Would you like to support people who have served in the Armed Forces? You don’t need a military background, just the ability to listen, some basic I.T skills and good written and spoken English. If so, this could be the role for you:
What is a caseworker?
Caseworkers visit clients to work out what type of help they need. Next, they find the right sources of support and arrange for clients to access it. This might be funds for special equipment for someone with a disability, adaptions to a property so an older client can remain at home or funds for a rental deposit. Caseworkers also sign-post clients onto specialist local services for advice on benefits, housing, mental health, debt, finding work etc.
Why do we need you?
Volunteer Caseworkers are the lifeblood of SSAFA, supporting a growing number of people in need of financial, practical and emotional support. Clients come from all backgrounds and age groups and may have served in WW2 or in a more recent conflict like Iraq or Afghanistan. Our trained volunteers listen without judgement to assess and provide tailored support to help people navigate life in and beyond military service. We need you to join your local SSAFA team to help us achieve this.
When would you be needed and where would you be based?
The essential part of the role is visiting clients, so you will need access to a vehicle or another way to travel to meet clients at home or in a care home setting. As part of your local branch you might have access to an office, but many volunteers are based at home.
What does this role involve?
• Contacting clients and arranging to meet them at a mutually convenient time
• Meeting clients and completing a form to assess their circumstances
• Sign-posting clients onto local services providing specialist advice
• Applying on the client’s behalf to military and non-military sources of charitable funding
• Arranging for the purchase of goods and services
• Keeping in touch with the client so they know how their case is progressing
• Keeping in touch with your branch so they know your availability
• Keeping up to date with training and SSAFA news so that you are best able to support clients
• Being a positive ambassador for SSAFA remembering that anyone you meet could be a potential client, volunteer or fundraiser
• Volunteering within the standards and values of SSAFA including observing our policies such as the Volunteering policy and data protection policy (these will be covered in your training and local induction).
What skills or experience do you need?
• Good listening and communication skills including written and spoken English
• Ability to be respectful and non-judgemental with clients, their family, other agencies and SSAFA colleagues
• Ability to send and receive emails – you will receive your own SSAFA email address
• Ability to make enquires on behalf of clients by phone, email, letter or by filling in forms
• Willingness to use our on-line case management system (this is covered in the caseworker training course)
• Ability to keep within boundaries of the role with regards to friendship or giving advice
• Reliable attitude, contact clients promptly, keep appointments, update the branch regarding your availability
• Ability to maintain confidentiality and keep information safely
• Access to public transport or a car to travel to appointments with clients
• Able to provide two referees: former employers or other people that know you well (other than relatives)
What can you gain from this volunteering role?
• Support people in your community with a military background
• Use your skills, knowledge and life experience to benefit others
• Support and friendship from your local SSAFA branch and the wider SSAFA community
• Experience, training and skills that you can highlight on your CV and in job interviews
• Better physical and mental health – studies show that volunteers live longer and experience lower levels of stress and depression!
What training and support will you receive?
• Three-day training course for new caseworkers. Your trainer will guide your group of like-minded volunteers through everything you need to know to get started as a SSAFA caseworker
• Some short on-line training modules to complete at home, so you are up to date on how to keep clients, their families and personal information safe
• SSAFA branches have regular opportunities to update your training
• Access to a range of e-learning courses
• Local induction including who supports caseworkers in your branch and how to contact them
• Most branches have regular gatherings for caseworkers to meet and share ideas
• There is a Volunteer Support Manager for each region and the Welfare Team and Volunteer Support Team based at our central office can support you with any issues that arise as a caseworker
• Reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.
Will vary as you will be meeting clients in their own homes.
- Age restrictions
- DBS check required
- Equal Opportunities Policy
- Expenses reimbursed
Reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses with receipts.
- Health and Safety Policy
- Ongoing support
Your regional Volunteer Support Manager will offer you ongoing support. Most branches also have regular gatherings for caseworkers to meet and share ideas.
- Recruitment Process
- Training provided
Three day training course normally in London (expenses paid) . Refresher training is then a mix of online and 1 -day regional training - the latter will be held in Hants.
- Volunteer induction
- Volunteer Policy
- Volunteers covered by insurance
- Written role description
When can I volunteer?
This opportunity is available in the following areas: