal Opportunities policies.
  11. Ability to work independently without close supervision, to prioritise own work, meet deadlines whilst contributing to the wider Citizens Advice team
  12. Experience in providing advice in a wide range of area such as welfare benefits, housing, employment, consumer etc.

Closing date: 23 May 2022 11am

To apply: For job pack and application - recruitment@cab-oxford.org.uk

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