Careers at Churches Action for the Homeless (CATH)

Are you considering a career in social services or social care? It is such a broad sector involving the NHS, Local Authorities, Charities and Social Enterprise, providing a range of services, helping people from all walks of life, that many opportunities are available – not just for a job but to forge a career. Nor is it always about helping with personal care, it is often about building relationships, providing practical and emotional support and teaching life skills. The job is undoubtedly challenging when it is done properly but it is also rewarding and on occasions humbling. In addition there are opportunities to specialise or progress to senior management. Equally, you can gain qualifications both academic and vocational to support you in your work which can lead to Social Work, Community Learning and Development or Nursing careers.

If you are not sure which area of service provision you wish to focus on, it is often best to choose an entry point which will provide you with as broad an experience as possible.

CATH provides such an entry point into the sector.

CATH is a long established Third Sector Organisation working across Perth and Kinross, supporting people experiencing homelessness and threatened by homelessness. When people think about homelessness, for many the image which immediately comes to mind is the dishevelled person, usually male, sitting on the ground with a disused cup in front of them or wrapped up in a sleeping bag in a shop doorway trying to keep out of the worst of the weather. This is sometimes described as rough sleeping and/or chronic homelessness. Whilst this image is true for some, it is not for the majority of people who become homeless or are threatened by homelessness.

The route to homelessness is as varied as the people who end up there. Sometimes it is individuals; sometimes it is families; it can be very short and a one off experience and other times it can be for months and for some, repeated over many years. Poverty, trauma, mental health, addictions, leaving institutions like the army or a breakdown in relationships are all examples of primary drivers which can lead to homelessness.

Importantly, it does not have to be this way. The correct support provided at the right time can at best prevent homelessness in the first place and at worst reduce the time a person experiences homelessness for.

Working for CATH, you will have the opportunity to support people at various points in their homeless experience and gain insight into a range of social problems and the different challenges people can face. As the organisation provides support across a range of services, you will also have the opportunity to work with people in their homes, in specialist residential accommodation, in the day centre and in the various communities across Perth and Kinross with the Outreach Team. This also means that you will work with individuals and groups as well as participate in service user involvement.

CATH is also developing as a Learning Organisation. As part of this values based approach, the organisation seeks to ensure that the workforce has the skills and knowledge that they need to carry out their role as effectively as possible. Along with core and ongoing training covering homelessness, mental health, and addictions for example, there will also be an emphasis on trauma informed practice. In addition, if you start working with CATH without a recognised qualification, the organisation will enable you to gain an appropriate SVQ which will provide you with evidence of a range of transferable skills.

In return we are looking for people with good values, who have good communication skills and importantly can listen. People who are organised, persistent, have a good sense of humour, have resilience and an insight into life. If you have these basic qualities then this breadth of opportunity will rarely be matched. Contact us on: and we will arrange for an informal chat as a first step toward your new career.

Equally, if you are studying for a professional qualification and are looking for a placement or have recently qualified and are interested in gaining insight into wider practice, please email us on to discuss your options.