As the membership organisation for homelessness sector, Homeless Link works in the interests of the workforce. There are thousands of people working in homelessness and adjacent sectors. The work can be incredibly rewarding but also comes with many challenges.
We help our members to recruit and retain the very best staff and volunteers to deliver the best services. We also research and advocate on behalf of the workforce.
This is where homelessness services can advertise any vacancies to thousands of interested users.Find out more
We've produced an overview of the different types of Disclosure and Barring Service checks when recruiting.Find out more
We have created standard job descriptions for common roles in the homeless sector, from advice workers to Project Managers, and even Chief Executives and trustees.Find out more
For organisations who are new to employment we can offer consultancy support such as with drafting policies etc.Find out more
Training and development is crucial to staff retention. Homeless Link delivers an extensive training programme through a combination of open courses that individuals can attend, or tailored courses that can be delivered in house. In particular we are currently running a training programme that is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing. This level three Certificate in Providing Homelessness Services is a unique initiative – aiming to give people qualifications that are recognised across the industry.
With our unique understanding of the Homelessness workforce, Homeless Link is also currently creating a skills framework for the sector, in a project funded by DLUHC.
Taking our learning from frontline work we have produced a series of resources on psychologically informed management.
We offer specific training and support in leadership for staff moving into management, and also for established leaders, right up to CEO level.
And we offer coaching for leaders, groups and teams for all levels, including specialist coaching for leaders and sessions for teams. All of which can contribute to the retention of staff.
Looking after the wellbeing of staff is critical in retention, particularly in high stress and complex jobs that are often found in homelessness. We run a number of courses on this. For example looking at Time Management, managing Stress and Trauma and Reflective Practice.
And if you prefer a podcast you can listen here:
You can read about the experience of a course attendee in this guest blog.
A critical part of retaining staff is to ensure that the working environment is equitable, diverse and inclusive. Homeless Link is on our journey to continually improve our efforts in this space (see our strategy), but we also have a number of resources available to help Homelessness Organisations:-
Recent materials on inclusive services
Here are some recent publications from Homeless Link on how to make our organisations more inclusive. Visit the Knowledge hub for more.
Exploring Women's Homelessness - what we know
A literature review on women's homelessness.
The Gendered Lens Framework for Homelessness Services
The Gendered Lens Framework includes seven approaches for embedding gender-informed practice into homelessness services. Its a workbook with top tips, case studies and original artwork to support services to become more inclusive.
EDI Maturity Self-Assessment Tool
A tool enabling leaders in the homelessness sector to assess and improve the maturity of their organisation’s equity, diversity and inclusion.
A new national skills framework
The skills framework will provide key information on the homelessness sector, focusing on the career pathways, occupations and job roles with it, as well as the competencies, both existing and emerging required for each role. The competencies are the skills, knowledge and behaviours that underpin effective delivery and will improve across training delivered and service provision across the sector.
It aims to create a common skills language for the current and prospective workforce to help facilitate the recognition of transferable skills, knowledge and behaviours and support career development, so that skills can be passported between services helping the sector to retain qualified, knowledgeable staff.
For each competency there will be a description of what it means in practice and some examples of effective and ineffective behaviours at all levels. The competencies are intended to be discrete and cumulative, with each level building on the levels below.
The framework can be used for recruitment, performance management and development discussions and for decisions about progression.
For more information visit our National Homelessness Skills Framework page.