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Volunteer Advocate Person Specification

Skills and Experience

As a volunteer advocate you will need to show us you are able to:

  • organise and plan your work, using your initiative when necessary
  • understand the role of an advocate and the client's point of view
  • listen and communicate effectively with older people and service providers
  • represent someone else's point of view
  • write clear and concise notes and letters and keep accurate records
  • persevere with a case when things become difficult
  • accept the need for reporting back to Advocacy Plus for regular supervision
  • commit time to attend induction, ongoing training and occasional events

As a volunteer advocate you will:

  • provide one to one advocacy for older people who need support to secure their rights, access social care, housing and health services and resolve their problems
  • take on casework and arrange and make an initial visit to a new client with another advocate to establish the issues and agree a course of action
  • work in partnership with your clients to represent/express their views to other services. This may be by telephone, face to face, by letter, fax or email.
  • ensure your clients are as involved as possible by contacting them regularly and keeping them informed of  your progress and the work you have done
  • respect the confidentiality of all information relating to your clients' cases
  • research/find appropriate information or services to help you carry out your work as effectively as possible
  •  carry out the tasks identified in the advocacy agreement established between advocate and client
  • work with your client until the tasks in the advocacy agreement have been completed

Keep in contact with Advocacy Plus by:

  • being accountable to a named member of Advocacy Plus's staff who provides support and supervision
  • communicating regularly with your supervisor

Work within Advocacy Plus's policies and guidelines. This includes:

  • undergoing a Criminal Record Bureau check in keeping with Advocacy Plus's policy
  • reporting regularly to your supervisor
  • keeping accurate records of what you are doing on the case
  • ensuring Advocacy Plus has copies of all correspondence relating to your client
  • working with Advocacy Plus's Data Protection policy
  • working within Advocacy Plus's Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults policy and Safeguarding Children policy
  • working within Advocacy Plus's Equal Opportunities and Diversity policy

Other Expectations

  • Your level of commitment will vary from week to week according to the activity on the case but will average 4 hours a week. This will include other tasks, such as reporting to Advocacy Plus.
  • You will contact your supervisor or another member of Advocacy Plus's staff if you have concerns about any aspect of your work or with volunteering with Advocacy Plus in general.
  • You will participate in induction training before being allocated any work and you will be invited to attend other training days.
  • You will have basic computer skills, including sending and receiving emails, using the internet and writing letters and recording your case notes. If you have no computer skills at the moment, this should not affect you ability to be an excellent advocate. We would encourage you to join one of the free computer skills' courses available in your area. We would take your training further, once you had gained the basic skills required.