The National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities is seeking to recruit a Senior Advocate for a temporary (specified purpose) fixed term contract to cover the permanent post holder who is in an acting up role. The post will be based in the Midlands & Northeast Region and is funded until June 2021.
NAS provides an independent, confidential and free representative advocacy service that works exclusively for people with disabilities. The service is person centred, accountable, accessible, impartial and independent of service providers, families and other supports.
The organisation has a particular remit for adults with disabilities who are isolated from their community and services, have communication differences, are inappropriately accommodated, live in residential services, attend day services and have limited informal or natural supports.
The National Advocacy Service is provided through four regions and a National Office which is based in Dublin.
The four regions are:
- Greater Dublin: Dublin, Fingal and Wicklow
- Northeast & Midlands Region: Cavan, Laois, Longford, Louth, Kildare, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Westmeath,
- Western Region: Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, and Sligo.
- Southern Region: Carlow, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford
Reports to: Regional Advocacy Manager
Salary: €47,675-53,022 (pro-rata) (It is anticipated that new entrants to the National Advocacy Service will be appointed on the 1st point of the scale however, incremental credit, should it be awarded, will be based on previous relevant experience as set out on application form).
Location: Midlands & Northeast Region
Hours: The position is full time (35 hours per week) and may involve working some unsocial hours.
The position entails travel; therefore access to use of a car is a requirement for the post.
The Senior Advocate will be asked to obtain Garda Clearance before they begin work.
A national panel may be formed of qualified candidates from which Senior Advocate posts which may arise within the next 12 months will be filled.
The completed application form and a covering letter should be emailed (as an attachment) to firstname.lastname@example.org (stating 03122019SAMNE in the subject line)
Shortlisting may apply.
Canvassing will disqualify.
Applications and covering letter must be typed. CVs, late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATION: 20th December 2019 at 12 noon
The National Advocacy Service is an equal opportunities employer.
Funded and supported by the Citizens Information Board.
Core Duties and Responsibilities
- Provide representative advocacy for people with disabilities particularly in complex situations
- Support people with disabilities in residential and day services to effect changes that ensure their rights, dignity, choices and decisions are safeguarded.
- Work as part of a regional team providing assistance to the Regional Advocacy Manager, supporting Advocates and sharing learning to improve practice and influence change
- Coordinate the adoption of and adherence to standardised policies, practice and quality standards within the Regional Advocacy Team
- Support the Regional Advocacy Manager in ensuring that people with disabilities who need information, advice and advocacy are provided with the service that best supports their needs and that those with the capacity to self-advocate are supported to use mainstream services in their local community.
- Develop effective and co-operative relationships with key stakeholders including service providers without compromising the independence of the advocacy service.
- Engage with other regional advocacy teams as directed by the Regional Advocacy Manager
- Provide support to Advocates in assisting, supporting and representing people with disabilities to seek a social service, negotiating on their behalf and pursuing any right of review or appeal as required.
- Mentor and coach advocates in the regional team to achieve optimum performance while maintaining a supportive working atmosphere
- Support advocates in the team to develop advocacy practice in line with national guidelines and quality standards
- Safeguard the independence of advocacy in the delivery of the advocacy service
- Monitor the team’s compliance with data protection legislation requirements
- Support the development and sharing of specialist expertise within and across advocacy teams
- Support the development and sharing of knowledge within the team of relevant legislation, appeals/ redress mechanisms and social policy and practices in relation to advocacy work
- Develop systems for review of cases within the team and proactively seek to identify process improvements
- Encourage and support Advocates’ active engagement in social policy to identify and report to the Citizens Information Board on issues that arise for clients in order to inform systemic changes in both service delivery and policy
Assist Regional Advocacy Manager
- Produce, analyse and present service activity data on a regular basis.
- Undertake review and evaluation of service in conjunction with Regional Advocacy manager.
- Support the Regional Advocacy Manager in developing and reporting on measures that demonstrate the effectiveness of outcomes achieved by the service
- Assist with the allocation of staff resources to ensure the service reaches those most in need of advocacy support
- Deputise for the Regional Advocacy Manager as delegated by the National Manager or requested by the Regional Advocacy Manager
- Contribute to the development and preparation of resource and training materials to support the delivery of quality advocacy services
- Assist the Regional Advocacy Manager in the effective management of caseloads and ensure accurate records are maintained on the electronic case management system, adhering to case management requirements
- Collaborate with the Regional Advocacy Manager in the implementation of quality standards, staff training and development and service delivery initiatives
- Support the Regional Advocacy Manager in the identification of training needs within the team and work with Regional Advocacy Manager to meet these needs
- Assist with financial planning and monitoring as required
Additional Duties and Responsibilities
- Liaise with other support agencies in the region and build effective stakeholder relationships
- Undertake promotional work on the National Advocacy Service as directed by the Regional Advocacy Manager
- Undertake appropriate training as required and ensure continuing professional development
- Undertake supervision of practice in line with service requirements
- Represent the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities at conferences etc. as decided by the Regional Advocacy Manager
- Participate in special projects and joint working arrangements in consultation with the Regional Advocacy Manager
- Participate and work within a Performance Management Development System (PMDS) process
- Attend centres within the region when required to offer support with specific cases
- Undertake other duties assigned by the Regional Advocacy Manager
- An understanding and knowledge of the philosophy, background and operation of advocacy
- Experience of motivating, supporting and coaching staff
- Ability to identify training needs
- Ability to develop appropriate materials and deliver training
- Ability to communicate skills and expertise to others
- Awareness of the needs of people with disabilities and the barriers experienced in accessing rights and services.
- Ability to represent, negotiate and communicate on behalf of others
- Ability to understand and maintain confidentiality
- Ability to respect and promote people’s right to make informed decisions/choices
- Good judgement
- High degree of personal integrity
- Ability to organise one’s own workload, plan and set goals
- Ability to monitor team caseload
- Ability to work effectively as part of a team
- Commitment to human rights for people with disabilities
- Flexibility of approach and flexibility to work unsocial hours when required
- Ability to travel efficiently throughout the region and to organise case and mentoring work across a number of locations as requested.
Required competencies for position
- Educated to graduate level in one or more of the following areas: social sciences, humanities, law, training and development. Equivalent experience and training will also be considered.
- Advocacy qualification desirable
- Previous experience in a staff support / mentoring role
- Experience of staff coaching and training
- Previous experience of working with people in a service-delivery role
- Knowledge of relevant disability legislation, disability rights and issues, developments in disability services
- Effective communication skills both oral and written
- Ability to impart knowledge
- Ability to negotiate effectively on behalf of clients
- Good IT skills
- Good written English
- Experience of and commitment to building up personal skills
- Case management skills
- Ability to give presentations to a variety of audiences.
- Ability to monitor, review, analyse and evaluate projects