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Closes: 29 May 2024. Interviews held week commencing 10th June.

To apply please email CV and a covering letter to Belinda@benchoutreach.com

Hours: 21 hours per week/with the view to going FT in July

Reports To: COO/CEO

Salary:  £32,213 (pro- rata)

This post is subject to a 6-month probationary period.


Housing First is an established model of support which sees housing as a basic human right, and not a reward for clinical engagement. We work with some of the most vulnerable homeless adults in the London Borough of Lewisham and are commissioned to provide support with tenancy sustainment, safeguarding, and engagement with and signposting to specialist services.

Bench Outreach is an established local charity and has been providing Housing First in Deptford for a decade, one of the first to do Housing First in the UK. We have a genuine desire and motivation to help some of the most at-risk, complex clients who have often struggled to work with other services in the past and are a trusted and familiar presence in the local community.

The Team Leader will hold a small caseload of clients and will manage a team of 4 support workers and one outreach worker. They will provide regular supervision and appraisals with support workers to monitor and advise on the support they provide to clients. They also facilitate communication between the Local Authority commissioners, management, and the Team and work closely with partner organisations.

The Team Leader is essential in actively encouraging a trauma-informed approach to supporting clients who have experienced high levels of trauma and who have very complex needs including severe mental illness, substance misuse, and/or and victims of domestic abuse. They also need to be confident in handling high-risk safeguarding situations involving clients while also ensuring the safety of staff.

Successful applicants will be DBS checked, but having a criminal conviction is not necessarily an obstacle to employment.

The Housing First Principles can be found here: https://homelesslink-1b54.kxcdn.com/media/documents/The_Principles_for_Housing_First.pdf

Required Experience/Qualifications

  • Experience of working with adults with complex needs is required.
  • A working understanding of need and risk assessment is required.
  • Understanding of the Housing First Principles is essential, even if the applicant has not got direct experience working in a Housing First project.
  • Experience managing a small team is desirable.
  • Housing management experience is desirable.
  • Personal experience of homelessness/substance use would be beneficial but not essential (applicants must have been in recovery for at least 2 years prior to the date of application)

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Managing the Housing First Team:

  • To manage the day-to-day work of a team of four support workers and an outreach worker, implementing the Housing First Principles and a trauma-informed approach
  • To put into practice decisions made with the CEO about the running of the service.
  • To balance the implementation of the Housing First Principles with the realities of working in a commissioned front-line service
  • To hold regular 1-1 supervisions with each support worker and to support the wellbeing of the team, considering the emotional impact of support work.
  • To assign visits and tasks to the outreach worker to support the rest of the team.
  • To ensure clear and accurate records of engagements with service users are kept and use the reporting systems provided by Bench Outreach
  • To ensure safeguarding incidents are prioritised and reported correctly, followed up, and recorded in a timely manner.
  • To monitor and review the Team’s support plans, risk assessments, and safeguarding procedures for all clients, stepping in when needed for particularly high-risk cases.
  • To hold a small caseload of clients with multiple and complex needs as a support worker
  • To create and implement a rota for desk duty.
  • To minimise risk to service users and staff through on-going risk assessment and information sharing
  • To ensure the upkeep of client casework in instances of staff absence
  • To provide information and reports to the CEO to feed back in contract monitoring meetings, board meetings, and funding applications.
  • To track and sign off annual leave, sick leave, and other staff attendance issues.
  • To be familiar with, follow and promote Bench Outreach policies, procedures, and methodologies, including the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion policy.
  • To perform other duties as assigned

Person Specification

To perform this role successfully, an individual should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Resilience, flexibility, and motivation to manage a variety of tasks, sometimes under pressure with high-risk cases.
  • Understanding of how to manage the emotional impact of support work and working with adults who have multiple and complex needs.
  • The ability to communicate with clients, staff, management, and other services.
  • Organisation and time management skills, including expense recording.
  • Sensitivity to the needs of others, and particularly to people experiencing        homelessness and substance use.
  • IT skills and confidence learning the systems used by Bench Outreach to collect data and casework information.
  • An interest in recovery models and the psychology of behaviour
  • Ability to work actively in a team and to use own initiative.