Welfare Advice & Support Worker

Location UK / Derry

Job Type Permanent full-time, TemporaryContract

Salary See description

Updated 6 days ago

Reference 1370874

 Job Description

Excellent opportunity for a Welfare Advice & Support Worker based in Dungannon with possible outreach to Cookstown & Magherafelt

Job Title: Welfare Advice & Support Worker

Responsible to: Head of Advice and Support Service

Duration of position: Initially 2 years with opportunity for extension

Location: STEP Offices, Dungannon with possible outreach to Cookstown & Magherafelt.

Salary:  £23,111 – £25,463 (Depending on Experience & Qualifications) + 3% Pension Contribution 

Hours:   37.5hrs per week. These will normally be worked between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm Mon-Fri. Evening work and weekend work may be required occasionally.

Probationary Period: The probation period for this post is 6 months.

Allowances: Travel and subsistence expenses are paid, in accordance with STEP travel and subsistence policy, when the post holder is absent from the organisation’s premises on the organisation’s business.

Holidays: 36 days inclusive of stat. holidays. (16 days statutory/public holidays as identified in the STEP employee manual and annual leave of 20 working days each year) based on 37.5 hours per week contract

Start Date:  As soon as possible

Key Purpose:    

  • To support the empowerment and vindication of rights of low-income, unemployed and economically inactive individuals and families
  • Summary of main responsibilities
  • To provide information, support, advice, casework and representation services to local people within Mid-Ulster Area.
  • To work in partnership with other STEP colleagues to inform evidence-based research, advocacy and campaign for social change contributing to the reduction and eradication of poverty.

Key duties

Direct support and advice

1.Provide information, advice and casework on areas of general welfare advice and representation for clients by preparing and /or presenting cases within appropriate appeal processes

2.Maintain case records for continuity of casework, information retrieval, monitoring and reporting 

3.Identify cases where clients need further assistance following benefit appeal (eg further benefit check, appeal to the Upper Tribunal, Judicial Review or court representation for rent arrears) and to make appropriate internal and external referrals for follow-on services

4.Keep such records (including the maintenance of a database) as required to enable the service to be monitored and evaluated.

5.Provide regular reports to the Head of Services on activities against targets, identifying issues and gaps in policy, practice or provision

Indirect support

6.Assist with research and campaigns on issues relating to welfare reform.

7.Assist in producing, maintaining and distributing appropriate information materials.

8.Contribute to evidence-based policy and advocacy work of STEP arising from experience of clients and service delivery

9.Undertake any other work, consistent with the purpose of the post as requested.

This is not exhaustive list of tasks but is intended to provide an on overview of key areas of the work.


Essential Criteria:

  • Qualifications, knowledge and & experience

You Must:

  • Have a good level of general education including Maths and English
  • Be working towards or committed to achieving within 6 months a relevant Advisor Qualification at level 3
  • Have a minimum of two years’ proven experience (paid or unpaid) in advice work at least one of which is in the context of current welfare reforms.
  • Minimum of 1 years proven experience of casework and managing complex caseloads
  • Have an in-depth current knowledge of the current benefits system

Technical Skills

You must:

  • have demonstrated capacity to translate complexity of regulations, argument and text into plain English in both writing and oral communication
  • have demonstrated capacity to use ICT as an integral part of your everyday work.
  • Be able to prepare and present persuasive evidence-based arguments
  • Prepare and deliver public presentations to diverse audiences
  • Have excellent organisational, communication and report writing skills 
  • Good IT skills – especially word-processing, and database entry

Please note STEP routinely uses Microsoft & Advice Pro packages.  You will be expected, if you not already familiar with these to be sufficiently ICT competent to adapt to using them within your first 4 weeks of employment.

Management & leadership skills

You must:

  • Have demonstrated ability to work in an organised manner
  • Have excellent time-management skills i.e.  proven ability to work under pressure to timescales and targets without loss of quality of service
  • Have the capacity to provide leadership and support to other less experienced team members
  • Commitment to working to the organisation’s policies and procedures
  • Have demonstrated ability to independently maintain up-to-date records to a high standard of quality control commensurate with external quality audit.
  • Are culturally competent to deal with the diversity of clients and other professionals in a  respectful and equitable manner

Political, Intellectual, Emotional and Social Intelligence skills (PIES):

 These skills are difficult to assess in written application and will be further assessed at interview. They are nonetheless essential criteria for our employees, given the context of our work and the socio-economic status of those who use our services- the people furthest from equal access and opportunity; decision -making and interdependent social inclusion & integration.

It is essential that you:

  • Respect, value and promote the fundamental rights and freedoms of all human beings regardless of race, class, creed, gender, political opinion, sexual orientation, nationality or geographical location.
  • Recognise that to reduce existing inequality, the balance of support resources and strategic development must be weighted toward those with the least.
  • Recognise the intrinsic integrity, experiential knowledge and potential capacity self- agency   for change within every human being.
  • Have the capacity to work in an open, transparent and accountable manner conducive to building sustainable professional partnership working to deliver meaningful outcomes for our clients and service users.
  • Be able to think critically and creatively within the context and boundaries of the existing legislation and able to analyse the impact of legislation on lived experience.Desirable Criteria
  • STEP reserve the right to enhance the criteria to select a manageable number of candidates for interview. The ‘desirable criteria’ below will only be used for selecting interviewees if the number of applications meeting the essential criteria is more than 10.

Desirable Criteria:


  • Have completed a welfare reform course.
  • Already hold a NIACAB level 3/4 accreditation in Welfare Benefits Advice.
  • Hold an additional accreditation in a second area of advice e.g. money advice & debt; consumer rights; employment rights; housing; immigration

Skills and Experience

  • have proven experience of casework involving working with social workers in supporting clients

Technical skills/ experience:

  • You speak one of the following languages with working competence: Polish, Lithuanian, Arabic, Portuguese, Tetum
  • You have proven experience/ qualification Design and delivery of learning / training
  • You have undertaken Motivational Interviewing training

Political, Intellectual, Emotional and Social Intelligence skills (PIES):

You have undertaken training within the past two years in any of the following areas:

  • Mental Health Awareness:  Wellness Recovery; Mental Health First Aid
  • Safeguarding (within past two years)
  • Equality / Diversity/ Cultural Competence
  • Human Rights practice / policy

For further information or to obtain an application pack please click on CONTACT EMPLOYER button below

Closing date for this application is: 2.00pm on Wednesday 14 November 2018

We will accept emailed application forms and will respond to confirm safe receipt of your application. A signed hard copy must be received to the office by 5.00pm on Friday 16 November 2018. We cannot accept late applications.