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ADVOCACY OFFICER - Dublin (Full Time)
EPIC Empowering People In Care is a national charity, working with and for children and young people who are currently living in care or who have had experience of living in care. This includes those in residential care, foster care, hostel, high support and special care, as well as children and young people preparing to leave care and in aftercare.
In carrying out its role EPIC works both directly with children and young people and also with organisations that work with children and young people in care.
EPIC currently provides the only independent national 1:1 advocacy and support service to children and young people in care and aftercare and also works in the areas of knowledge transformation, policy development and child and youth engagement and participation.
We are currently seeking to recruit an Advocacy Officer. The purpose of this role is to provide skilled independent advocacy support to children in care and care leavers.
This is a full-time position as part of the National Advocacy team and reporting to the Advocacy Manager - Dublin. The successful applicant will be based in our Dublin office and the role will cover the HSE Dublin North East region. This post is subject to a 6-month probationary period.
Reporting to: Advocacy Manager - Dublin
- To provide skilled independent advocacy support to children in care and care leavers who wish to access information or raise concerns about their care or make representations in relation to their care.
- To empower care leavers either by enabling them to represent their own views or by speaking on their behalf, or both.
- To ensure the child or young person’s viewpoint is heard and, to assist the child/young person in seeking a satisfactory resolution to any issues raised.
- To provide information, support and advice to children and care leavers about their rights.
- To promote the participation of children and care leavers in decisions about their care.
- To ensure that the views of children and care leavers on issues affecting their lives are heard through consultations with them and through the development of local participative structures e.g. Fora for children in care and care leavers
- To promote awareness of the needs of young people in care and care leavers in wider society to ensure greater understanding of the need for children and to challenge the stigma of care identity
- To ensure that all young people accessing EPIC feel respected, included, listened to and understood
- To contribute to the development of the National Advocacy Service through promoting awareness of the service with social work teams, care professionals, foster-carers, students and others in statutory, non-statutory and otherorganizations andagencies to seek to ensure that all children in care and care leavers are made aware of their right to independent advocacy.
- To undertake face-to-face advocacy work with children and care leavers.
- To undertake both individual advocacy cases and group advocacy support projects that will enable the participation of children and care leavers in the decision making processes that affect their lives
- To establish a visiting advocacy service for children and care leavers in residential care.
- To build trusting relationships with children and care leavers accessing the service
- To promote and support children and care leavers’ ability to contribute to their care-plan and participate in the care planning process
- To identify need and undertake responsibility for the development of advocacy, advice, support and information systems appropriate to children and care leavers in care and aftercare settings.
- To develop and undertake an information and publicity strategy which ensures that those children and care leavers who have need of the service are aware of and can access it.
- To liaise with agencies in the field of care and aftercare and ensure that service managers, service delivery professionals and carers are appropriately informed and can refer to the Advocacy Service.
- To undertake programmes in relation to advocacy.
- To help inform best practice through providing training and sharing information and research with professionals
- To undertake regular evaluation and monitoring of the impact of the service and to obtain the views of those using it
- To maintain appropriate recording systems for the service.
- To maintain records of all financial matters pertaining to the service, it’s staff, funding and expenditure.
- To attend and participate in such meetings in the internal and external work environment as may be required for the efficient development of the service.
- To contribute to the activities, promotion and development of EPIC as an agency working on behalf of children and care leavers.
- At least 3 years’ experience of working directly with vulnerable children and care leavers
- Experience of the design and delivery of group–work programmes?
- Experience and knowledge of child protection policies and procedures.
- Experience and knowledge of the legislation pertaining to care experienced children and care leavers
- Experience of report writing
Knowledge & Values
- Recognized 3rd level qualification - Social Work, Social Care, Psychology or other relevant discipline.
- An understanding of the legislation and associated policies as they relate to care experienced children and care leavers.
- An awareness of issues facing children in care and aftercare.
- A commitment to and experience of user involvement in the planning and delivery of services.
- A strong commitment to EPIC’s values and principles
- A strong (demonstrable) commitment to children’s rights.
- Ability to communicate / empathize with children and young people?
- Ability to interact with staff, team members, children and care leavers.
- Ability to build strong relationships with other stakeholders in the sector.
- Ability to work with initiative and flexibility and attend meetings and meet deadlines as appropriate to the needs of the job (these may occur outside regular office hours)
- Have excellent communication skills, both oral and written
- Have very good presentation skills
- Hold a current driving license and have access to a vehicle. The role covers the area of Dublin and the North East. This criterion may be waived, if a disability prohibits driving. In this case, please demonstrate how you would meet the mobility requirements of this post.
- An ability to work flexible hours in the evenings and occasionally at week-ends
The closing date for applications is 5:00 pm on 7th December 2018.
Please apply by clicking this link /epic-empowering-people-in-care/jobs/12107/advocacy-officer-dublin-dublin