Support worker (keyworker role) for autistic young adult
• Must hold a full UK driving licence
• Excellent spoken and clear, accurate written English
• You should have good oral & written communication skills
• Highly organised
• Commitment to the role. We are looking for someone to support the young adult through an important life transition, please do not apply for this role unless you can commit to at least 12 months, ideally much longer.
• Sufficient level of fitness to participate in a martial arts class (flexibility potentially available if required due to disability)
• You must be extremely reliable. Predictability is vital to autistic people. You must also be punctual and completely reliable in attendance.
• You must have excellent organisational skills. This is absolutely vital, if you are in any way disorganised you will not be able to do this job to the required standard.
• You must be willing to maintain good contact with the young adult (and his mother) on an ongoing basis by email and text message and let them know as far in advance as possible of any difficulties, changes, illness etc.
• You must be capable of maintaining a very high standard of confidentiality
• You must be willing to accept the level of responsibility involved in working in a situation where disabled and vulnerable people will be adversely affected by any shortcomings in your reliability or job performance.
• You need to be capable of recognising an adult’s vulnerability even when it is not immediately obvious
• You need to respect the young adult’s rights to self-determination, whilst also recognising his vulnerability and being prepared to use a range of communication methods to ensure the young adult has time to process information. fully understands decisions and is able to make an informed choice.
• You need to respect the rights of the young adult’s mother as a parent and immediate family member and be aware of the impact of your role and decisions on the young adult’s mother and other household members
• You need to have or be willing to develop clear understanding of issues of mental capacity and their importance in achieving independence and autonomy in adult life for a disabled young adult.
• You need to able to adapt to a working in the midst of a busy household and be capable of developing a relaxed relationship with the young adult’s mother and young adult whilst maintaining appropriate employer/employee boundaries
• Willingness to learn on an ongoing basis about autistic spectrum disorders and how the young adult functions and communicates.
• The appointment is subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Check
We need a highly organised, reliable and responsible individual to provide support in a keyworker role for an autistic young adult as he transitions into early adult life, including moving from his family home into independent accommodation.
The role will involve regular shifts, but the timing and quantity of these will slowly change over time, in discussion with the post-holder, to suit the developing needs and interests of the young adult supported. The nature of the role is likely to develop over time, as the young adult moves out of the family home and into his own accommodation and from being in fulltime education in a school environment, through college and beyond.
Face to face shifts currently required are:
• A 2-hour life lesson after school one afternoon/evening per week (and longer half or full day sessions in school/college holidays) to support the young person to begin taking responsibility for his personal administrative tasks and develop skills in decision making
• Possibly supporting the young adult to attend a weekly martial art class in Chorley on Wednesday afternoons/evenings - this involves driving between Lancaster and Chorley – mileage paid. (it may be possible for another postholder to cover this if required)
• Supporting the young adult with volunteering at a heritage steam railway and other social activities of his choice as you help him develop them.
• Supporting the young adult to go on weekly bike rides in the Lancaster area (potentially flexible for non-cycling candidates).
• Supporting the young adult with a range of activities and extended life lessons in school/college holidays (possibly including travel/overnight trips – flexibility on this may be possible for the right candidate) including planning this in collaboration with the young adult’s parent.
In addition to the face to face work, the role includes working from home to:
• Research and arrange ways in which the young adult can develop his interests, social activities, and skills including volunteering, and then supporting him to pursue these (with, at present, consultation with and input from the young adult’s mother). These are likely to include volunteering for a heritage steam railway and DJ-ing.
• Taking a keyworker role in working with the young adult (and his mother who, at present, manages his support) to recruit, develop and grow a support team which will support the young adult as he moves out of the family home and into his own accommodation and towards further education and possible employment.
• You will be expected to liaise with the young adult (by email and text) and (when appropriate) his mother (by email), to plan and develop the young adult’s life lessons, other activities and support him with other issues as they arise (such as beginning to support the young adult with the paperwork and budgeting tasks of adult life).
It is likely that the role will currently require between 10 and 15 hours per week in termtime on average, with more hours during school holidays, depending on activities arranged. It is envisaged that the number of hours required in this role will increase as the young adult moves into adulthood and his own accommodation, but there is flexibility for this to be managed in ongoing discussion with the postholder and it is likely to be possible for recruitment of additional support workers to be shaped to work well for the postholder, as well as the young adult.
In addition to this, at present there are likely to be some ‘bank staff’ shifts available at various times of the day/week, including evening, weekend and school holiday work, although these are currently needed less due to Covid-related changes to family routines. These shifts are arranged well in advance and, although we have a team of bank support workers, you may be able to work additional hours most weeks by accepting some of these shifts (if you were available to do so).