Crisis Navigator


We are a team of criminal defence solicitors providing legal advice and representation to people at the police station, at court and for appeals against conviction. Many of our clients have a range of needs that extend beyond their legal case, including issues with housing, employment and mental health. These clients often struggle to access the support they need to manage the range of issues that they are dealing with.

This is a part time role for 3 days a week at £28,500 per annum [full time equivalent] and will involve working from home, in the office and travelling to client meetings. There is a potential for the role to develop into a full time position.

To apply, please email a CV and covering letter to info@commons.legal

Purpose of the role

We are run a crisis navigation service offering clients who are in crisis the practical support they need to stabilise their situation and make progress towards their personal goals. The Crisis Navigator will work with clients and with the legal team to improve outcomes in terms of their wellbeing, their ability to improve their material circumstances and their ability to engage in their legal case. We intend to grow the provision of holistic services to our clients in the longer term. The Crisis Navigator will work with clients to identify their needs and to link them to support and advice via the local Council, charities or community groups and other organisations.

The Crisis Navigator will:

  • assess the needs of our clients and support them to put together a personal plan
  • refer and signpost clients to organisations and services
  • provide ongoing support on access to services via advocacy
  • accompany clients to initial appointments where necessary

Responsibilities

Support clients to navigate crises:

  • Take a client-led approach to support people who are facing challenges with a range of issues such as their mental wellbeing, housing and employment situation, substance and alcohol use, family and relationships, and their financial situation
  • Develop trusting relationships with clients by giving them time to discuss their needs, providing non-judgmental support, and focusing on ‘what matters to me’
  • Work with solicitors to identify clients who may benefit from the service
  • Hold initial meetings with clients in the office, in an informal setting, or over the phone to assess their needs and understand their circumstances and priorities
  • Work with clients to co-produce a simple personalised support plan – based on their needs, assets, circumstances and priorities – including what they can expect from the organisations they are being connected to and what they can do for themselves
  • Signpost clients to services and opportunities and make referrals to relevant professionals and organisations
  • Research information and opportunities relevant to individual clients
  • Liaise with family members, friends, support workers, and other professionals (with the consent of the client) to support them to access services and opportunities
  • Advocate on behalf of clients where they experience challenges in accessing support services
  • Keep solicitors informed about clients’ progress as agreed at the start of the support
  • Manage and prioritise own caseload, in accordance with the needs, priorities and any urgent support required by clients
  • Where appropriate, accompany clients to initial meetings with local organisations and community groups to ensure they are comfortable
  • Follow up with clients to ensure they are happy with any referrals and are receiving the support needed.

Build relationships with local organisations

  • Research local organisations and community groups that may provide relevant services and opportunities for our clients
  • Proactively build relationships with groups and referral pathways, and establish safeguarding processes for people with vulnerabilities
  • Build up a list of local organisations and community groups which can be presented to clients
  • Obtain feedback on any referrals made
  • Develop and deliver knowledge-sharing activities for local organisations and community groups on supporting people with complex needs in the criminal justice system.

Work with colleagues to develop the crisis navigation service:

  • Develop written communication materials about the service for clients, local organisations and community groups
  • Assist in developing monitoring and evaluation tools to measure the impact of the service
  • Assist in developing policies and protocols for crisis navigation to embed the service into the work of the law firm and to achieve social impact.

Reporting and evaluation

  • Work sensitively with clients to capture key information in line with GDPR regulations, enabling tracking of the impact of the service on their wellbeing
  • Collate data for the crisis navigation service and support the preparation of evaluation reports as required internally and by funders
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date records that comply with internal policies and procedures
  • Encourage clients to provide feedback and to share their stories about the impact of the service.

General responsibilities

  • Participate in internal/external meetings as required, to attend conferences and other functions, and to contribute to decision-making as necessary
  • Undertake any training necessary to improve performance
  • Participate in regular supervision and annual appraisal
  • Comply with organisational policies and procedures, including confidentiality, safeguarding, lone working, information governance, and health and safety.

Person specification

Knowledge and experience:

  • Experience of providing practical support to people with vulnerabilities drawing on client-led approaches (Desirable)
  • Experience of working with people with complex needs including, for example, mental health services, social work, mentoring, and community outreach programmes (Essential)
  • Knowledge of referring people to relevant and appropriate services (Essential)
  • Knowledge of the range of challenges commonly faced by people who come into contact with the criminal justice system (Essential)
  • Experience of producing a range of client-facing written materials. (Essential)
  • Thorough understanding of the obligations, including ethical obligations, of working with people involved in the criminal justice system. (Essential)
  • Experience of establishing and building relationships with a range of organisations. (Essential)
  • Experience of writing reports. (Desirable)
  • Experience of data collection in line with data protection legislation and providing monitoring information to assess the impact of services. (Desirable)
  • Experience of issues in legal proceedings (Desirable)

Skills and abilities

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. (Essential)
  • Ability to establish and maintain strong relationships with people with vulnerabilities and/or complex needs and adapt styles to meet the needs of different types of clients. (Essential)
  • Strong interpersonal skills including an ability to demonstrate empathy, respect and a non-judgmental understanding of clients’ behaviours and motivations. (Essential)
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues, in partnership with a wide range of external organisations and stakeholders, and independently. (Essential)
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, take initiative and responsibility for completing tasks in a fast-paced environment, and set priorities. (Essential)
  • Ability to draft reports, client-facing communications and other documents. (Essential)
  • Ability to use Windows and Microsoft Office Suite. (Essential)

Qualities and attributes

  • Committed to improving the wellbeing and circumstances of people who come into contact with the criminal justice system. (Essential)
  • Enthusiastic about finding solutions and opportunities for each client. (Essential)
  • Committed to supporting clients to move in a direction and at a pace decided by each client. (Essential)
  • Self-motivated and organised individual. (Essential)
  • Enthusiastic about working with people from diverse backgrounds. (Essential)
  • Lived experience of the criminal justice system (Desirable)
  • Personal connection to Lambeth and the local community (Desirable)

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