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Debt Caseworker Job Description and Person Specification

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Debt Caseworker Job Description and Person Specification Powered By Docstoc
					               Central London Law Centre

                   DEBT CASEWORKEER

                       JOB DESCRIPTION

This post is subject to a 3 month probation period.


Central London Law Centre and Paddington Law Centre as a
Consortium have been offered a social welfare law contract from the Legal
Services Commission and the post of debt caseworker is being created to
comply with the legal services contact and to serve the consortium.

The post will be based at Central London Law Centre, 14 Irving Street,
London WC2H 7AF and attending at Paddington Law Centre , 439 Harrow
Road, London W10 one day a week.

Job Titlle         Debt Caseworker

Salary             £31,351(incl ILW)+5% employer contribution to
                   stakeholder pension pro rata


Hours              Full time 35 hours per week.
                   Monday to Friday 10am-5.30pm (30 minutes
                   lunch break)

                   Part time 17.5 hours per week
                   In agreement with co-worker in debt unit if one
                   in post.

Holidays           35 days per year pro rata, plus
                   4 recess days when Law Centre closes to public
                   between Christmas and New Year and Bank
                   Holidays. Dates to be agreed in advance with law
                   centre staff group.

Duration           Permanent post / Locum considered if available
                   for minimum of 6 months.


Evenings           Occasional evening work is necessary. There is
                   not overtime work but time off in lieu of hours
                   worked may be taken on following relevant
                   policy.
Access to premises:          There is no access for people confined to
                             a wheelchair or unable to manage stairs.
                             Where necessary you must be prepared
                             to arrange alternative accessible access
                             or make home visits.

Terms and conditions of employment laid down in the Memorandum
of Agreement negotiated by Unison on behalf of Law Centre
workers.

See also papers on Equal Opportunities and anti-oppression policies.


PURPOSE OF THE POST

To provide a targeted face-to face specialist money advice service to
clients in accordance with the legal services commission’s contract in
social welfare law and funders requirements and to meet specialist quality
mark standards.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1     CASEWORK

1.1   Providing the full range of advice activities to assist clients with
      debt advice and income maximisation problems, including those
      with multiple debts, both priority and non-priority owed to
      commercial and statutory creditors.

1.2   Dealing with contentious and complex debt advice problems,
      including mortgage and rent arrears re-possession cases,
      bankruptcy proceedings, and Consumer Credit Act disputes.

1.3   Preparing cases and representing clients, where appropriate, at
      County Court and High Court as well as assisting clients who are
      self-representing.

1.4   Advising on and assisting with income maximisation issues,
      including assisting with benefit and tax credit claims and associated
      problems.

1.5   Identifying other on debt/income maximisation social welfare advice
      needs and signposting or making referrals to other agencies where
      necessary.

1.6   Keeping accurate and detailed case records/files to SQM Standard.
1.7   Completing statistical information records  compliant with
      organisational and legal services commission and funders’
      requirements.

1.8   Providing outreach advice sessions and forming effective working
      relationships with host agencies across the region, and also
      undertaking home visits.

2     SUPERVISION AND SUPPORT

2.1   Participating in supervision and file review of colleagues, either
      within the organisation or in partner agencies.

2.2   Providing second-tier support to colleagues on request.

3     SERVICE DEVELOPMENT

3.1   Taking part in service planning activities to help ensure relevant
      elements of the legal services commission contract and funders’
      requirements are met.

3.2   Participating in recruitment selection panels as required.

4     PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

4.1   Attending relevant training courses to enhance skills levels.

4.2   Keeping up to date with all relevant current legislation and policy by
      reading journals etc.

4.3   Taking part in regular supervision meetings with debt worker
      colleague – if one in post

5     SOCIAL POLICY AND EVALUATION

5.1   Participating in social policy and evaluation activities in order to
      influence policy with regard to debt issues.

6     OTHER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES RELATING TO
      ALL CENTRE POSTS

The staff-group work as a collective and meet regularly to organise
the day to day running of the whole Law Centre. Each worker is
expected to participate fully in this process. The staff are
accountable to the Management Committee, which is elected
annually to represent the interest of users and local people, and
have to comply with any requirements set by the Law Centre’s
senior solicitor regarding matters of professionals standards and
conduct.
6.1   Reporting regularly to the staff group and to the management
      committee    as     and     when     required   to   do  so.

6.2   Attending meetings with other groups and agencies if required
      on behalf of the Law Centre, not necessarily on debt matters.

6.3   Participating fully on a rota basis in the Law Centre’s
      telephone answering and advice service including making
      appropriate       referrals  for    non-debt     queries.

6.4   Attending and participate in the weekly staff meetings and as
      required, to the monthly management committee meetings.

6.5   Participating fully in the day-to-day management tasks of
      running the Law Centre.

6.6   Being fully self-servicing e.g. carrying out own typing,
      photocopying and administrative, maintaining case records,
      entering statistics on databases etc.

6.7   Participating in the Law Centre’s fund-raising initiatives.

6.8   To maximise the Law Centre’s Legal Aid income subject to the
      Law Centre’s guidelines and work priorities. The Law Centre
      has a Legal Services Commission Contract and all case files
      must therefore be kept to contract standards.

6.9   Meeting the debt worker’s target under its LSC contract.

6.10 Reporting any concerns or allegations regarding any
     negligence or professional misconduct by you to the staff
     group and to the Law Centre’s senior solicitor.

6.11 To report any concerns about money laundering to the Law
     Centre’s senior solicitor and, if different, its money laundering
     representative.

6.12 Complying fully with the organisation’s Equal Opportunities
     policy/ies.

6.13 Undertaking any such other duties as may be identified and
     which are generally compatible with the functions of the post.
PERSON SPECIFICATION

ESSENTIAL ATTRIBUTTES

1.   Two year’s full-time experience (or part-time equivalent) of running
     one’s own caseload of money advice and income maximisation
     cases.

2.   Acting as an authorised intermediary for debt casework or be able
     to become an authorised intermediary within 6 months of
     appointment.

3.   Ability to conduct debt relief orders.

4.   Good numeracy/arithmetical skills.

5.   Ability to write accurate case records and draft, letters reports and
     statements in plain English.

6.   Ability to manage a caseload and prioritise work in the face of
     competing demands on your time.

7.   Ability to work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds in an
     impartial and courteous manner.

8.   Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to respond sensitively to
     clients who are under pressure and negotiate with third parties in
     order to minimise conflict.

9.   Ability and commitment to work effectively with credit industry,
     voluntary sector and public sector representatives at all level

10. Commitment to teamwork.

11. Ability to use initiative and to work with minimum supervision.

12. Ability to research, understand and explain complex information
    both orally and in writing.

13. Basic knowledge of IT including familiarity with Microsoft Office
    applications, e.g. Word, Outlook or equivalents.

14. Ordered approach to managing own workload, and ability to plan
    and prioritise activities efficiently.
15. Ability to service own administrative needs.

16. Commitment and ability to taking part in social policy, research or
    evaluation activities as required, e.g. by responding to surveys.

17. Understanding of and commitment to the organisation’s equal
    opportunities policies.

18. Commitment to undergo training and participate in other forms of
    professional development that will enable attainment of specialist
    level of skills.

19. Willingness to travel to outreach sessions within the borough and
    the Greater London area

20. Ability to provide appropriate supervision and support to colleagues
    and external partners consistent with own skills levels.

DESIRABLE ATTRIBUTES

1.   Experience of court representation work.

2.   Recent experience of welfare benefits casework.

3.   Recent experience and knowledge of other areas of social welfare
     law.

4.   Experience of acting as Legal Services Commission Specialist level
     supervisor.

				
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