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Support Worker (Drug and Alcohol Specialist)

Job Type






Posted Date


Closing Date


3 September 2021

28 September 2021

We are recruiting for a Drugs and Alcohol Specialist Support Worker to join our Service in Hackney.

Job Overview:

East London Apartments provides 24 hour accommodation based support for up to 31 individuals with complex histories, multiple traumas, complex personality disorder(s) and a varied, disrupted housing history with experience of homelessness.

East London Apartments implements and promotes the Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) model. This is an approach to supporting people out of homelessness, in particular those who have experienced complex trauma or are diagnosed with a personality disorder. It also considers the psychological needs of staff: developing skills and knowledge, increasing motivation, job satisfaction and resilience.

Working with individuals with complex needs, who may display challenging, chaotic behaviours, regularly test boundaries and have experienced multiple traumas as a result of abuse, neglect and years of street homelessness, it is integral that the post holder is motivated to support individuals to progress. They should continually hold aspirations for individuals despite multiple setbacks, and display emotional resilience, able to process challenging incidents and remain motivated to deliver excellent support.

Specialist Support Workers within Look Ahead are required to have either an extra dimension of experience or a higher qualification level as determined relevant for the particular post.

You will provide information, social inclusion and vocational opportunities to support people to recover and stay well; exercise choice and control in their care and lives; and participate on an equal footing in the community. Provision of care and support is also provided to develop a model of re-enablement towards self-advocacy, self-management and empowerment, incorporating the principles and practice of recovery, co-production and peer support. Post holders will deliver trauma informed and asset based support to a caseload of up to 6 service users with needs aligned to their specialism – caseload is subject to change depending on the service needs.

Key Responsibilities:

-Building supportive, trusting relationships with customers and external partners, creating a positive atmosphere

-Carrying out holistic assessments of new customers which incorporate relevant statutory referral information

-Conducting regular key work sessions that are innovative and engaging in order to achieve Support Plan goals

-Key-working the most complex service-users with particular needs aligned with the post holder’s specialism – Drug and Alcohol

-Create support plans for providing appropriate services based on on-going assessment and reflecting the services and resources available to enable customer to progress in their recovery

-Ensuring ongoing assessment and management of risks associated with customers within an attitude of ‘positive risk taking’

-Provide support and access to relevant services to enable customers to continue their recovery and empower customers to self-manage their medication regimes through individual re-enablement programmes and informed decision making

-Undertake support work in partnership with external stakeholders to compliment their interventions, leading on partnering with specialist stakeholders;

-Upskilling staff team in particular area of expertise – Drug and Alcohol

-Developing productive relationships with partner organisations to improve service outcomes

-Demonstrate strong commitment to the functioning of the staff team and to support colleagues in providing a high level of service and safety to customers

-Involving customers in the design, development and delivery of the service

-Adhering to lone working protocols and maintaining high levels of awareness in relation to the health and safety of yourself and colleagues

-Ensuring Look Ahead Health and Safety policies and local protocols are adhered to at all times e.g. fire risk assessments, fire alarm checks etc.

-Being responsible for the handover of key information between shifts

-Provide structured support and guidance to other front line staff in their area of expertise

-To lead groups and activities - offering a range of appropriate therapeutic and recovery focused interactions and activities

-Undertaking any other duties consistent with the grade and nature of the post as assigned by the Team Leader/ Manager

-To uphold all health and safety responsibilities within relevant policies and local protocols

-Adhere to all the policies and procedures of Look Ahead Care & Support plus those specific to the project including any statutory requirements

This is not an exhaustive list of all the duties and responsibilities that may be required from time to time and is subject to change in accordance with the needs of Look Ahead

Person Specification:

-A strong specialist support worker with excellent interpersonal skills

-Socially adept, networks widely, well connected in sector, influential

-Approachable, open & professional behaviour

-At ease in directing others, is assertive and independent minded, will challenge others, and skilled in resolving conflict

-Drives change, enjoys dynamic diverse environments and demonstrates entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation

-Demonstrates significant confidence and high levels of self-esteem

-Demonstrates significant levels of emotional resilience and a positive attitude

-Is respectful, articulate and sensitive in style of communication

-Is passionate and enthusiastic about the business

-Is motivated towards excellence and improvement of personal performance with a can do attitude

-Is Customer focused

-We welcome applications from individuals with lived experiences of using services

Skills, Knowledge and Experience:


-Up to NVQ Level 3 or equivalent in a relevant area (e.g. psychology, Health and Social Care, Mental Health) OR experience in the social care/charity sector.

-Experience building and develop strong professional partnerships with external providers aligned to their specialism


-2-3 years experience providing targeted recovery focussed support to individuals with needs around trauma, mental health, substance use and dual diagnosis.

If your application for this role is unsuccessful, but we feel that you would be suitable for another role, we may contact you to discuss alternative opportunities. If this occurs you would not need to submit another application for the alternative role.

We reserve the right to close this advert early if we are able to appoint to the vacancy before the advertised closed date.

We are committed to diversity and inclusion at work and are accredited with the Inclusive Employers Standard 2020. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds.

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