Supporting Diversity, Challenging Adversity

CARAS- Volunteer-Application-Form


Role: Youth ‘GRS’ casework volunteer

Team: Casework

Supervised by: Youth caseworker

Location: Tooting Hub on a Wednesday afternoon (between 12:30-18:00pm)

Time commitment: 2.5 hours a week, we ask that volunteers commit for a minimum of 6 months


About CARAS :

Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (CARAS) is a registered charity that has been supporting refugees and asylum-seekers since 2002 empowering them to integrate and engage in the local community.

Arriving as an asylum seeker/refugee can be a disempowering experience. Difficulties with language, accessing services and overcoming prejudice are ever-present. As an organisation, we are committed to work alongside refugees to overcome those challenges, and to help them build their lives.

We offer group support and targeted support work. We offer a range of activities including: ESOL classes; social and recreational activities such as youth club, drama, trips, and family activities; educational support for young people; and casework and advocacy support.


Our values are at the centre of all our work:

  • Kindness: CARAS will nurture all who are part of our community, helping everyone to develop their skills, talents, and interests.
  • Justice: CARAS will strive for social justice following a rights-based approach in all our work and challenging instances when rights are not upheld in wider society.
  • Empowerment: CARAS works alongside people, recognising and respecting their skills and strengths and striving together for better outcomes.
  • ‘With’ not ‘for’: CARAS will put the voices, opinions, experiences and needs of its beneficiaries at the heart of all that we do.


About CARAS Casework:

CARAS works with adults and young people of a refugee and asylum seeker background to find solutions to their problems. There are two separate sub-teams within the Casework team; young people and adults. We support young people to navigate the asylum system, understand their rights and entitlements, access education, connect with services and realise their goals. We are a non-specialist casework and advocacy service, so we work in close partnership with other local organisations to whom we refer people with more complex issues.

Using the empowerment model, our casework service embodies CARAS’ values of ‘with not for’, always striving to ensure people are armed with the information and resources they need to make decisions and take action for themselves.


About GRS:

CARAS runs a “Get Ready for School” (GRS) programme for newly arrived Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children who are eligible for statutory education but do not yet have a place in school or college. The programme helps young people prepare for mainstream education by offering six hours a week of classroom-based ESOL learning alongside numeracy, digital literacy, and study skills. These sessions take place on a Monday and a Wednesday.

Under statutory guidelines, a looked-after child in year 11 or below must be placed in full-time education within 20 school days.1 If the young person is out of education for longer than four weeks, they can continue attending Get Ready for School for up to 12 weeks, with CARAS additionally offering the young person and their support network help from our Casework team to ensure that they are accessing full-time education as soon as possible. 


About the Role:

We are currently recruiting for 3 volunteers to join our Youth Casework team as a GRS needs assessment caseworker.

The purpose of the Youth ‘GRS’ Casework volunteer role is to support young people with a refugee or asylum seeking background to understand their rights, access information and services, and ultimately, take control of their own lives. You will work with individuals to complete a needs assessment to establish what support they may need alongside GRS. You will work with individuals to address problems they may face relating to, among other issues, asylum information, accessing healthcare and education, accessing support from their local authority, and finding activities and opportunities. There are often supplementary referrals that come out of the GRS needs assessments that will need equal care and attention from volunteers.

On occasion, you will offer support to the GRS team to support young peoples’ learning journey and develop a wider understanding of the GRS programme.

You will start from an understanding that individuals are always best placed to solve their own problems, and often need nothing more than to talk out a problem and find the solution themselves. When helpful, you will provide information to clarify and support to take action.

The GRS volunteer will attend our community space in Tooting Hub on Wednesday afternoons for 2.5 hours between 12:30-18:00pm. Volunteer caseworkers have 1:1 appointments, either in person or by phone, with CARAS members. Volunteers also support with administrative tasks such as updating our databases, collating resources, and creating information guides.


Youth Casework Volunteer Tasks and Responsibilities: 

Working in an empowering way with individuals and promoting their independence through goal-setting.

Supporting people to develop their knowledge of rights and entitlements.

Assisting with filling out forms.

Signposting and referring onto other services and organisations.

Gathering information from experts and disseminating information to people in an accessible manner.

Engaging in collaborative internet and phone research on services, organisations, and grants.

Flagging safeguarding concerns and other issues where further support is required.

Keeping accurate case notes.

Supporting to maintain our signposting database.

Researching and collating resources.

Working collaboratively as a team and assisting in shaping the Youth Casework project.

Adhering to CARAS Confidentiality Policy, Health & Safety policy, Equal Opportunities policy and all other policies as relevant.


Requirements (all experience can be from paid or voluntary roles): 



Excellent communication skills, especially with people with varying levels of English.

Confidence in using IT (Microsoft Office, Outlook, zoom, Google Search, online forms)

To be non-judgemental and able to engage with people from diverse backgrounds;

A commitment to confidentiality and data protection

Thorough with good attention to detail


A high level of spoken and written English

Ability to gather information from people in a sensitive way

A calm, friendly, kind, and patient approach

Enjoyment in speaking to new people

A commitment to working in an empowering way

Able to maintain boundaries

Able to work autonomously

Currently resident in the UK



Experience in doing 1:1 advice work/casework

Working knowledge or experience of relevant law and policy around asylum support, the asylum process, rights, and entitlements for people seeking asylum.

Direct experience of the UK immigration system.

Past experience of working with people seeking asylum.

Proficiency in one or more of the following languages: Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Dari, Farsi, Kurdish, Oromo, Pashto, Russian, Spanish, Somali, Tigrinya, Urdu, or Vietnamese.

We will prioritise applicants with lived experience of the asylum process.


Benefits of  Volunteering:

  • Learn about issues relating to refugees and people seeking asylum.
  • Work as part of a friendly, welcoming team.
  • Develop your skills and competencies.
  • Be able to access relevant training, including safeguarding training.

Obtain a reference from us relating to your placement after 3 months of regular volunteering.

All volunteers must complete an enhanced DBS check for working with young people and attend training with us before starting. You will also receive training and support relevant to your specific role.


To Apply:

To apply for this opportunity, download and complete the CARAS volunteer application form, using this volunteer role description to inform your answers. Email your completed form to Mirza at with the email subject header, “Youth casework volunteer.”

Applicants will have an informal meeting with the Youth caseworker, and one with community members, to assess compatibility to the role. These meetings will be on a rolling basis so apply ASAP.

Successful applicants will be required to complete 2 hours of online general CARAS induction and 2 hours of online safeguarding training and specialist Casework volunteer training before commencing their placement.


CARAS- Volunteer-Application-Form

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