Salary: £29,577 - £32,234
Working Pattern: Full-time
The Leaving Care Service is part of Corporate Parenting within West Sussex County Council and provides direct support to over 600 young people each year. The Service supports, and plays a key role in, the journey of young people between the ages of 16 to 21, and up to 25 in some cases, as they leave care and transition towards an independent future as young adults; guiding, advising and enabling young people with their aspirations.
Our Personal Advisors are ambitious for our young people, committed to improving services for them and passionate about making a real difference to their lives. You will work with directly with individual young people who are leaving the care of the Local Authority by helping to assess and meet their learning, personal and social needs. You will ensure they are supported safely and appropriately which is essential in understanding and managing any risks that may be presented and leading on any safety planning that is required.
As a Personal Advisor within the Leaving Care Service you will be working with young people at a crucial moment in their lives and will need in depth knowledge, understanding and compassion of the backgrounds and history surrounding young people in care; ideally experience of having worked with young people in a crisis situation. You will also need to be able to demonstrate experience of partnership working and conflict management and be able to communicate clearly and effectively o a wide range of people and have the ability to negotiate, persuade and listen to ensure that the focus on the needs of the individual is maintained.
Experience and Skills
- Ability to analyse and interpret people related information and data in order to prioritise needs, and to negotiate and implement effective plans for intervention and service provision.
- Ability to effectively engage and empower Care Leavers to undertake direct work and use a range of interventions to achieve change.
- Ability to work effectively with young people in crisis and manage conflict, containing own and others anxieties and working within the boundaries of the role.
- Ability to work in partnership with carers, colleagues and a variety of external agencies in order to deliver the most effective service, including the ability to facilitate and co-ordinate multi-agency meetings and plans.
- Ability to work professionally, to reflect on own practice and learn from experience. To take responsibility for own performance and be proactive in relation to own work and professional development.
- Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in both written and oral format including the ability to explain complicated and contentious information to a wide range of people and negotiate and persuade others to adopt a particular course of action.
- Ability to recognise the limits of own accountability and responsibility, and to seek appropriate support, advice and supervision.
Qualifications and experience:
- Relevant degree, or equivalent qualification or experience, demonstrating that level of applied knowledge in providing advice and support to young people.
- Relevant postgraduate professional qualification or equivalent qualification or equivalent demonstrable experience.
- Theoretical, practical and procedural knowledge of legislation and national policy developments regarding youth, and their implications for practice, in particular the field of Leaving Care.
- Understanding of working with young people in crisis and the delivery of support and advice to enable and encourage them in their transition from adolescence to adulthood. For example, the transition from a supported living environment into a more independent environment.
- Understanding of occupational, career and other pathway opportunities for young people both locally and nationally.
- IT knowledge in order to maintain accurate records.
- Significant experience of direct work with young people who have a range of presenting issues.
- Experience of working in a multi-agency context, demonstrating an awareness of differing roles and responsibilities and effective methods of collaboration.
- Experience of working with young people in a crisis situation.
- Evidence of good assessment skills, including the ability to ensure regular reviews and risk management with a variety of young people. Evidence of effectively prioritising work and meeting deadlines.
- Experience of working in partnership with those who access or need the service and maintaining a focus on the needs of the individual whilst handling conflict and disagreement.
- Evidence of working with those who access or need the service to identify issues and identify specific action by means of creative and pragmatic solutions.
Rewards and Benefits
As an employer we recognise that it is our employees that are central to everything we do. We aim to create a supportive and dynamic working environment where employees can achieve their full potential, achieve a healthy work-life balance and are rewarded for the work they do. In addition to working within an incredibly supportive team, you'll be entitled to 27 days annual leave, as well as the option to buy up to 3 additional days, a generous Local Government Pension Scheme and a range of training and development opportunities. For a full list of the benefits offered to you as a West Sussex County Council employee, please visit our website.