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London, United Kingdom
JOB #R1901270

Embedded Researcher - Evaluation of the Housing First Pilots

Working at ICF

Working at ICF means applying a passion for meaningful work with intellectual rigor to help solve the leading issues of our day. Smart, compassionate, innovative, committed, ICF employees tackle unprecedented challenges to benefit people, businesses, and governments around the globe. We believe in collaboration, mutual respect, open communication, and opportunity for growth. If you’re seeking to make a difference in the world, visit www.icf.com/careers to find your next career. ICF—together for tomorrow.

Evaluation of the Housing First Pilots: Embedded Researchers

What is Housing First?

Housing First is an innovative approach to addressing homelessness amongst people with multiple and complex needs. It prioritises placing people into stable, mainstream accommodation, and provides appropriate intensive support from specialist key workers with the consent of the person being housed. Participants are offered choice - in terms of where they live, who they live with and, once housed, what they would like to do next.

Housing First has been shown to work in countries like the USA, Canada and Finland, and three Pilot projects have been established in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority; Liverpool City Region; and West Midlands Combined Authority. The Pilots will test whether Housing First 'works' in the English context, and can be delivered 'at scale' across large, multi-local authority areas, and are being robustly evaluated to inform future funding decisions.

The embedded researcher role

ICF are looking for three engaging individuals who will develop relationships with people accessing support through Housing First in each of the Pilot areas, and to support their participation in the evaluation.

As members of the evaluation team, you will be required to establish trust and rapport with people accessing the service, and effective working relationships with lived experience groups, service providers, key workers and commissioners. While you will work within a structured research framework, and some previous research experience is required, training and ongoing support will be provided to help you deliver your role. We are particularly interested in hearing from people who can combine research experience with lived experience of homelessness.

The opportunity is for four days a week for a period of two and a half years, and you will be based either in the Pilot's office or at provider sites across each area.

While a key part of your role will be to collect information from individuals participating in the Pilot on an ongoing basis, you will also get involved in peer research activities and with lived experience groups in each pilot area. These will include exploring participants' experience of the service, the benefits and impacts for them, and how any aspect of the service could be improved.

What we are looking for

We are looking for people with the following skills, experience and personal attributes:

  • A real interest in and passion for tackling homelessness, and improving the life chances of those experiencing homelessness alongside other complex needs;
  • Experience of working, and developing effective relationships with, people with a history of homelessness and with multiple and complex needs;
  • An understanding and experience of practical research and data collection methods – for example collecting information through interviews or as a peer researcher, with a strong attention to detail and quality control, and demonstrating the principles of ethical research;
  • Strong interpersonal, spoken and written communication skills, with the ability to engage with the Housing First target group and encourage their participation;
  • Good organisational, time management and planning skills – with the ability to self-manage, set priorities and work flexibly;
  • Good literacy, numeracy and ICT skills (e.g. using Word, Excel, email and other standard packages);
  • An understanding of the importance of confidentiality and ensuring that sensitive information is handled securely, and knowledge of data protection regulations (i.e. GDPR), although training will be provided.

The role will require travel across each area, and all travel expenses will be reimbursed. Training will be provided in using the data collection tools and to ensure that the research meets ethical standards.

As the post involves working with vulnerable young people and adults, you will be required to have Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance before working in the field. If you do not hold DBS clearance, you may have to pass background checks, although we will provide support to administer, and pay all the costs associated with, getting DBS clearance.

How to apply

Please submit a CV, with a cover letter setting out why you feel you are particularly suited to the posts. If you would like to discuss any aspects of the embedded researcher role, or the application process itself, please do not hesitate to contact jane.greenstock@icf.com.

Closing date

The closing date for applications is the 29th of April.

GB Client Office (GB88)

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