What is the role?
Refugee Action’s Asylum Crisis West Midlands Project is assisting clients who would otherwise be destitute with applications for asylum support (accommodation & financial support from the Home Office). This involves helping clients to make applications, responding to Home Office reviews of their support, or appealing against refusals or ending of support.
As an Asylum Crisis Project Volunteer you will work alongside the Asylum Crisis Project Co-ordinator, providing specialist advice to our clients around destitution issues- including rights and entitlements. Through this role you will develop effective casework and advocacy skills as well as building knowledge around support legislation for asylum seekers and migrants who have no recourse to public funds.
What is the time commitment?
- 1 full day or two half days of volunteering per week (Asylum Crisis is open Mon-Friday 9.30 am-4.30 pm).
- Ideally commit between 6 months and 1 year, due to the duration of training provided.
- We expect commitment, punctuality and reliability from all volunteers
Will I receive training and support?
You will receive comprehensive training, including on the asylum system, asylum support entitlements, processes & rules; asylum support appeals, casework & advocacy skills, using interpreters, confidentiality & boundaries.
We will also offer:
- Opportunities to further develop your skills & support Refugee Action in fundraising events, public appeals & awareness raising
- Opportunities to influence public policy by contributing data and case studies
- Regular support and supervision
- Re-imbursement of expenses, including travel costs and meal allowances
- Invitations to Refugee Action’s annual conference, Volunteer Days, Team Meetings, other social & information events
- Appropriate insurance cover
- A reference for work or study
Where would I be based?
You will be based at Refugee Action’s Birmingham office, but may be expected to help deliver an Outreach Service, which is provided once a week on Fridays at the British Red Cross, Birmingham (10am-4pm)
What are the main duties?
- provide accurate, confidential, non-directive advice to asylum seekers and migrants over the phone and face to face
- make assessments of client needs and vulnerabilities as they affect destitution and identify potential eligibility for support and services
- Complete support application forms & appeals
- Refer/signpost to our project partners for further advice and assistance as appropriateComplete referrals/signpost to Social Services for vulnerable individuals and families
- Complete referrals/signpost to various destitution services such as day centres, food banks, NRPF night shelters
- Contact the Home Office, solicitors, medical professionals & support groups to pursue clients’ access to their rights and entitlements
- Keep accurate case records of advice given & action taken
- Complete service monitoring
- Keep up to date with asylum support changes and community care legislation (information and training will be provided)
What skills are we looking for?
- Reliability and punctuality
- Basic understanding of confidentiality and the value of independent and impartial advice
- A positive approach to working in a multi-cultural and multi-racial setting
- Ability to read & write English
- Basic IT skills
- Ability to understand, communicate and simplify complex information to clients who speak English to differing degrees.
- Ability to negotiate with other agencies to represent the needs of clients
- Ability to cope with emotionally demanding situations and maintain boundaries with clients who may be vulnerable
- Be prepared to talk to clients about difficult issues, including negative Home Office decisions
We ask for two references from all our volunteers. This role also requires a DBS (criminal records) check at standard level.
How do I apply?
Please register your interest by clicking enquire now below to fill out an application. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis but the final date for submission of applications is 1st September 2018.
We are committed to making every reasonable adjustment to the workplace or working arrangements to accommodate people with disabilities.