Head of Refuge

Due to the nature of this role, there is a Genuine Occupational Requirement that only female candidates will be considered.

Maternity Cover until 5th May 2023

cut off date for applications: Monday 16th August at 5pm
interviews to be held on Monday 23rd August

Role TitleHead of Refuge Maternity Cover 5th May 2023
Reports toChief Executive
LocationAndover Crisis and Support Centre, Andover
Special Conditions
  • Due to the nature of this role, there is a Genuine Occupational Requirement that only female candidates will be considered.
  • To work outside of normal working hours including participation in the on-call rota. When on-call, you need to be available for work and have access to a car.
  • Candidates must satisfy the interview panel that they have an objective distance from any personal experience of violence/abuse.
Role PurposeResponsible for the operational, risk and financial management of the women’s 19 bed refuge, 4 move-on properties and the on-site services/programmes. To ensure effective and appropriate services are provided within a safe, supportive and non-judgmental communal living environment for women and children who have been affected by domestic violence and abuse.
Responsibility AreasKey Activities
Managing the Refuge and Move-on Properties
  • Managing the day to day operations of all aspects relating to the 24/7 safe refuge and overseeing the delivery of an effective support service to women and children escaping domestic abuse.
  • Ensuring the refuge provides a service sensitive to individual needs including those of different ethnic and minority groups, and that there is a respectful, safe, caring and nonjudgemental environment within the refuge.
  • Developing and improving the refuge and its services in conjunction with the Chief Exec.
  • Ensuring that all residents are complying with the Licence Agreement and that any issues are promptly dealt with, including eviction where necessary.
  • Planning and monitoring the refuge staff’s hours, workloads and on call rota to ensure the refuge is adequately staffed, and ensuring the provision of effective reception, door security, referral process and the pathways into and out of safe accommodation.
  • Developing and maintaining effective working relationships with local agencies and key stakeholders of the refuge.
Risk Management
  • Responsible for managing risk within the refuge, and ensuring the safety and security of women and children within the refuge is protected.
  • Ensuring effective decisions are taken about accepting women and families into the refuge in accordance with ACSC’s policies and procedures and ensuring the implementation of the legal framework relating to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.
  • Ensuring health and safety checks and risk assessments are regularly undertaken and acted on, including lone working, and to ensure staff are competent in Health, Safety and Risk Management.
  • Leading the development, monitoring, implementation and review of refuge policies and procedure; ensuring they are embedded into service delivery, keeping accurate records and escalating concerns to the Chief Exec.
Leading the Refuge-Based Team
  • Leading the refuge-based staff in a calm and thoughtful manner.
  • Providing the team with supervision, development and support through one to one, team meetings and performance reviews; ensuring they are working well as a team with a clear understanding of their respective roles and of keeping professional boundaries.
  • Ensuring refuge-based staff are equipped to handle client’s complex needs such as mental health, challenging behaviour and substance misuse, and to manage non-compliance with the Licenced Agreement, house rules or premises security or disputes between residents.
  • Management of TOIL, annual leave and sick leave.
Overseeing Key Working
  • Developing and maintaining an effective service to support and enable clients with practical and emotional support including financial, legal, social, parenting and housing through an outcome focussed support planning process.
  • Overseeing client Key Working to ensure that clients’ support plans and risk assessments are up to date, relevant and helpful for clients; Auditing, evaluating and quality assuring Key Worker caseloads ensuring each client receives the appropriate service to their needs.
  • Providing support to Key Workers in cases where needs are complex and specialised support provision has to be carefully planned and monitored, or where concerns have been escalated by Key Workers regarding a client.
  • Ensuring the refuge offers support and activities designed for children, and overseeing the services provided by the Child Support Worker.
  • Supporting the Head of Outreach in the staffing of the Helpline.
Financial Management
  • Managing and accounting for the refuge budgets.
  • Ensuring that rental income is paid on time and that rent arrears are promptly dealt with.
Building Maintenance
  • Ensuring the refuge is clean, safely maintained, with all health and safety requirements fully met, and all that defects and maintenance issues are dealt with promptly and effectively.
  • Ensuring any equipment used or provided at the refuge is well maintained and fit for purpose.
  • Managing and overseeing the arrangements for maintenance and repairs to the refuge and move-on properties.

Person Specification:

This person specification states the experience, knowledge, skills and attributes which the selection panel will use to draw up a shortlist of applicants to be interviewed.  When completing your application, please think carefully about how you can demonstrate that you meet each of the criteria in the person specification and give examples wherever you can. It is insufficient simply to repeat what it says in the person specification. We are aware that we are asking for a wide range of skills and experience and will consider applications from people who would be prepared to add to their experience, skills and knowledge to acquire what is required.

Essential role related qualifications and experience at recruitment
  • Qualification and/or significant experience in a relevant field, e.g. operational management of supported accommodation for vulnerable women.
  • Proven experience of managing supported accommodation and the full range of housing management responsibilities, including preventing rent arrears, eviction, risk management and health and safety.
  • Working experience of line managing others, e.g. supervising and supporting staff who are working with vulnerable adults and children, and demonstrating a good ability to plan, develop, manage, monitor, and account for team service delivery.
  • Direct working experience of providing Key Work emotional and practical support to women and families under stress. Experience of supporting colleagues or staff to manage their caseload.
  • Demonstrable experience of dealing with crises and emergencies in a refuge setting and the ability to maintain a calm disposition under stressful circumstances, and making decisions quickly and independently, sometimes with limited information.
  • Previous attendance on training courses relating to topics, e.g. Health and Safety, Risk Management or Domestic Abuse, and a good understanding of general health and safety in the workplace.
  • Demonstrable experience of implementing and monitoring policies and procedures, and managing a budget.
Essential role related skills and knowledge at recruitment
  • A working knowledge of the complexities of domestic abuse and its effects on women and children, and the current civil and criminal legislation relating to victims and survivors of domestic abuse e.g. DSS and Housing benefits/ homelessness legislation /injunctions.
  • A working knowledge of Key Working, safeguarding and child protection, and supporting complex needs such as mental health, challenging behaviour and substance misuse.
  • Ability to develop appropriate, professional, supportive relationships with women and their children, while maintaining professional boundaries.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills, and proficient in Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Personal attributes
  • Passionate about helping those affected by domestic violence and abuse, and an empathetic and nonjudgemental approach to those in crisis.
  • Ability to manage, support and motivate staff, and to delegate responsibility and appropriately.
  • Ability to prioritise workload and operate without close supervision.
  • Resilience, strength of character and flexibility to deal calmly and with a problem-solving approach in complex, stressful and crisis situations.

cut off date for applications: Monday 27 September

No agencies, please.

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