Thank you for your interest in the post of advocacy coordinator



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Thank you for your interest in the post of ADVOCACY COORDINATOR.

This application pack contains the following:




1. Background notes on Detention Action


2. Application form

3. Job description

4. Person specification

5. Conditions of service

6. Equal opportunities monitoring form
Please return your completed application form by email to tamsin@detentionaction.org.uk (please write “Advocacy Coordinator recruitment” in the header) or send in an envelope marked “Recruitment” to: Tamsin Alger, Detention Action, Unit 3R, Leroy House, 436 Essex Rd, London N1 3QP. We will acknowledge receipt of all applications sent by email.
CLOSING DATE: 9am Monday 8th September 2014
INTERVIEWS: Monday 15th September 2014

GUIDANCE ON FILLING IN APPLICATION FORM

The enclosed person specification lists the essential requirements for this post. When short-listing for interview, thee selection panel can only consider the information contained in your application form. You will not be short-listed for interview unless you can show that you meet these requirements. Your application will be marked on your response to the “Relevant Skills and Experience” section, where you should address each point on the person specification and give examples. Please also provide details of your education, training and work experience in the relevant sections, although you will not be marked on this.


You must use the form provided (though you can attach sheets). A pre-produced curriculum vitae will not be accepted.
Work, paid or voluntary, is not the only means of showing you meet the requirements of the post. You may also have acquired relevant knowledge and skills through your life experience. If so, please try to demonstrate this in the space provided.
The form should be typed or completed in black ink, for photocopying purposes.BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Detention Action (formerly London Detainee Support Group) is a registered charity (charity no. 1065066), which was founded in 1993. Detention Action aims to promote the welfare and rights of immigration detainees in the UK. Detention Action gives support and advice to people in detention in the London area and in HMP The Verne in Dorset, and lobbies for improvements to national detention policy.


Detention Action currently has seven staff. The advertised post is one of three Advocacy Coordinator posts, who are line-managed by the Casework and Policy Manager. They work alongside the Campaigns and Communications Officer and Community Support Officer, who are line-managed by the Director. We have a pool of around 40 volunteer visitors and around 10 office-based Advocacy and Support Volunteers. The overall direction of the organisation is the responsibility of the eight members of the Management Committee. Our largest funders are the Oak Foundation, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Tudor Trust, Henry Smith Charity, and Trust for London.
Detention Action provides support and advice directly to immigration detainees in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centres, near Heathrow Airport, in prisons in the London area and in HMP The Verne in Dorset. There are three main strands to this work with detainees. Firstly, the core of Detention Action’s work has always been to provide emotional support to detainees through one-to-one visits. These visits are made by volunteer visitors, recruited, trained and supervised by the Advocacy Coordinators.
Secondly, Detention Action provides casework and advice to detainees from the office, accessible through a detainee freephone. The Leaving Detention Advice Project assists detainees to apply for bail addresses from the Home Office, which can enable them to apply for bail and avoid destitution. People in detention have the right to access these bail addresses, yet face considerable bureaucratic obstacles. Detention Action also undertakes general casework for detainees, including referrals to legal representatives and other advice agencies and assistance with communicating with these agencies. We also work closely with solicitors to initiate strategic litigation where it is necessary to defend the rights of people in detention.
Thirdly, Detention Action provides holistic and accessible advice and support on-site in the detention centres. These centres have a high proportion of detainees with complex needs, often arising from indefinite detention and / or mental disorders, which present barriers to accessing services and defending their rights. Harmondsworth is the largest detention centre in Europe; around 1000 people can now be detained at Harmondsworth and Colnbrook at any one time, and HMP The Verne will have capacity to hold 580 people. We hold regular advocacy workshops, which allow detainees to develop trust relationships with Detention Action through regular face-to-face contact and ongoing work on their diverse needs.
Detention Action also uses evidence gained from our front-line work to lobby and campaign for improvements to detention policy and practice. Our campaign against indefinite detention aims to end the detention of migrants without time limit for periods of years of people. We have published two reports on indefinite detention, highlighting the voices of the people experiencing it. We also campaign for an end to the Detained Fast Track asylum process, publishing a report in 2011 and bringing a strategic legal challenge this year. The reports and more information on our work are available on our website.

DETENTION ACTION

Employment Application Form: ADVOCACY COORDINATOR



Family name: …………………………………………………...
Other names: ……………………………………………………
Languages: Spoken level Written level

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Address: Contact details
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………………………………………………. Email: ……………………………………….
References

Please give the names, addresses and telephone numbers of two people, one of whom should be your present or most recent employer, whom we can approach for references. Please note that we will not contact references unless we offer you the post and you accept it.

1 ……………………………………….. Capacity known?
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……………………………………….. How long?
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2 ……………………………………….. Capacity known?
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……………………………………….. How long?
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If appointed, how much notice are you required to give in your present post? When could you start work with Detention Action?
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Where did you hear about this post?
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EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Please outline your education, providing details of any qualifications, the institutions that awarded them and the dates they were awarded. Include any training undertaken as part of your employment or voluntary work.


WORK EXPERIENCE
Please start with your present or most recent employment and work backwards. Include any voluntary work you have undertaken. Give the name of your employers, job titles, dates and current salary (if applicable) and a brief description of the work you have done. You may wish to continue on a separate sheet.

RELEVANT SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
Please use this section to outline the skills and experience you have gained, either in paid or voluntary work, at home or in education, that are relevant to this post, and which would enable you to fulfil the duties of this post. In completing this part of the application form, please address the points in the Person Specification, using the same numbering order. You may wish to continue on separate sheets.

Declaration:
I confirm that the information I have given in the application is true to the best of my knowledge.
Signature (please type if sending by email): ……………………………………… Date: …………………….

JOB DESCRIPTION

POST: ADVOCACY COORDINATOR


REPORTING TO: CASEWORK AND POLICY MANAGER

PURPOSE OF THE JOB: to be responsible for ADVOCACY AND support for detainees, both directly and through supervising volunteers.



Main areas of responsibility:

  • To undertake complex casework on behalf of clients, and to supervise office volunteers to do casework. This will include making referrals to solicitors and other service-providers, liaising with client’s existing legal representatives, assisting clients to make complaints, advising clients on other Detention Action services and projects; and other practical assistance.

  • To lead regular advocacy workshops in the detention centres, delivered by a team of staff and volunteers, including liaising with detention centre staff to arrange the session and coordinating follow-up work;

  • To provide asylum support advice to detainees on their rights to Section 4 accommodation outside detention, including through on-site advice workshops;

  • To recruit, select, support, supervise and train volunteer visitors, whose role entails providing emotional support and practical assistance to detainees through regular visits;

  • To develop and deliver a training and development programme for volunteers, based on volunteer feedback, around issues identified as being of particular concern;

  • To deliver one-to-one supervision sessions with volunteers;

  • To oversee the operational running of the service, including allocating clients to volunteer visitors, arranging mentoring, and supervising volunteer mentors;

  • To liaise with officers and management in the detention centres to develop our services in the centre and advocate for clients over sensitive issues;

  • To represent Detention Action at external policy forums, including Asylum Rights Campaign Detention Subgroup;

  • To attend internal meetings, including taking minutes;

  • To ensure that all relevant data is collected on clients and service provision, and to produce statistics;

  • To develop and manage administrative procedures and new office systems, and to be self-servicing with regards to administrative work.

The Advocacy Coordinator is to undertake such duties and responsibilities appropriate to this post, not specifically mentioned in this Job Description, as allocated by the Management Committee and the Director.


This job description can be changed at any time according to the needs of the organisation.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Post: ADVOCACY COORDINATOR



Experience, attainments and knowledge

Essential:


  1. Substantial experience of casework and advocacy for asylum-seekers, undocumented migrants and / or immigration detainees;

  2. Demonstrable understanding of good practice in one-to-one casework with vulnerable clients;

  3. Demonstrable experience and knowledge of good practice in volunteer management;

  4. Proven ability to work in a team in a stressful and pressurised environment;

  5. Experience of working with people affected by mental health issues, and understanding of the impact of immigration detention on mental health;

  6. General understanding of the issues affecting asylum-seekers and other migrants in the criminal justice system;

  7. Good understanding of the asylum system and the difficulties experienced by asylum-seekers and other migrants in the UK, including in immigration detention;

  8. Proven ability to organise and prioritise a busy workload;

  9. Excellent communication and listening skills, including the ability to communicate with a wide range of people;

  10. A high standard of written and spoken English;

  11. Computer literacy, including good typing, database and internet skills;

  12. Ability to work flexibly, including outside normal office hours when required;

  13. Demonstrable commitment to the principles of equal opportunities.


Desirable:


  1. Experience of working in an Immigration Removal Centre, prison or similar environment;

  2. Experience of designing and delivering training;

  3. Knowledge of another relevant language(s), most usefully Arabic, Farsi, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Pashtu, Punjabi, Russian, Sorani, Tamil, Urdu or Vietnamese.



CONDITIONS OF SERVICE



POST: ADVOCACY COORDINATOR
Salary: £27,250 per annum, plus 3% pension contributions.
Contract: This is a permanent position.
Working Week: 35 hours (with some evening work and occasional weekend commitments).
Annual Leave: 25 days per annum plus public holidays.
Probation: 3 months.
Place of work: Unit 3R, Leroy House, 436 Essex Rd, London N1 3QP. The role involves regular visits to the detention centres near Heathrow in London and some travel to Dorset.
Flexibility: The job description sets out duties that exist at the moment. They may vary from time to time without changing the general character of the duties or the level of responsibility. Such variations may be a common occurrence and cannot in themselves justify a reconsideration of the post.
Equal Opportunities: Detention Action is committed to operating as an equal opportunities organisation. We welcome applications from refugees and other migrants, and in particular from former detainees, to reflect the composition of our client group.
We are not able to arrange work permits for people who do not already have the right to work in the UK.
This post will require a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

DETENTION ACTION EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES MONITORING FORM.
Detention Action recognises that its equal opportunities policy, in itself, does not necessarily ensure equal opportunities. It therefore has a system for checking whether the policy is being carried out and whether it is working. Without records it is virtually impossible to know whether or not people are being discriminated against. Detention Action collects statistics on job applicants, volunteers and service users to ensure we are providing an equal service to all and equal access to job and volunteer opportunities. Data from monitoring records will be analysed to see whether there are any disparities and whether discrimination might be occurring.
We therefore ask you to complete the following form and return it to us. All data is anonymous and will only be kept for the purpose outlined above. COMPLETION OF THIS FORM IS ENTIRELY VOLUNTARY. IT WILL BE SEPARATED FROM THE APPLICATION FORM IMMEDIATELY ON RECEIPT, AND CAN BE POSTED SEPARATELY IF YOU PREFER.

1. What is your ethnic group?


Please choose one section from A to E and then tick the appropriate box.

A. White

British
Irish


Any other White background, please specify:

B. Mixed
White and Black Caribbean
White and Black African
White and Asian
Any other Mixed background, please specify:

C. Asian or Asian British

Indian
Pakistani


Bangladeshi
Any other Asian background, please specify:

D. Black or Black British

Caribbean


African
Any other Black background, please specify:



E. Chinese or other ethnic group

Chinese
Any other, please specify:




2. How old are you?




3. What is your gender?
Male Female

4. Do you consider yourself to have a disability?
Yes
No

If ‘yes’, please explain:








THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP


Staff/ Advocacy Coordinator


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