ref#3579

Hours

Bank / Part Time

Rate Of Pay

9.90 rising to 11.57

Per

Hour

Brief Requirements

Support workers for autistic young adult (part time or bank) Quote Ref PQ0322
Email: [email protected]

Person Specification

Support worker for autistic young adult (part time or bank)
Must be reliable, organised and have excellent attention to detail.
Life experience essential, autism experience preferred.

Job Description


We need organised, reliable and responsible individuals to provide support for an autistic young adult as he transitions into early adult life. At some point, this is likely to include 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 (across post-holders) are:

• A shift every Tuesday (8am to 4pm) supporting the young adult to travel to Bury and volunteer at a steam railway. The goal is to maximise independence, including independent travel training (which may involve an earlier start)
• A 4-5 hour shift on a weekend day (pref. Sunday) to go on a cycle ride (with breaks) with the young adult
• Supporting the young adult with other social/leisure/educational/work activities as you help him develop them in line with his interests and preferences. (Currently a disability football session in Preston on Friday evening, other activities as they develop)
• Short shifts supporting the young adult with his routines at home in the morning and evening at times when his parent is away and he needs to maintain routines for school/college (currently sporadic but may become more frequent as face to face working returns)

In addition to the face to face work, the role includes working from home to:

• Write a brief ‘shift report’ following each shift to provide information to the young person’s parent
• Maintain email communicate with other support workers, the young adult, his parent and wider support team to co-ordinate activities

It is likely that the role will currently require between 10 and 16 hours per week in termtime on average, with more hours during school holidays, depending on activities arranged. However, multiple roles, including bank staff, are available. It is envisaged that the number of hours required in these roles will increase as the young adult starts college in September (and will require support on more weekdays) and moves into adulthood and his own accommodation, but there is flexibility for this to be managed in ongoing discussion with the postholder(s) 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.

Job aim:

The purpose of the role is to support the young adult as he transitions in to adult life.

The perfect support worker:

The perfect support worker is committed to and enjoys the role and finds satisfaction in positive outcomes for those they support. They are highly organised, hard-working and practical. They are respectful of the rights of others and would welcome the opportunity to empower an autistic young adult to maximise their independence, ability to control their own life and to live the life they want, not the life the support worker would choose for them, whilst also recognising the importance of the parent-child relationship (even for a young adult) and the needs of all young adults for appropriate levels of guidance, advice and protection. They communicate straightforwardly and clearly. They thrive on responsibility and are patient, tolerant and accepting of difference. They are able to help the young adult’s developing understanding of the need to accept responsibility and fulfil commitments, whilst also supporting them to pursue their interests and have fun. They are able to maintain strong clear boundaries whilst remaining calm and supportive. They are patient, tolerant and able to adjust their approach to meet the needs of the young adult and his family. They are able to be comfortable around others without feeling the need to converse constantly. They respect privacy and confidentiality but also understand the limits of these as they apply to young people and respect the parent-young adult relationship. They have the self-confidence and self-discipline to work independently without constant guidance and supervision and the sensitivity and commitment to maintain a continual process of reviewing how best to tailor their work to meet the needs of those they support. They are well organised, a good time manager, aware of details, have a good memory (or system for remembering things) and are able to keep track of and manage multiple tasks. They are systematic and methodical in their approach to tasks. They are comfortable with or can learn to appreciate the autistic need for attention to detail and are comfortable with revisiting tasks as often as is necessary to ensure they have conformed to existing systems. They are comfortable communicating by email and take in information well in written form. They can express themselves simply and straightforwardly. They are self-aware and analytical.

There is no such thing as the perfect support worker. However, if you have some of these qualities and aspire to others, please apply for the post by emailing [email protected]

Main Description

Job Environment:

You will be employed directly by the young adult’s mother on behalf of the young adult.

As other family members also have support needs, while the young adult continues to reside in the family home, you will be part of a team of support workers, but will focus on supporting this young adult. As the young adult moves into adulthood, and out of the family home, you will continue to support him in his new accommodation.

Induction, ongoing training and supervision of your role will be carried out by the young adult’s mother (with assistance from her own support workers) and the young adult themselves.

All support workers are expected to understand that their employer’s quality of life and those of their family members are dependent on their job performance and to show a high level of commitment and responsibility.

Duties:

Regular duties

• Supporting the young adult to pursue activities and hobbies in line with his interests. Driving him to activities when appropriate and accompanying him on public transport where feasible. Supporting him (at least initially and adjusting support levels to his needs) to engage in the activities identified.
• Supporting the young adult to travel to Bury and volunteer at a steam railway. The goal is to maximise independence, including independent travel training. This involves initially driving the young adult, although it will also require supporting him to develop independent travel skills on public transport.
• Organising and accompanying the young adult on regular bike rides (including developing his use of cycling for transport to activities as appropriate) (potentially flexible for non-cycling candidates)
• Keeping time sheets recording your hours of work and ensuring that these are handed in at the right time. You need to be proactive in ensuring that your job paperwork is in order.
• Sensitively assisting the young adult, without interfering unduly or restricting the development of independence skills, such as being aware whether he has or has not done some necessary task and prompting if needed. (Whilst also considering and discussing with him whether he might find independence promoting options, like checklists, useful)
• Supporting the young adult with his routines at home in the morning and evening at occasional times when his parent is away and he needs to maintain routines for school/college
• Providing flexible support for the young adult’s activities, particularly those outside of education. At times this work will involve full days and may occasionally involve supporting the young adult away from home, such as on a residential course or on a holiday. Such trips would always be planned well in advance. It may be possible for support for such overnight/multi-night activities to be covered by other support workers, provided this limitation to availability is declared at interview.

Note that some of these regular duties reflect the young adult’s current needs and interests, and may therefore change if/when he develops new interests in the future.

Additional hours (dependent on applicant’s availability and the young adult’s mother’s work schedule (currently highly variable due to Covid) – not obligatory as some of these hours can be covered by other members of the staff team).

• Providing some support for the young adult (while he lives in the family home) on more frequent occasions when his mother is away from home. You will be expected to take opportunities during these shifts to reinforce and support the young adult's development through informal opportunities e.g. playing board games, discussing future plans etc. During such shifts you will also be expected to carry out some household tasks in order to assist in the overall support provided to the family (e.g. tidying up the kitchen after a meal, hanging up laundry) and to prompt the young adult to do so (where he knows the task) and/or support him to develop his skills (where he needs to learn a task) in order to promote his independence skills. Some of the time you may simply be expected to be present in the house providing some company and occasional ‘light touch’ support.

In addition, some of the following duties may be required at times:
• Providing flexible and supportive help in urgent or unexpected situations.
• Other occasional one-off work such as taking the young adult to a special activity (e.g. a sporting event; trick or treating; to a birthday party; to a friend’s house)

Responsibilities:
• Communicating regularly and promptly with the young adult (by email or text) (and, when appropriate, his mother – by email) to co-ordinate shifts and acitivites
• Responding to email from other support workers to co-ordinate shifts and other planning/requests for cover
• Communicating regularly and at more length with the young adult (and, when appropriate, his mother) by email and/or face to face, to obtain the training and information you need in the role [Please note that the time involved in doing this a paid and required part of the role];
• Extremely occasionally, working with the young adult may involve some intimate personal care due to very rare occurrences of unreliable continence;
• Supporting and encouraging the young adult to communicate with his family members (particularly his mother) when appropriate (and in accordance with his wishes) about his plans and activities to support and maintain his important relationships
• Supporting the young adult to self-advocate and communicate on his own behalf;
• Supporting the young adult’s social inclusion (to the degree that he is comfortable with that) and development of friendships;
• Liaising with the young adult (and, when appropriate, his mother) regarding his progress and support needs and reporting any concerns promptly to the young adult, discussing with him the need to discuss them further with others and supporting him to do so to seek appropriate advice, help or support;
• Transporting/accompanying the young adult to and from activities.

This job description gives a statement of the general purposes of the job and provides an
outline of the duties and responsibilities involved. It is not intended to be comprehensive and you will be expected to be flexible and accept shared responsibility with other postholders (as they are recruited) for achieving the primary aims of the role

Hours of Work:

Current basic hours of work are likely to be:

• 8am – 4pm each Tuesday (supporting the young adult to volunteer at a steam railway in Bury)
• 11am-5pm each Sunday (bike ride)
• Shifts needed for other activities, particularly evenings/weekends and school holidays, including regular bike rides (including developing his use of cycling for transport to activities as appropriate)(potentially flexible)
• Short shifts e.g. 7.30am-8.15am and 8.45pm-9.30pm during periods when the young person’s mother is away (currently 2 full weeks per year, plus 2 days every 3 weeks. May increase depending on work commitments). These shifts can sometimes be combined with other things to form longer shifts, but not always.

Note that it is anticipated that the nature of these hours will change over time, according to the young adult’s needs, and also the availability and other commitments of the successful candidates. It is expected that the number of hours required overall will increase as the young adult transitions into adulthood.

See further information under ‘duties’ above.

Part time permanent post holders will be asked to commit to regular shifts and will also be notified (usually) well in advance of shifts requiring cover and will be able to indicate whether or not they are available to cover specific shifts, although they will be expected to show commitment to the role and be available for a majority of shifts requested.

Bank staff will be notified (usually) well in advance of shifts requiring cover and will be able to indicate whether or not they are available to cover specific shifts

For the immediate future at least, there will be at least 3 weeks per year with little or no work when the family are away/over Christmas.

The young adult may occasionally need support to deal with unexpected events with relatively little notice and may also on rare occasions need to cancel prearranged hours at short notice (for example due to illness).

It is essential that you are able to be honest and straightforward in communicating with the young adult (and, when needed, his mother), especially in response to requests. You should clearly distinguish between requirements and requests. Training will be provided.

There is a probationary period of 3 months which may be extended for up to 6 months at the employer’s discretion.

You will be entitled to 5.6 weeks paid annual leave (pro-rata to hours worked). Periods of leave must be applied for in writing (which includes e-mail) at least one month in advance. The more notice you are able to give, the more likely it is that the employer will be able to accommodate your preferences. The granting of any particular dates cannot be guaranteed due to the need to ensure adequate ongoing support to the employer.

Pay

The young adult’s mother will be your employer (on behalf of the young adult).

The current rate of pay for part time permanent staff is £9.90 per hour, rising to £11.57 per hour upon successful completion of 3 month probationary period.

The current rate of pay for bank staff is £9.90 per hour.

Essential Attributes:

• Must hold a full UK driving licence
• Must be located in or near to central, Lancaster. It is not feasible for the role to be filled by someone travelling a substantial distance to work, due to the need for some short shifts.
• 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 physically demanding activities (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, when appropriate, 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.
• You need to respect the rights of the young adult’s mother as a parent and immediate family member
• 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

Desirable Attributes

• Having own car.
• Prior experience of working with autistic people and/or knowledge of autistic spectrum conditions may be an advantage
• Prior experience of alternative communication approaches e.g. use of diagrams, visual and written information
• Prior experience of supporting a young adult through the transition into adulthood.
• Weekend availability an advantage
• Being able to ride a bike and be a confident cyclist
• Having the flexibility to be able to work evenings, school holidays and overnight
• Enjoying rollercoasters and waterslides
• Confident swimmer
• Computer Literacy, particularly familiarity with iPad
• Non-smoker