Job Role: Specialist Assertive Outreach Worker – Rough Sleeper Initiative (RSI) based in High Wycombe
Reporting To: Safeguarding & Complex Needs Manager
Hours: Part-time hours (up to 26 per week) to be agreed. This post may include evening, weekend & bank holiday working
Hourly rate: up to £13.27 an hour.
Overall Purpose of the Rough Sleeper Initiative
Bucks Council utilise funding from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government to provide additional support for rough sleepers in Aylesbury Vale. This funding boosts the support available to people living on the streets and help them into accommodation. It also increases the amount of assistance that can be offered to those at risk and sleeping rough during the winter months.
Bucks Council are working in partnership with Aylesbury Homeless Action Group, the Buckinghamshire CCG, Oasis and Oxford Health and working closely with Connection Support’s Rough Sleeper Outreach Service Team and other homelessness support agencies in the Vale to develop innovative tailored support solutions for those sleeping rough. We also work to develop accommodation solutions in partnership with Advance Housing, the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust and other local housing providers. This approach provides a holistic needs-based service to clients to provide accommodation, assessment and support including dedicated access to mental health and substance misuse professionals to help them sustain tenancies in the longer term.
The objectives of the Rough Sleeper Initiative Substance misuse team are to:
- Provide drug and alcohol related advice and support to verified homeless
- Provide drug and alcohol advice and support to people at risk of homelessness
- Provide in reach to people that have been housed by the project
- Reduce the number of people sleeping rough in Aylesbury Vale
- Contribute to the reduction of repeat homelessness
- Deliver an effective service that is tailored to an individual’s needs
- Facilitate successful resettlement.
We do this by supporting clients and Rough Sleeper Initiative partner agencies:
- Provide one of the first points of contact for the project
- Attend the rough sleeper bi-weekly meetings and share appropriate information
- Responding to referrals and referring onto One Recovery Bucks (ORB) as appropriate.
- Placing rough sleepers in emergency or other accommodation as required
- Engaging with the rough sleepers to improve their health, safety and wellbeing specifically addressing their substance misuse issues.
- Re-establishing and reconnecting rough sleepers with their family & friend networks, local communities, and One Recovery Bucks if appropriate.
- Providing information, advice and guidance to local community support and services.
- Working collaboratively with other agencies both statutory and voluntary to ensure best outcomes for rough sleepers.
- Resettling rough sleepers into long term accommodation and identifying longer term support.
- Supporting rough sleepers to identify and access appropriate services.
- Working with project team to identify and address gaps in delivery.
Being able to motivate clients using a person centred, motivational approach which meets the needs of the individual is essential to the success of this service.
Key Outcomes for Clients:
- Reduction of risky behaviours linked to drug or alcohol use.
- Accommodation both short and longer term.
- Support to sustain accommodation and make lifestyle adjustments.
- Maintain dignity, independence and control, and be treated as equal citizens.
- Participate in the social activities and networks that connect them to other people.
- Have a healthy lifestyle that maintains physical, mental and emotional well-being.
- Develop resilience and ability to cope effectively with difficult life events.
- Live in a place that promotes a good quality of life and a sense of safety
- Access services including digital services and support when needed.
Hours of Work:
Part time hours to be negotiated with the management team to maintain the level of service required. It is likely that you will be working with ORB colleagues and other partner agencies. There will always be at least two workers providing outreach support. There will be odd occasions when an early start is required, which may involve going out with the verification team. Occasional flexibility will be required to book visits at other times, possibly late in the evening where this is the only way to make contact with specific rough sleepers. Occasionally weekend work may be required for which time off in lieu will be given.
In relation to clients:
- Develop and sustain a supportive working relationship with service users.
- Provide assertive outreach (focused and determined discussions on the streets) to assist rough sleepers to improve their current situation and access accommodation, treatment at One Recovery Bucks, primary care and other relevant services that will help to move them away from a street-based lifestyle. Complete risk assessments.
- Carry out assessments of the housing and related social and health care needs of clients who are sleeping rough or engaged in street activity. Where appropriate involve the Rough Sleepers Initiative team, specialist teams / agencies and ensure that these needs are met through support plans and action planning and review.
- Provide specific drug and alcohol advice and support alongside information, and advice on welfare rights, housing options, tenancy rights and responsibilities to enable them to make informed choices.
- Provide advocacy and assertiveness skills support encompassing signposting to other services, liaison with housing providers, advice on law and enforcement, access to ORB, access to the Mental Health nurse within the Initiative.
- Participate in multi-disciplinary working with Rough Sleeper partner agencies, which shall include case conferences to further the support planning and resettlement process for individual clients.
- Assist rough sleepers to access emergency / hostel or other accommodation in Aylesbury Vale.
- Provide in-reach and crisis management to substance misusers in hostels and other forms of accommodation when appropriate to prevent a client returning to rough sleeping.
- Provide the information on rough sleeping hotspots for rough sleeping estimates and attend street counts if required by the Rough Sleepers Initiative.
- Promote the service to the public and other organisations.
- Identify and engage private sector landlords willing to participate in housing service users.
- Maintain accurate records as required by the Rough Sleepers Initiative project.
- Support service users to make applications to funds available to them.
- To work to deliver a service which is sensitive to the different needs of black & minority ethnic clients, women, transgendered, lesbians and gay men and clients with disabilities, and which does not discriminate on grounds of age, class, religion, HIV status or offending background.
In relation to the team:
- To attend and participate in regular bi-weekly team meetings.
- To provide cover on an occasional basis for absent colleagues and provide office cover as required.
- To participate in regular support & supervision sessions.
- To operate agreed health & safety and security procedures.
- To share responsibility for security of office premises.
- To attend appropriate training courses and participate in skill sharing sessions within the team.
In relation to other agencies:
- With the agreement of the project lead, represent drug and alcohol treatment services (ORB) at relevant external meetings and inter‑agency forums.
- To liaise with voluntary and statutory agencies to develop good working relationships and promote co‑working strategies where appropriate.
- To be aware of legislation and national policies as they affect clients, particularly in the areas of substance misuse as well as an awareness of housing, homelessness, welfare rights, mental health and community care.
In relation to policy and administration:
- To carry out all necessary administration in relation to the casework task as set by the Rough Sleepers Initiative.
- To keep casework records in order that the Rough Sleepers Initiative can monitor and assess its efficiency and effectiveness.
- To further the aims of the Oasis Partnership and its activities by working within all agreed policies, including the Equalities Policy.
- Carry out, within reason, any other duties necessary to the smooth running of the project