Job Title: Health Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA)
Responsible for: Volunteers
Direct Reports: NIDAS Assistant Manager
Based: Either the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital or the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn depending on appointment
The IDVA will be part of our team within the Norfolk Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS), which is a community-based service providing effective, safe, supportive, and confidential support for service users aged 16 plus and their families including children aged 5-18, who are assessed as high or medium risk, and living with or fleeing domestic abuse.
The purpose of the role is to work in a multi-agency framework providing a range of support to reduce the risk of further harm posed to service users and support them to engage with criminal justice proceedings safely, Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Coordination’s (MARACs), the Sanctuary Scheme and Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) processes, if appropriate as part of the NIDAS team.
The IDVA will work directly with victims and survivors in the hospital, both patients and staff, providing emotional and practical support and information about domestic abuse, and enabling victims and survivors to access the services they need in the aftermath of the abuse they have experienced.
You will work alongside a caseload of our service users to ensure that they feel safe, and happy with the service they are receiving and have the widest opportunities available to them to enhance their lives and improve their safety and well-being. You will ensure they receive an excellent level of support that uses a strengths-based and trauma-informed approach and is centred around their aims and aspirations.
Your role will be part of a rota system operating over 7 days a week. You will be required to represent the service by providing presentations and attending events as required and support the NIDAS Partnership Board in working towards the best possible outcomes for our service users.
This role is subject to DBS and enhanced Police security clearance.
Full and accredited IDVA training will be provided where necessary to give the skills and knowledge required for the role (subject to successful completion of probationary period).
Key Strategic Responsibilities
- Work in a multi-agency framework and environment, safeguarding adults, and children.
- Promote Equality, Diversity, Fairness, and Inclusion at all times.
- Ensure that service user voices are central to all aspects of service delivery and are evidenced through safety and support planning, risk assessment and reviews.
- To establish key working relationships within the hospital and across the locality.
- Be innovative in identifying methods to successfully engage with people across a wide range of backgrounds and with diverse needs.
- Look for opportunities to improve and develop the services that we offer.
- Promote collaboration and multi-agency working for service users and maintain up-to-date knowledge of local services to enable recovery.
- Support our patients to link into statutory, health, and social care services to maximise their wellbeing and recovery.
Key Functional Responsibilities
- Provide specialist support and complex multi-generational safety planning to victims of domestic abuse (DA) and violence (including their children) who have presented to the A&E/Emergency Department, or who are accessing services within the hospital and have disclosed DA.
- Build a relationship with each service user and engage at their pace and in their preferred way, taking a service user-led, flexible approach to providing practical and emotional support and advocacy.
- Facilitate a holistic assessment, using the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Based Violence Risk Identification, Assessment and Management Model (DASH) with each service user, building a relationship and creating a personalised support plan that incorporates risk and safety, and builds on their strengths and needs.
- Have an accredited IDVA qualification, or the willingness to work towards one and maintain continued professional development in the specified area via specialised training and learning.
- Ensure appropriate pathways are in place across the setting for referrals relevant to DA.
- Communicate on highly sensitive issues throughout the course of the role. This may include negotiating services, dealing with child safeguarding and adults at risk, working with service users who have mental health difficulties, disclosure of sensitive information, explaining complex information etc.
- Provide highly specialist advice to colleagues in relation to victim care.
- Ensure accurate recording and monitoring of service outcomes and keep managers informed of any successes or issues.
- Comply with all Health & Safety policies and procedures and carry out activities in a safe manner.
- Maintain accurate and thorough case records.
- Comply with Data Protection and GDPR legislation and best practice.
- To offer a flexible service over 7 days a week to ensure referrals reach the NIDAS IDVA service as part of a NIDAS Rota system.
- To offer telephone, virtual, group, or face-to-face advice and support to service users who have been assessed as high or medium risk.
- To participate in MARAC meetings and service user groups as required.
- To liaise with other teams within the NIDAS partnership to ensure seamless service handover between the triage service and other teams within NIDAS.
- To track cases through the Police, CPS, court, and other systems to ensure service users have accurate and up-to-date information in compliance with the GDPR, confidentiality, and data protection.
- To provide or coordinate support for criminal justice trials as required.
- To ensure that all Safeguarding issues and concerns are reported and dealt with in accordance with organisational policy and procedure, Legislation, and best practice.
- To promote and work within the policies and guidelines of NIDAS and employing organisations.
- The post holder will be based within the hospital (Norfolk and Norwich University hospital or Queen Elizabeth hospital dependant on role) safeguarding teams.
- To work at a different location either on a temporary or permanent basis upon reasonable notice, as part of your normal duties.
- To help and take part on request with any other such duties that are reasonably required to support NIDAS.
Health and Safety Responsibilities
- To ensure that the hospital’s Health and Safety Policies are understood and observed and that procedures are followed.
- To ensure the appropriate use of equipment and facilities and that the working environment is maintained in good order.
- To take the necessary precautions to safeguard the welfare and safety of yourself, service users, visitors, and staff, in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act.
- To undertake appropriate health and safety training to support safe working practices.
- To demonstrate a practical understanding of risk assessment in relation to their areas of responsibility and to ensure safe systems of work are in place.
- To ensure that all incidents occurring within the department are reported in accordance with hospital procedures, investigated, and corrective action taken as necessary and/or reported to senior management and specialist advisers.
- To ensure that line manager advice is sought if employees identify health conditions that may affect their ability to carry out their responsibilities safely.
Education & Qualifications
- An accredited IDVA qualification or working towards one.
- Driving Licence, Business insurance and ability to travel around Norfolk.
- Experience of working in a voluntary or statutory agency for a minimum of two years with victims of domestic abuse.
- Experience in public speaking and advocating for victims.
- Experience in using risk assessment tools for victims of domestic abuse.
- Experience working within a multi-agency environment.
Knowledge & Skills
- Knowledge of legislation around safeguarding vulnerable adults and children. This includes all adult safeguarding matters.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, engaging with service users, colleagues, and partners.
- Excellent IT skills including use of Microsoft Office, Teams, case management systems, and databases.
- Inquisitive and problem-solving. A commitment to seeking new ways of working to achieve positive outcomes.
- A clear understanding of Data Protection, confidentiality, and data sharing protocols.
- An understanding of a strengths-based and trauma-informed approach to support.
- An understanding of the impact of domestic abuse on young people, children, and families.
- Reliable, enthusiastic, non-judgmental, and understanding.
- Ability to be flexible and work independently, or as part of a team.
- Ability to respond calmly in sometimes pressured situations.
- Respect and value the diversity of the community and recognise the needs and concerns of a diverse range of survivors ensuring the service and your approach is accessible to all.
- Always seek to expand your learning and undertake all mandatory training and development essential for this role.