- 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.
Main tasks associated with role
- To provide one to one and group 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 local and national strategic 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.
- Assist in ensuring the participation of children and young people locally as part of EPIC’s national and local work.
- 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’s 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 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 participation, research and policy 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 and 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.
The post holder will have key contacts with:
- Advocacy team colleagues
- Youth Engagement, Policy and Research team colleagues
- Children and young people in your area of responsibility
- Identified liaison contacts
- Other voluntary and statutory organisations.
Teamwork is important to the smooth running of the organisation and all team members are required to play an active part. This is important in relation to liaison with colleagues and, ensuring that the service provided meets service level agreements and contributing to the national work of the organisation.
Attitudes and values
- 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 and training opportunities.
- Inter-agency, inter-disciplinary working to improve outcomes for children and young people.
Essential knowledge, skills and experience
Qualifications and experience
- A relevant degree level qualification and/or equivalent work experience.
- 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 deadline.
- 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 achieve 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.
The successful candidate will be based out of our Dublin Office at 7 Red Cow Lane, Smithfield, Dublin 7.
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 LGBTIQ+ 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.
This is a full-time post (35 hours per week), for a fixed term of 1 year.
There is a six-month probation period.
Annual leave entitlement of 25 days per annum. The office is also 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.
Reporting to: Advocacy Manager – Dublin Mid-Leinster and Dublin Northeast regions
Location: Dublin office
Closing Date for applications: 15th September 2023 (CoB)
Find out more details about the available positions and apply here: https://www.epiconline.ie/about-epic/vacancies/.