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Independant Children's Rights Advocate

Job Type






£27,573 - £36,389

Posted Date

25 June 2024


Closing Date

10 July 2024

Barnardo's is seeking an empathetic and child led individual who can work within a dynamic and fast-paced environment using their strong organisation, communication and time management skills to support children in the secure estate.

This part-time position (Children's Rights and Advocacy Worker – Project Worker 2) is based within HMP Parc Young person's Unit, which accommodates children aged between 15-18 years, who are in custody either sentenced or on remand. Barnardo's refers to Young Offender Institutions (YOI's) and Secure Training Centres (STC's) as the Secure Estate (please note, the location of some secure establishments may mean they are not easily accessed by public transport).

Barnardo's is commissioned by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to provide an Independent Children's Rights and Advocacy (ICRAS) Service to children accommodated in a secure setting. The service is known to children as Barnardo's: Your Rights, Your Voice, and currently works within fiour Young Offender Institutes, and one Secure Training Centre. The ICRAS service is child led and independent of the secure estate; our service is delivered within Feltham YOI to ensure children can freely access support for a range of issues linked to their needs, rights & experiences of custody, resettlement, and safeguarding. As such this is a child-facing service, and at times involves lone working in the establishments, so we are seeking someone who can see the child, not the offence.

We hold ‘voice' at the heart of all we do, therefore we feel the role is best described by someone who is currently working in this service: “The role is a Children's Rights and Advocacy role, which means it is our job to empower the children we work with and help them to understand that what they think, what they feel and what they want really matters. We can speak on behalf of children to ensure their voice is heard and we also have the opportunity to help them to find the tools and confidence to raise their voices for themselves. Advocacy and Children's Rights support is particularly crucial in the secure estate because children are away from home, family and champions, and also because children in secure estate are some of the most vulnerable children in society; they have often faced considerable adversity, disadvantage and discrimination prior to arriving into custody and they might not therefore be equipped with the skills needed to articulate their concerns. Through the work you do with a child from simply helping them make contact with friends or family on the outside, to helping them with concerns they may have for example; discrimination, resettlement or safeguarding. You may be the one person telling them they matter for the very first time.”

The position (Children's Rights and Advocacy Worker – Project Worker 2) is line managed by a Team Manager, reporting to an off-site manager. The post holder will need to be able to work autonomously, working to the requirements of the contract and the regime of the YOI. The secure estate is a highly structured environment; as a Barnardo's service we deliver independent advocacy and support for a range of issues, whilst still having to follow and adhere to this structure.

This role includes lone working in this challenging prison environment. It is therefore critical that the successful candidate in this respect is able to follow guidance and policy and is able to take a proactive and individual responsibility to understand and access the support mechanisms in place and encouraged by the service as required. This role requires the worker to be onsite for their contracted hours, working remotely only for occasional training or meetings. The advocacy team work on a rota system with set hours each week, which includes evenings and weekends and bank holidays. Applicants should also be aware, that due to the nature of working within secure estate, the vetting and induction process can take several months to complete.

When completing your application please refer to your skills, knowledge and experience in relation to the Additional Information, Person Specification and Job Description document. This should be done with an understanding of the context of the service described, including advocacy and safeguarding.

This is a part-time vacancy with up to 18.5 hours available per week.

Please note due to the high volume of applications for some posts, this advert might close before the displayed closing date. We recommend that you apply for this role as soon as possible.
Pay & Reward Framework

We know that our colleagues go above and beyond in delivering our vital work, driven by their passion and commitment to Barnardo's values.  We also know that we can only realise our ambitions and achieve better outcomes for more children, thanks to the talent, hard work and creativity of our people.

For all these reasons, we are committed to a new approach to pay and reward, to ensure it is fair, attractive and progressive, which was rolled out in April 2023. This is a positive change for the charity, and a part of our People & Culture Strategy. It will assist us in supporting colleagues to belong, thrive and grow in their colleague journey at Barnardo's and in time will offer clear routes of progression for colleagues in both their career and their pay.

Whilst the full pay band and salary range is advertised, our approach to starting salaries is to appoint between the minimum to mid-point of the pay band – this ensures that pay steps are available to reward our colleagues annually based on their contribution to excellence and alignment to our values and behaviours.  More details on Barnardo's pay framework can be found upon application.

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