Specialist Support Worker, SARSAS

Location - Taunton

SARSAS are currently seeking a Taunton-based Specialist Support Worker

The Specialist Support Worker will work with young people (aged 13+) and women with Learning Disabilities and Autism who have experienced rape or sexual violence and who may have complex needs. They will also carry out risk and needs assessments for support and facilitate some group work.

What SARSAS are looking for:

You will have experience of working with women and young people who have experienced trauma. You will have an understanding of the complexities of working with clients with complex needs and the knowledge, skills and qualities needed to build positive and empathic relationships with clients with learning disabilities and autism.

You will be passionate about working with survivors of sexual violence, have a working knowledge of the impacts of trauma and an understanding of the barriers clients with learning disabilities and autism may face in accessing support.

You will have the personal skills to support and empower clients through liaison, advocacy and psycho educational tools, enabling clients to achieve positive outcomes in areas such as health and wellbeing, safety, interpersonal relationships, confidence, employment and community integration. You will have a knowledge of partner agencies and external pathways to support.

You will be skilled in carrying out needs and risk assessments to ensure SARSAS clients are offered the most appropriate pathways of support.  In addition to one-to-one support, you will be excited to be involved in facilitating group work/peer support for survivors of sexual abuse.


SARSAS exists to relieve the trauma and distress and help rebuild the lives of survivors who live in Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and BANES, who have experienced any form of sexual violence, at any point in their lives.

SARSAS also campaigns and raises awareness about rape and sexual violence to change the narrative about sexual violence enable survivor’s voices to be heard. Partnership work with a variety of agencies locally and nationally is a priority to enable social change.

SARSAS works to feminist principles: this underpins both what our service is and how it is run. Their work is guided by a trauma-informed approach which understands how traumatic experiences can impact on survivors and keeps an awareness of the effects of trauma at the forefront of their approach to support.

Key responsibilities include:

Service delivery

  • Work within the SARSAS team to deliver one-to-one Specialist Support Work (SSW) for younger (13+) and adult women with Learning Disabilities and Autism who have experienced sexual abuse at any point in their lives.
  • Support survivors to achieve positive outcomes on health and wellbeing, safety, interpersonal relationships, empowerment and confidence, employment, training and education, community integration and involvement.
  • Accurately input client notes and maintain client records in accordance with data protection/GDPR policy.
  • Work with the SSW team to ensure support is responsive to intersectionality, accessible, ethical, safe and effective for all service users with complex needs.
  • Deliver assessments for younger and adult women (13+) wanting to access SARSAS services.
  • Deliver flexible community support services to survivors (13+) with complex needs at SARSAS offices or an alternative suitable setting.
  • Facilitate group work and/or peer support for survivors of sexual abuse and rape who have learning disabilities and autism.
  • Provide day-to-day line management support to volunteers, placement students and apprentices as and when required.

Service Development

  • To support the LD&A SSW Coordinator in the development of creative and accessible resources and information for use by people with learning disabilities, their supporters, SARSAS helpline and support workers and key partner agencies as appropriate.
  • Liaise with partner organisations, to include delivering informal presentations relevant to this work.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of relevant legislation, relevant evidence bases and good practice guidelines and share this with the team at SARSAS
  • Contribute to the development and delivery of sexual violence group work.
  • Proactively maintain professional knowledge and best practice (including staying informed of updates and developments and attending regular team meetings)
  • Ensure compliance and responsiveness to child and adult safeguarding policies and procedures within the organisation and local authorities

This is a part time post working 22.5 hours per week, based in Taunton with some travel required. The salary is £25,186 pa (FTE). You’ll find further information including a job description, person specification and details of how to apply here.

The deadline for applications is Monday 27th September. Interviews will be held on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th October.

SARSAS are holding a Facebook Live information session at 6.30pm on Tuesday 14th September for anybody who would like to find out more. Details of this can be found via the link above.