Independent Supported Housing Assessor - Fixed Term Contract/Secondment until 31.03.24
Salary: Band 7 - £25,481 - £29,577 p.a.
37 hours per week
What is the role?
This is an exciting opportunity for the right person to work with current and former rough sleepers and support them to secure and sustain accommodation. This is a fixed-term post until 31st March 2024.
Working in a small team within the busy Housing Needs, Advice & Support service, you'll be engaging with members of the public (single adults and couples, 18+) who are or may be facing homelessness. These are likely to be some of the most vulnerable members of society and you will regularly meet and work with customers with complex needs and entrenched patterns of behaviour.
Getting somewhere to live isn’t the end of the support needed for some of these individuals; indeed for many of them, it is just the beginning. You'll play a crucial role in delivering Portsmouth City Council's "Accommodation First, Not Accommodation Only" approach to preventing and relieving homelessness. The role will be linked to the city's newly commissioned Rough Sleeping Support service, funded by the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP) grant, with a primary focus on preventing and relieving homelessness for individuals both new to the streets and those who may be established rough sleepers.
You'll support this strategy by helping coordinate available services, maximising resources and expertise. You'll understand the complexities of homelessness, and the diversity of those affected by it, recognising the need to put the individual at the centre of your work. You'll provide tailored plans which meet the varying needs of your customers, promoting sustainable housing solutions and support which goes beyond "the four walls".
You will be responsible for:
- Fully understanding the circumstances of customers who have presented to Portsmouth's homeless and rough sleeping support services, identifying those who are in need of accommodation-based support, to meet their housing and any additional needs;
- Undertaking a comprehensive assessment, working where relevant with partner agencies such as health, probation and drug and alcohol services;
- Assembling a bespoke support plan and identifying any risks to be managed, to be taken forward by the commissioned provider of Portsmouth's Rough Sleeping Pathway of accommodation;
- Working with the provider to identify and develop move on plans for people living in the Rough Sleeping Pathway, and helping to understand and overcome any barriers to customers moving towards independence;
- Liaising with housing providers to understand and manage demand for their services; exploring data to identify trends which inform ongoing monitoring and future planning for supported housing contracts;
- Supporting colleagues within the Housing Needs, Advice & Support service to ensure the service meets its statutory duties in preventing and relieving people's homelessness.
The role will be partly based at Portsmouth's new Rough Sleeping Hub (formerly the Homeless Day Service), as you may also engage with customers in the community accessing other services, or those already accommodated in the newly-commissioned Rough Sleeping Pathway.
You will also be required to represent the service at multi-agency case conferences and planning meetings, and there may be an occasional need to work outside normal office hours, to respond to urgent situations or customers who are particularly difficult to engage with.
As such, you will be able to work independently, capable of managing your own time and prioritising tasks effectively. You will be able complete pieces of work and make appropriate decisions by applying the correct policy and legislative framework, showing clear and structured reasoning.
You will be able to work with limited daily supervision, yet be able to identify when it is appropriate to pull on your manager for guidance and support. You will follow lone-working procedures and remain vigilant of personal safety issues.
You will have strong interpersonal skills, with an ability to relate to service users, professionals and colleagues alike, and maintain productive working relationships. You will have the ability to gain the trust and cooperation of other agencies and get the best from them, and you will be able to engage with customers in a sensitive and non-judgmental manner. You will be able to respond to the various issues presented by working with vulnerable homeless individuals, and be able to remain focused and objective when confronted with emotionally-charged conversations or challenging situations.
You'll also be able to keep accurate and up-to-date records using a variety of IT systems, and make yourself available to support colleagues in the Housing Options service.
Who is the person?
You need to:
- Be educated to minimum GCSE grade A to C in Maths and English, or equivalent numeracy/literacy qualification;
- Be experienced in working with and using IT systems, including Microsoft Office applications and client record systems;
- Have an awareness of relevant housing legislation such as the Housing Act 1996, Homelessness Act 2002 and Homeless Reduction Act 2017;
- Have an awareness of the Equality Act 2010 and the Care Act 2014, and of adult safeguarding principles and procedures;
- Be able to interpret reports and assessments from a wide range of agencies, and use them to inform the development of support plans and identify appropriate resources to deliver these;
- Have the ability to make sound judgements based on appropriate evidence and to be able to analyse complex issues succinctly;
- Have tact and diplomacy; the ability to deal with sensitive and confidential issues that may require a variety of responses. You will be able to manage challenging situations whilst remaining professional and objective;
- Be able to work in partnership with other agencies; have the ability to understand the role, remit and operational limitations of other services and to work effectively as part of a "Team Around the Accommodation";
- Have the ability to work independently and using your own initiative, prioritising work tasks effectively and making decisions with limited supervision;
- Keep and maintain appropriate and accurate written records at all times, using a range of bespoke software packages and databases;
- Be prepared to work outside of office hours occasionally, if this is what is needed to get the job done;
- Ideally have a current driving licence and daily use of a vehicle, as the role involves daily travel around the city.