Vacancy - General Advice Caseworker

General Advice Caseworker: We invite applications for the General Advice Caseworker post from those who share our commitment to supporting the legal and human rights of people whose lives are affected by drug use and drug policy.

Application closing time & date: 5.00pm Friday 14 August 2020

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted the week commencing Monday 17 August 2020 (we are unable to provide feedback to those who are not shortlisted)

Start date: As soon as available

Salary: £24,313 - £26,317 p.a. (based on experience) + pension contribution

Contract Type: Full time, Permanent

Holidays: 29 days plus public holidays

Location: Working from home and/or office (London based) should circumstances allow

Since Release’s inception in 1967, the organisation has continuously and actively advocated for open access to justice for all individuals with a specific emphasis on substance misuse and dependency. By addressing the legal needs of people who use drugs and those in recovery the consequences can have a profound and positive affect not only for the individual but also for those who live, support and work with them. Reducing health and income inequalities’ significantly improves a person’s life chances and integration back into their community. Whilst legal services are available to the public via other sources, our client group will often be unable to access such services because of fear of stigma or discrimination.

Release currently operates legal outreach services in drug treatment services, sex work outreach projects, and a homeless day centre, across nine London boroughs assisting over 1000 individuals every year. This non-judgmental service is an opportunity for clients of treatment centres to access the services of a legal adviser one afternoon a week. The service is free at the point of delivery and is not dependent on legal aid. All clients receive advice and assistance, and in some cases representation.

We also operate a national drugs and legal helpline, and produce a number of free informative publications for the public, and specialist guidance material aimed at professionals in the substance misuse and dependency field.

As a member of our dynamic legal team, based in London, your responsibilities will include:

  • Casework resulting from our legal surgeries across London, on issues including welfare benefits, housing, and debt;
  • Supporting the work of the legal team;
  • Legal advice to the public and professionals about legal issues connected with drug use (training will be provided);
  • Updating our specialist publications;
  • Contributing to our commentary on drugs legislation;
  • Assisting with the development of our website and other IT-related service initiatives and their legal compliance.

Requirements for the post include:

  • Completion of LPC; BVC; BPTC, OR LLB (or GDL)* and 1 year+ experience of providing social welfare legal advice and/or criminal law as a paralegal OR at least one year’s recent experience of providing Generalist Advice to the public, this should include having undertaken casework in welfare rights, housing & debt. 
  • An understanding of welfare benefits and/or housing law.

If you think you can make a difference as a Caseworker for Release then please download and read the job description and person specification together with the application guidelines for details.

The successful candidate will have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check upon appointment.

For further information, or an informal and confidential discussion regarding the position, please contact the Head of Legal Services – Kirstie Douse via email: kirstie@release.org.uk

Applications should be sent to recruitment@release.org.uk (attachments should be clearly denoted with the applicant’s name, and should not collectively exceed 5MB). 

Applicants will receive a confirmation email of receipt.

Application Check List

*Please Note: Total documents NOT to exceed six A4 sides

Current Curriculum Vitae

Covering Letter (Supporting Statement) - This your the opportunity to explain how your skills, experience and qualifications are relevant for the role.

Good luck!