Substance Misuse Project Worker

The main role of the Substance Misuse Project worker is to ensure and deliver high standards of service in key projects and report findings to their Drugs Intervention Programme (DIP) team leader. They will engage with clients in the Criminal Justice System and offer information and advice regarding harm minimisation as well as pragmatic assessments of each case. The aim of the DIP is to transfer substance misusing offenders into the relevant treatment as quickly as possible. Often transferal is bogged down in administrative procedures and the process is delayed unnecessarily. The Programme is geared towards helping misusers acknowledge and address their problems. It also targets other related issues such as benefits, employment, training and housing.

Workers are required to monitor their own performance as much as their colleagues’. They need to ensure that it meets the agreed expectations and fulfills performance criteria. Self-assessment may be carried out by participating in regular performance management meetings and formulating and agreeing on development objectives and reviewing these and the project’s overall performance.

A typical day for a project worker may involve working in local courts, prisons or police stations, working closely with specific substance misusers, or acting as an advisory and information service for other project workers. They will engage with clients in a custodial setting, make appropriate treatment referrals, and write detailed and often lengthy case reports for Judges and the Probation service. A successful candidate will have evidence of case management skills as well as proven evidence of holding a position of responsibility or team management in a company.

Candidates will show a flexibility in their attitude to work as the dynamics of the position often shift. This may involve some evening and weekend work and traveling around the country. A relevant academic qualification would also be greatly advantageous such as a degree in law or substance misuse studies. Evidence of the transferable skills from previous work experience would be favourable and applicants should hold a full UK drivers’ license and access to a working vehicle (or a solid means of travel). Knowledge of health and safety legislation would also be looked on favourably as the role often involves performing standard compulsory safety checks and measurements.


A related degree or qualification would be desirable, but not essential.


Work in referring people into housing and health support is essential, assessment and support planning experience would be beneficial.


Knowledge of health and safety procedures and the benefits system, strong people skills, organizational problem solving skills, written and verbal communication skills.