Refuge Support Worker (RSA)

Swindon Womens Aid
25 days holiday

Job Description:

Refuge Support Worker (RSA)


Location: Swindon

Hours: 37 hours per week

Contract to Aug 2023

Job Purpose:

To ensure residents are booked in on arrival including completion of necessary forms and agreements and advised of further support to assist their future needs and planned exit from the refuge
To provide practical and emotional support for individuals for residents within SWA refuge accommodation. To include 1-2-1 key working, regular risk assessments, the development and regular review of written support and safety plans and providing advice and guidance based on needs
To work in partnership with other agencies and organisations so the needs and welfare of residents and their children are addressed in a timely and appropriate manner
To provide appropriate advice for calls to our 24/7 helpline referring these to SWA services or signposting to other agencies where relevant
To be a positive ambassador for Swindon Women’s Aid ensuring services are delivered to the highest of standards and SWA policies and procedures are adhered to at all times.
To attend multi-agency meetings, conferences and community events and provide presentations to raise awareness of the work of Swindon Women’s Aid and its domestic abuse services

Responsible to: Refuge Manager

Main duties and responsibilities:

To work effectively with residents, other service providers, agencies and specialist services to achieve positive outcomes for residents and their children.
To assess residents needs and provide relevant information and advice on a range of topics including welfare and benefits, accommodation & housing, legal representation, immigration, education & training, debt and budget management etc.
To ensure accurate risk assessments are regularly undertaken and written needs assessments and case records are kept and support and safety plans regularly reviewed and updated. 
To ensure the effective monitoring and evaluation of work to evidence high quality services are being delivered and to aid continuous improvement and future service development.
To remain up to date on relevant national, local authority and SWA policies and procedures in order to protect residents and children and safeguard them. Bringing any concerns or issues immediately to the attention of managers.
To support the development of effective service user involvement so the voice of service users are heard to influence national policy and existing and future SWA services.


There is no administrative support for this post and so it is important that the post-holder is self-servicing and that ensures that all information and administrative systems are kept up to date.
To prepare routine reports, including basic statistical information relating to service activity, as required.
To identify with the line manager all training and development needs and participate in all training courses relevant to SWA’s commitment to providing high quality services.
To uphold and apply the SWA Confidentiality policy at all times to ensure the safety of residents, staff, and visitors
To work in partnership with other professionals and agencies so that the needs and safety of residents and their children are addressed in a timely and appropriate manner
To be a positive ambassador for SWA ensuring services are delivered to the highest of standards and that policies and procedures are adhered to at all times
To contribute to continuous improvement in service delivery and meeting key performance indicators
To attend SWA team meetings and supervision with line manager

Person Specification

Education and experience:

Good level of numeracy, literacy and report writing skills.
Evidence of experience of undertaking risk assessments, providing emotional and practical support via key working and development of support and safety plans via management of a client caseload
Experience of at least 2 years working within a residential or supported housing setting, domestic violence advice centre or domestic violence refuge is very advantageous


Good awareness of domestic violence and abuse legislation in supporting victims and children and young people.
Good knowledge of domestic violence and abuse and the dynamics of an abusive relationship including power and coercive control.
Evidence of a good understanding and knowledge of child protection and safeguarding issues with the ability to work within national, local and organisational policy and guidelines.
A good understanding of other relevant legislation and guidance which affects domestic abuse victims such as criminal, civil & family, welfare, housing, immigration etc
 Knowledge of and commitment to the principles of service user involvement and the overall values of SWA.

Abilities, skills and personal qualities:

Evidence of the ability to build and develop supportive relationships while maintaining professional boundaries.
Ability to support, encourage and engage with residents & children and young people.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills when dealing with a wide range of people and strategic and statutory agencies.
Evidence of ability to plan, work on own initiative and prioritise work, and working flexibly and productively in a team environment
Ability to maintain up-to-date and accurate records and individual support plans and adhere to policy and procedures
Evidence of the ability to be calm and resilient whilst under pressure and to remain optimistic and persistent.


  • This post will be subject to an enhanced DBS check
  • This vacancy is open to females only (Exempt under the Equality Act 2010, pursuant to schedule 9, Part 1)
  • Driving licence and access to car is advantageous

It is essential to the development of Swindon Women’s Aid service delivery that the post holder is able to respond flexibly to changes in the requirements of this post.  This job description is therefore a guide and not an exhaustive list of all responsibilities the post holder may have over time.

Application Questions

1.  Do you have 2 years experience working in supported housing
2.  Do you have child and adult safeguarding experience?
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