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Volunteering opportunity

Advocate (Child & occasionally 18+) Plymouth

Purpose of opportunity:
To support young people to have their voice heard when they are involved in meetings with Plymouth Child Care Services.

The Advocacy service support young people in Local Authority Care from the age of 6 to 18 to have their say at their statutory Child in Care review meetings, or for children and young people when they are involved in Child Protection meetings.

You would be visiting young people to provide an opportunity for them to share their views in preparation for their meeting. You, as volunteer advocate, will then attend the meeting to represent these views either with the young person or alone.

PIVAS offers an inclusive service including unaccompanied asylum seekers, children and young people with disabilities, additional needs including behaviour, communication and learning difficulties.
A minimum commitment of 18 months is required in order to offer continuity of support, as the best results are seen when a Volunteer can commit to a reasonably long period in this role, with sufficient availability Mon-Fri within working hours.

Our training programme prepares you for this vital role.

We welcome enquiries from both Men and Women.

As this role will involve unsupervised contact with children, young people and on occasion young vulnerable adults, we will require an enhanced criminal record check.

Recruitment numbers are capped/limited and initial informal interviews are to be completed by 6th May and formal interviews will take place w/c 20th May.

Key activities:
To meet with a child or young person before an upcoming meeting to support them in preparing what they would like to say.

To be with a child or young person if they are attending their meeting to support them in speaking up, to ensure they understand the process of the meeting and that their rights are upheld within that process.

To attend a meeting on behalf of a child or young person if they are not attending themselves to read the young person's views, without personal opinion or without being involved in the decision making process.

To support children and young people through the Local Authority Complaints procedure if they are unhappy with the service they have received from Children¿s Social Care.

To attend regular supervision with a named key worker and monthly volunteer advocate meetings where case allocations are made.
Volunteers will need to complete and submit all their case recordings within an agreed timescale.

Attitude/skills/knowledge required:
A reliable, trustworthy and empathetic adult
Good literacy skills with confidence to read the young person's views within professional settings
Good IT skills
An interest in the welfare and rights of Children/Young People
A non-judgemental attitude to people from different backgrounds and experiences
Experience with Children and Young People Desirable
Good communication skills & ability to relate to Children & Young People
Ability to work alone and follow guidelines to keep Children/Young People safe
A willingness to work within Barnardo's policies, procedures and professional boundaries.
Male volunteers / Foreign Language and Disability skills are increasingly required

Training, support or other benefits available:
2 days Barnardo's Induction
1.5 days Advocacy training
Half day Safeguarding / Child Protection/ EDI Training
You will receive ongoing support through the Buddying process and regular Supervision sessions.
Access to Barnardo's Volunteer Academy Programme and Internal Vacancy Listings

Location

PIVAS, Barnardo's, Brunswick House, 1 Brunswick Rd, Plymouth, PL4 0NP - operational city-wide Tel 01752 256339

Terms

Period covered by opportunity:
1 recruitment intake per year (usually commencing May)

Days/Hours/ Time commitment:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Morning, afternoon

Minimum Age: 18+ years

Expenses:
Can be offered

Disclosure
Enhanced disclosure applies

Type of Check
Enhanced and Children's and Adult's Barred List applies

Workforce
Child and Adult Workforce applies