Independent Support Volunteers needed in Lambeth

Location: Greater London
Time commitment: 4 hours per week

Organisational background 

Family Lives is a national charity offering help and information for parents and families.  The charity has a number of area offices delivering a wide range of services. For more details please visit our website www.familylives.org.uk

Organisational values 

Family Lives is a charity with over three decades of experience helping parents to deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life. We believe that happy children come from happy families and currently support families to improve the outcomes for over 1 million children each year. We recognise that the best way to support families is to provide  professional, non-judgmental support and advice in a way that all members of the family can freely access.  It is good to talk and we can help find solutions and recommend further support within our own wider services and/or from our many partner organisations. 

Purpose 

To provide impartial and independent information and support to parents and young people who are who are being assessed for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan or transferring from a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Learning Disability Assessment (LDA) to an EHC Plan.  Support parents and young people to put forward their views and knowledge, and empower them to express their views during the assessment or transfer process. 

This role will be supervised by the Family Support Co-ordinator. 

Activities

The volunteer will be fully supervised, supported and trained to provide the following activities: 

  • To spend one-to-one time with families and young people to provide information and support on the process of obtaining an EHC Plan
  • Give information to the parent or young person on the local offer
  • To provide information to parents and young people on personal budgets
  • Help the young person or parent draft their contributions for the EHC Needs Assessment / Plan
  • To inform parents and young people of the local Information Advice and Support (IAS) service, when the issue is outside the remit of an Independent Supporter. 

General information

Volunteers would be expected to:

  • Attend the independent supporter training (2 days online, 2 days face-to-face)
  • Attend Family Lives induction
  • Maintain confidentiality (according to guidelines of project) and adhere to the other policies and procedures of the project
  • Provide brief records of every contact with the family/families, as directed by the project lead
  • Participate in monthly 1:1 supervision meetings with the Family Support Co-ordinator
  • Participate in termly Practice Development Groups (PDG), attended by all project volunteers and facilitated by the Family Support Co-ordinator
  • Follow and participate in the project systems which are designed to ensure volunteer safety

Time    

We would be looking for volunteers to commit the equivalent to 4 hours per week plus attendance at training dates, supervisions and PDGs. The ideal minimum commitment is 12 months and there is a probation period of 6 months. 

Location

Working from home or meeting families and young people at various community venues, schools and family homes in Croydon, Lambeth or Southwark dependent on role.

Benefits for volunteering             

  • Satisfaction in making a real and lasting difference to the lives of children and young people with special educational needs
  • An opportunity to develop experience for CV and references.  Family Lives is committed to helping volunteers develop their own learning and development through the project
  • Being part of a team
  • Personal development and skills training
  • Opportunities to meet and interact with a wide range of people
  • Travel expenses reimbursed
  • Flexible hours 

Volunteer person specfication 

We are looking for individuals who: 

  • have a particular interest in, or previous experience of, supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities
  • have demonstrable experience of working with parents or children e.g in their current or previous work or a previous voluntary role
  • are good listeners and have an ability to empathise with all parents/young people regardless of race, gender, age, religion or belief, nationality, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability
  • can demonstrate a willingness to question their own attitudes
  • can remain open-minded and non-judgemental
  • are willing to use IT skills as part of the necessary record-keeping and communication for the project
  • are willing to commit to work within Family Lives’ policies, in particular our Confidentiality Policy and Risk of Harm Procedures, ensuring that Family Lives can keep the volunteer as well as the families using the service, safe at all times
  • are willing to commit to attending regular supervision and support sessions with the your project’s Family Support Co-ordinator
  • are able to work individually as well as part of a team
  • are prepared to travel to local venues and events
  • are willing to commit to undertake Independent Supporter training
  • willing to give a 12 months commitment to the project

For further information about this role or to apply, please contact us on 020 3131 3150 or parentssupportherts@familylives.org.uk.

Attached Files

Please find the following files attached to help with your application:

How we can help you

If you would like support and advice, you can talk to one of our Family Support Workers by calling our confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222. You can also share experiences and advice with other parents on our Forums. Family Lives is here for you and you can contact us about any family issue, big or small.

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