*** Closed for applications***

Full-time position based at EPIC’s Cork office.

EPIC, Empowering People in Care, is the only independent, national organisation that works exclusively with, and for, children and young people in the care of the state. EPIC aims to advance the rights and best interests of children and young people in the care system by advocating on their behalf, providing information and advice, developing opportunities for their participation in public engagement and campaigns work, and delivering policy and research to inform and improve national standards and practice. All of EPIC’s work is grounded in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, specifically Article 12, which governs the child’s right to be heard and to participate in decisions that affect them.

Closing date for applications: 5pm,  5th June 2024

Job Purpose

  • To provide skilled independent advocacy support to children and young people who wish to raise concerns about their care or make representations.
  • 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’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 young people about their rights.
  • To promote the participation of children and young people in decisions about their care.

Key responsibilities

  • To provide one to one advocacy to children in care and care leavers.
  • To facilitate both individual and group advocacy projects that support the participation of children and care leavers in the decision-making processes that affect their lives.
  • Ensure the recording and reporting of unmet need within your area of responsibility.  Work in line with local child protection procedures in respect of ‘Children First’ and issues raised by Children and Young People.
  • To establish and maintain strategic relationships with key partner organisations within the sector.
  • To represent the organisation regionally and nationally as delegated by the Advocacy Managers.
  • Contribute to the organisations policies and procedures in line with organisational strategic planning at local and national level and legislative change.
  • To develop and sustain partnerships with individuals, other organisations and local authority departments to ensure effective inter agency, inter disciplinary working.
  • To ensure that appropriate detailed records of work undertaken are maintained in line with organisational policy and undertake monitoring and reporting of statistics.
  • Promote/ Assist the participation of children and young people locally/ nationally in collaboration with EPIC’s Youth Engagement and Participation Teams around EPIC’s #CareCommunity and related initiatives.
  •  To build trusting relationships with children and young people seeking or receiving advocacy support.
  • To promote and support the participation of children in care and aftercare planning.
  • To identify need and undertake responsibility for the development of advocacy, advice, and information 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 advocacy are aware of and can access it.
  • To liaise with agencies in the care and aftercare sector and ensure that care professionals in the statutory and private sectors are appropriately informed and can refer to the Advocacy Service.
  • To undertake and develop advocacy training and information for other care professionals.
  • To improve and enhance professional competence and practice through continuing professional development and regular supervision.
  • To attend and participate in such meetings in the internal and external work environment as may be required for the efficient development of the advocacy service.
  • To contribute to the activities, promotion and development of EPIC as an agency working on behalf of children and care leavers.
  • To work in collaboration with the Research and Policy, and Youth Engagement and Participation Teams.
  • Contribute to quarterly and annual reports which are based on the agreed outcomes for your area of responsibility and attend liaison meetings as appropriate.
  • Promote a children’s rights-based approach to practice.
  • Ensure that all services provided meet agreed service levels, standards and outcomes.
  • Adhere to EPIC’s policies, procedures and values at all times.

Other tasks that may be assigned to you

  • Assist with organising and facilitate EPIC’s discussion and consultation groups.
  • Carry out any other duties commensurate with the post as agreed by your Line Manager.

Communication

Teamwork is vital to the smooth running of the organisation and all team members are required to play an active part. Developing collaborative working relationships with colleagues is key. This will ensure that the service provided meets service level agreements and contributes to the national work of the organisation.The post holder will have key contacts with:

  • Advocacy team colleagues
  • Research and Policy, Youth Engagement and Participation, and Communications team colleagues.
  • Children and young people in your area of responsibility
  • Identified liaison contacts
  • Other voluntary and statutory organisations

 Attitude and values

 A commitment to:

  • Children’s rights
  • Working inclusively with an understanding of equal opportunities and diversity practices.
  • Belief that children and young people can make transformative change happen in their lives if given the opportunity.
  • Ability to be objective and non-judgmental.
  • Ability to interact with children and youth people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Working in partnership with children and young people.
  • Working in such a way as to empower children and young people.
  • Developing best practice through regular supervision, training opportunities and pro-actively engaging in reflective practice spaces as required.
  • Inter-agency, inter-disciplinary working with a focus on skills sharing and professional development to improve outcomes for children and young people.

 Essential knowledge, skills and experience

 Qualifications and experience

  • A relevant degree level qualification and work experience, including social work, youth work, social care, human rights, and law, particularly as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
  • At least 3 years’ experience of working directly with vulnerable children and care leavers.
  • Hold a current driving license and have access to a vehicle. 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.

Demonstrable knowledge of:

  • The issues affecting children and young people in the care system.
  • The care system in Ireland.
  • Children’s rights.
  • Child protection issues.
  • Advocacy and its principles.
  • Current policy and practice in relation to children and young people.

 Skills and Competencies

  • Ability to build strong relationships with other stakeholders in the sector.
  • Ability to manage your time and workload to effectively meet deadlines.
  • 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).
  • Ability to effectively evidence and plan work.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, both oral and written are required to maintain expected standards as set out in organisational policy and to foster effective working relationships.
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately, both verbally & in writing, to a range of internal and external audiences.
  • Ability to form positive relationships with children and young people.
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team and on own initiative.
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends, with possible overnight stays.

Working environment

The successful candidate will be based out of EPIC’s Cork Office at the Northside for Business Campus, Ballyvolane, Cork.

EPIC, Empowering People in Care believes in the value of a diverse workforce and encourages applications from people from all ethnic, cultural, religious, and social backgrounds: in particular, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic and LGBTQI+ people. We also welcome candidates with experience of the care system. We are trying to build a more diverse and representative workplace and environment.

This role will be flexible in line with EPIC’s current hybrid working model – requiring some office-based work and some remote work – within the working hours of the organisation. Occasional evening or weekend work may be required.

Terms

This is a full-time post (35 hours per week), with a six-month probation period.

Reporting to the Regional Advocacy Service Manager.

Annual leave entitlement of 25 days per annum. The office is closed for one day at Easter and three days at Christmas. These holiday days are additional to the annual leave entitlement.

Participation in the company pension scheme is matched by a 5% Employer contribution, commencing on completion of the probationary period.

All roles within EPIC are subject to Garda Vetting.

Salary: €50,000

 

Closing date for applications: 5pm,  5th June 2024

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