For referrers and families
Is there a cost?
There is not a cost. We are only able to work with individuals from these boroughs as funding is met via trust/charity funding or local/national government funding.
We feel it is very important that there is not a cost attached as it opens the process up to many more people – especially for people with milder needs who would not be able to access funding for the work otherwise.
How does the process work?
Clients are referred to us, and during the referral process, and subsequent work with the client, we work out where clients are, and what they would need to do to enter sustainable employment.
Clients have a named employment worker, and this is very important in terms of building the relationship up, to make the process as successful as possible. The client and the employment worker work collaboratively on the whole process – it is not a case of the employment worker making the client do things they do not want to do.
Usually, clients will need to have a new or updated CV, and then we can start to look for employment opportunities.
Clients will often benefit from a work experience/volunteering placement. This can help to clarify clients’ thoughts about what they do or do not want from work, and assists us to work out what and how much support they will need in roles.
There is work on job-searching, development of soft skills, interview practice, etc.
Then, the ideal end point is that the client enters sustained employment, in a role they both like and are suited to.
We continue to remain in contact with the client and the employer, and can return to offer support if needed (if something changes at work or in the client’s life outside of work). We would also ensure clients are satisfied at work, and if not discuss new opportunities with the present employer, or support clients to look for different work.
We also have a Users’ Group that comments on the work of Toucan, and undertakes a range of social activities – we would encourage clients to access these activities, if this is something they would be interested in.
How do you link into other services?
We have close links with a range of other services – in terms of taking referrals from a wide range of partners.
We ensure that clients are undertaking everything they need to for the Job Centre (i.e. making sure people are applying for enough jobs each week, and assisting clients to enter this information).
We refer clients onto colleges and other training services for additional literacy and numeracy work, ESOL, CSCS training and cards, or any other additional training that is beneficial to entering into employment.
We support clients to access council services as necessary.
We also refer clients onto specialist services where necessary – benefits and advice specialists, mental health organisations, etc.
How long is the support for?
We offer a number of different elements of support.
Once a client enters employment, we offer on-going support (usually via phone check-ins and physical drop-ins).
We also support clients with their engagement with the Job Centre, Social services, and other organisations – to ensure clarity and continuity of care.
We also have a Users’ Group, which comments on the work of Toucan and undertakes social activities, which we would encourage clients to access.
There is no limit to the duration of our support.
We have clients who have been in employment, with the same employer, for more than 20 years. We have over the years, supported these clients when there have been changes at work, or issues at home, and this has ensured the clients have stayed in employment (without this support they would have likely lost their roles).