Money Advice Caseworker

Job Title: Money Advice Caseworker

Salary: £20,869 to £23,629 depending on experience

Hours: As part of our commitment to being a flexible employer, applications are welcomed from candidates who are able to offer up to 37 hours a week.

Responsible to: Project Lead – Debt and Money Advice

Location: Ashington/Morpeth with travel across the county

Closing date: 5th August 2019 9.00am

Interview date: 13th August 2019

The Citizens Advice Service

The aims of the Citizens Advice service are:

  • To provide the advice people need for the problems they face
  • To improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

Citizens advice Northumberland provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities.  It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination.

In furtherance of its aims the service follows policies of non-discrimination and seeks to be an Equal Opportunities Employer.

The Role

Citizens Advice Northumberland’s 150 volunteers and staff work with over 20,000 people to address more than 40,000 issues every year, providing free, independent, impartial and high quality advice. Our service gives people the knowledge and the confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem.

We provide “drop-in” face-to-face support at 9 main offices and additional outreach premises across Northumberland, and further support from telephone support via our Adviceline service, which we deliver 5 days/week 9.30-4.30.

The main areas of advice we cover are welfare benefits, debt, housing, fuel poverty and employment, but we are the only service who is there to support everyone whatever their issue. We provide additional specialist casework services for universal credit, debt, fuel poverty, and welfare benefits, including targeted services funded by Macmillan cancer support.

We value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination wherever we find it, and through our research and campaigning we speak up on the issues that affect people’s lives.

  • To provide a high quality advice and casework service to the organisation’s clients in debt and money management advice.
  • To provide mentoring and support to other workers which helps to develop their skills and expertise in debt and money management advice.

The post holder will be part of a team of 8 fte caseworkers funded by the Money Advice and Pensions Service responsible for delivering a high quality debt and money management advice service to clients across the county through telephone/digital channels and community based outreach work.

The role will be based in Ashington but travel across the county will be required to deliver outreach services on a rota basis.

We will accept applications from candidates who are as yet untrained in debt casework but who can show a basic understanding of and interest in debt advice and who have the skills and ability to train quickly.

Main Duties

Advice and casework 

  • Provide a casework service covering the full range of debt and money management advice including debt relief orders, bankruptcy and debt management plans.  
  • Deliver the service by a range of methods as required including telephone/digital channels, drop-in sessions, appointments, outreach work and home visits.    
  • Act for clients where necessary, including drafting letters, budgets, and financial statements and negotiating with third parties.    
  • Ensure income maximisation through the take up of appropriate welfare benefits. 
  • Prepare and present cases to statutory bodies, tribunals and courts as required. 
  • Assist clients with other related problems where they are an integral part of the case and refer to other advisers or specialist agencies as appropriate. 
  • Maintain standards of service delivery and ensure that casework conforms to the Citizens Advice membership requirements, the Advice Quality Standard and the Money Advice Service Debt Framework.
  • Maintain case records for the purpose of continuity of casework, information retrieval, statistical monitoring, report preparation and quality checking. 
  • Ensure that all work conforms to the organisation’s systems, policies and procedures.   
  • Comply with the systems for monitoring and reporting on client satisfaction and the outcomes of advice. 
  • Work in partnership with colleagues to ensure that the service meets key performance indicators and targets.   
  • Assist in the smooth running of the organisation by providing back-up and emergency cover for other parts of the service as required. 

Research and campaigns

  • Keep up to date with current research and campaigns issues.
  • Participate in research and campaigns activity by providing information about clients’ circumstances and taking action on behalf of clients.  

Learning and development

  • Provide mentoring and support to staff and volunteers delivering debt and money management advice to increase knowledge and develop capacity.  
  • Carry out independent file reviews in line with agreed peer review procedures and systems to develop own expertise and that of the team. 
  • Read relevant publications to maintain knowledge and expertise.
  • Keep up to date with legislation, case law, policies and procedures and undertake training appropriate to the role.  

Other duties 

  • Uphold the aims, policies and membership requirements of the Citizens Advice service and demonstrate a strong commitment to equality and diversity principles.
  • Work cooperatively with colleagues to encourage good teamwork across the organisation.
  • Develop and maintain links with statutory and non-statutory agencies and promote the work of the organisation in a positive and constructive way. 
  • Prepare for and attend relevant supervision sessions / staff meetings / trustee board meetings as required. 
  • Comply with all monitoring and reporting requirements and provide progress reports for managers, the trustee board, Citizens Advice and funders as required.  
  • Adhere to the organisation’s information assurance policies and procedures and report any breaches or incidents of non-compliance.  
  • Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for own safety and that of colleagues.
  • Undertake any other duties that are consistent with the level of the post and ensure the effective delivery and development of the organisation’s services.

Person Specification

Essential Requirements

  • An understanding of and commitment to the aims, principles and policies of the Citizens Advice service including a strong commitment to equality and diversity.  
  • An understanding of the problems and issues associated with unmanageable debt and their implications for clients and advice service provision.
  • Recent experience of providing advice to the Advice Quality Standard and the willingness and ability to complete full debt advice training.
  • A good understanding of the skills and techniques used in interviewing clients through a range of channels including telephone, digital and face-to-face.   
  • The ability to understand the needs of others and to empower clients to take action for themselves.
  • The ability to monitor and maintain own standards, prioritise work and meet deadlines and targets.
  • An organised approach to work and the ability and willingness to follow set procedures concerning casework and file management.
  • Good numeracy skills and the ability to check calculations, prepare budgets and financial statements and understand statistics.  
  • The ability to analyse and interpret complex information and to communicate effectively in writing with particular emphasis on negotiation and representation.
  • Good oral communication skills and the ability to communicate well with a wide cross section of people including members of the public and external agencies.  
  • The ability to work flexibly with a variety of individuals and organisations and to earn and maintain the trust of those people with whom the organisation works. 
  • The ability to give and receive feedback objectively and sensitively and a willingness to challenge constructively.
  • The ability to work as part of a team and to respond positively to change. 
  • A commitment to continuing professional development including a willingness to develop knowledge and skills.  
  • Good ICT skills and the ability to ensure the best use of IT systems and packages in the provision of advice services.  
  • The regular use of a car for work purposes including outreach and home visiting.  

Desirable Requirements

  • The Citizens Advice ‘Certificate in Generalist Advice’ or equivalent experience.
  • Experience in providing full debt casework.

Further Details

  1. Normal hours of work for a full-time worker are Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm including a 30 minute unpaid break. 
  2. Full-time employees are entitled to 36 days annual leave (including bank holidays).
  3. Travel expenses will be paid on authorised business. 
  4. If you would like an informal discussion about the role please contact Sarah Hall, in the first instance to arrange this, using the contact details below.
  5. Completed applications (CV’s will not be accepted) should be returned using the details below:

Contact Information

Sarah Hall
Citizens Advice Northumberland (Ashington Office)
89-91 Station Road
Ashington
NE63 8RS

07384510724

Alternatively completed applications can be emailed to sarahhall@citizensadvicenorthumberland.org.uk

Please ensure that you receive a read receipt.