An Independent Charity providing services,
information and support to residents of Merton with a visual impairment
JOB DESCRIPTION AND PERSON SPECIFICATION
Job title: Habilitation Officer Visual Impairment
Service: Sensory Impairment Team
Role and Profile
Job title: Habilitation Worker Visual Impairment
Reports to: Services manager
Responsible for: No direct reports
Role purposes and role dimension:
To provide habilitation services, specialist training and guidance to visually impaired or multi-sensory impaired children, young people and their families.
As the Visual Impairment Habilitation Specialist you will deliver specialist habilitation (mobility and independence) services to bring independence and freedom to blind and partially sighted children and young people from birth to 25 years.
Commitment to diversity:
As a member of the Sensory Impairment Team, to take individual and collective professional responsibility for championing the MertonVision’s diversity agenda, proactively implementing initiatives which secure fairness, equality of access and outcomes. Commit to continual development of personal understanding of diversity.
Key and external contacts
Will work directly with service users, their careers and families, and will have contact with members of the public and a range of different external organisations and professions including: independent and voluntary service providers; other local authorities; schools, Care Quality Commission; Benefits agencies and other government bodies; Clinical Commissioning , Groups; General Practitioners, hospital doctors and managers, mental health clinicians and managers; professions allied to medicine; Partner organisations; Courts; Metropolitan Police service; law centers; London Ambulance Service; Independent Mental Capacity Advocate; advocacy services; service user and career groups.
Key internal contacts
Team Managers, Senior Managers and Safeguarding Adults Service; other teams within People
department; other council departments such as Housing, Children’s service, Finance, Education etc.
Financial Dimensions/Implement “Best Value” Principles In Working With Service Users
• Seeking cost-effective solutions to difficulties including advising service users / careers of alternative methods to optimise safe functional ability
Providing information, support and advice to service users / careers on benefits, special grants and other resources available to visual impaired people
Key Areas for Decision Making
1. Assessing and making recommendations for a wide range of cost effective interventions to meet individual assessed needs, implement agreed actions, and review outcomes to optimise the service user/s function and quality of life.
2. Assessing and intervening in line with Safeguarding Children procedures when there are allegations of abuse.
3. Taking appropriate action to deal with service users’ emergencies, for example, the breakdown of an existing care situation.
4. Undertaking statutory assessments under the Care Act 2014, Mental Capacity Act 2005 and other relevant legislations.
• Ability to travel independently in connection with work and undertake home visits.
• Ability to work flexible hours, including the completion of assessments and occasional planned meetings / appointments outside of normal office hours.
• Enhanced DBS check, Children and Adults barred list
Baring check required? Yes ☐ No ☐Is the post politically restricted Yes ☐ No ☐
Key accountabilities and result areas key elements, carrying out assessment and appropriate interventions
This will involve:
• Assessing the needs and capabilities of children and young people with a visual impairment (0-18) and producing appropriate training programs and recommendations as required
• Planning, implementing and reviewing habilitation programs according to specific needs and capabilities, by giving one-to-one individual instruction in school, home and community settings
• Providing advice, information and assistance to parents, carers and others in close contact with children and young people in order ensure reinforcement of training programmes
• Providing counselling support to help individuals, their carers / families deal with the
emotional, psychological and social effects of visual loss
• Carrying out a comprehensive assessment of service user needs and risks relating to their sight loss, including functional abilities, daily living skills, mobility, and communication to maximise the use of remaining functional vision.
• Prescribing, planning, carrying out and reviewing appropriate indoor / outdoor mobility skills in a variety of settings. Making recommendations / supplying specialist mobility equipment and giving instruction on their use. Arranging for the collection of such equipment when no longer required. Ensuring that service users are aware of safety issues
• Planning and carrying out training in communication skills, daily living skills and personal care
• To work in partnership with parents, school and college staff and other professionals to devise and monitor appropriate mobility, orientation and life-skills programmes for implementation in school, home and the community with the aim of achieving independence.
• To monitor and advise on the above to ensure the programmes are effective and to record the students achievements on a regular basis.
• Undertake environmental audits in the home, school or public areas as required, for specific habitation programmes.
• Undertake appropriate risk assessments and put in place appropriate risk management strategies.
• Develop individual habitation (mobility and independence) training programmes on the basis of needs identified, in agreement with the children and young people and/or, where appropriate, parents and others closely involved.
Deliver appropriate individual habilitation training to children and young people with Visual Impairment (VI)
To ensure that service users are protected from abuse or harm as defined by the Safeguarding Adults procedures, and to work with partner organisations in response to identified concerns of self-neglect in relation to service users with eligible social care needs.
This will involve:
1. Identifying adult protection issues and ensuring they are addressed.
2. Investigating allegations of abuse and assisting in the development of protection plans in line with Merton’s multi-agency Safeguarding Children’s procedures and in consultation with managers.
3. Work jointly with other local authorities when issues of abuse cross geographic boundaries.
To review arrangements for service users ensuring that needs continue to be met, that services remain high quality and cost effective and that services are reduced or stopped when no longer required.
This will involve:
1. Managing individual outcomes through monitoring and review, ensuring that service users receive an annual review.
2. Carrying out reviews in line with the review procedure, looking at individual needs and how they are being met, and vigorously pursuing opportunities for progression towards greater independence wherever possible.
3. Promoting service user independence and self-empowerment balancing this with risk management.
Report writing and record keeping.
This will involve:
1. Maintaining up to date service user records on electronic database
2. Producing assessment reports, correspondence and other written reports that are clear and analytical.
3. Preparing reports as required, for example for Hospital, Mental Health Review Tribunals, Court hearings, NHS Continuing Healthcare applications, and for managers
4. Participating in the team Duty System on a regular basis
5. Working alongside, and fostering good working relationships with other professionals, especially managers, agencies etc. and adopting a multi-disciplinary approach in meeting service users’ / careers’ needs. Offering consultancy, joint working, advice and training where appropriate on specific cases / areas of work, via case conferences / meetings
6. Arranging registration with the Council for eligible people with a sensory impairment, and informing them of the benefits of registration
To remain aware of and up to date with relevant legislation and good practice guidelines and the implementation thereof.
This will involve:
• Keeping up-to-date with relevant legislation, welfare rights, developments in treatments techniques, new technology / equipment relevant to visually impaired people, and building up knowledge and resources within and outside the Council, this will benefit service users / careers.
To undertake a range of interventions as appropriate to support adults at risk due to vulnerability or community care needs.
This will involve:
• Assisting service users to access advocacy services where appropriate.
Involvement in supervision and personal development
This will involve:
• Participating in the Council’s appraisal Scheme through making constructive use of regular supervision
• Attending in-service and external training programs in relation to visual impairment, and other appropriate courses
• Participating in staff induction programs, and providing advice and support to colleagues
• Actively participating in professional / team meetings
• Taking responsibility for supervising, monitoring and assessment of rehabilitation worker students
To comply with operational policies within the team and contribute to their ongoing development in order to improve service delivery
This will involve:
1. Becoming familiar with operational policies and procedures and implementing these.
2. Identifying circumstances when policies and procedures may require modification in order to improve existing service delivery and contributing to this process via supervision sessions and team meetings.
3. Implementing changes in practice or policy as they occur.
4. Contributing to the collation of information about the needs of service users, including shortfalls, to assist the development of appropriate services for service users and their careers.
5. Leading the development of operational policies, procedures and working practices at local and divisional level.
Contribute as an effective and collaborative team member:
This will involve:
• Participating in training to demonstrate competence.
• Undertaking training as required for the role.
• Participating in the development, implementation and
• Monitoring of service plans.
• Participating and contributing to the planning and development of services for visually impaired people, and participating in the review of the procedures and services relevant to the team
• Championing the professional integrity of the service.
• Keep up to date with developments in practice, legislation, policy and procedure and participate in local implementation of change and modernisation.
Health and Safety
Being responsible for own Health & Safety, as well as that of colleagues, service users and the public. Employees should co-operate with management, follow established systems of work, and use protective equipment and report defects and hazards to management.
Managers should carry out, monitor and review risk assessments, providing robust induction and training packages for new and transferring staff, to ensure they receive relevant H&S training, including refresher training, report all accidents in a timely manner on Company accident forms, ensure H&S is a standing item in team meetings, liaise with trade union safety representatives about local safety matters and induct and monitor any visiting contractors etc., as appropriate.
Ensuring both individual and teamwork meets the Council’s Green Commitment Policy goals in reducing energy consumption and waste, increasing renewable energy use and recycling, contributing to a reduction in traffic congestion and using sustainable materials.
Being aware of the council’s responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998 for the security, accuracy and relevance of personal data held, ensuring that all administrative and financial processes also comply.
Treating all information acquired through employment, both formally and informally, in confidence. There are strict rules and protocols defining employee access to and use of the council’s databases. Any breach of these rules and protocols will be subject to disciplinary investigation. There are internal procedures in place for employees to raise matters of concern regarding such issues as bad practice or mismanagement
Equalities and Diversity
The council has a strong commitment to achieving equality of opportunity in its services to the community and in the employment of people. It expects all employees to understand, comply with and promote its policies in their own work, undertake any appropriate training to help them challenge prejudice or discrimination.
Job Title: Habilitation/Rehabilitation Worker Visual Impairment
|• Nationally recognised qualification in habilitation training for children and young people with visual impairment or recognised professional qualification (Certificate / Diploma in Rehabilitation / Mobility and Technical Officer)
• Appropriate level of knowledge of legislation, policy and philosophy relating to relevant service user groups, and knowledge and experience of applying relevant legislation that could impact upon service users
• Knowledge and experience of specialist visual impairment, and of assessment / care management and principles
• Good knowledge of Welfare Benefits
• Knowledge of safeguarding children and adults procedures
|• Ability to undertake holistic assessments of children and adults with a variety of complex issues, and to plan and provide services to meet individual needs
• Creativity in working within tight budgetary resources
• Skills in liaising and negotiating
• Ability to evaluate and manage risk
• Ability to write clearly and concisely
• Understanding of Health and Safety and its implementation
• Good interpersonal skills
• Effective communication skills (oral and written / typed)
• Ability to prioritise work
• Ability to work under pressure and use own initiative
• Ability to manage conflict
|• Experience of working with children and young people of all ages
• Experience of teaching mobility and independence skills to children and young people with a visual impairment in home, school and community settings
• Experience in sensory training (desirable)
• Experience of assessing needs and development, appropriate intervention / Care Plans to meet complex needs, and arranging and negotiating services
• Experience of using IT systems
• Experience of working in visual impairment services within a Local Authority or voluntary sector settingSpecial Conditions:• Ability to work flexible hours
• Physical capacity to visit service users in their own homes
• Ability to travel independently in connection with work and to undertake home visits.
• Ability to work flexible hours, including completion of assessments and occasional planned meetings / appointments outside of normal office hours.
• Experience of and ability to be flexible also working with adult service users with visual impairment
Merton Voluntary Association for the Blind
Registered Charity No.1075388 Company limited by guarantee No.3758661