Whilst I'm rolling with the changes and making the best out of a bad situation I've noticed in the past week I've drastically changed my working practice. My caseload has increased by 20 so I'm on 60 cases and still have more to come. All I can say is that everything is rushed - I even saw a client in reception today and just got him to sign his next apt, another client who's a pensioner and likes to use supervision as a 'chat' was hastily curtailed after 10 mins - I'm not a social worker and so long as I'm content his risk is stable then I've little interest to hear about his daily routine that has absolutely nothing to do with Probation.
I find myself being more intolerant of the tweens who moan they cant get work but then find every excuse in the book to avoid engaging with ETE - if they cant be bothered why should I - so long as they're not going to re-offend then all I care about is that I can prove to auditors that I've referred them. I've also started putting loads of them on monthly and any that don't come in then I cold call and hope they answer so that I can re-engage them - the last thing I have time for is recall or breach. I don't like my job anymore, it's too much of a gamble, it's not forcing people to look at their offending behaviour but I'm hoping once I've got my full caseload I can start revisiting some of my reporting decisions and reel some of them back in.
One thing that concerns me is some of my caseload do a 30 mile roundtrip for supervision which even in the car is not far off a 2 hour round trip - on public transport add another hour and the most common complaint I hear is the distance they have to travel - whilst it saves money having large Centres it forces people to struggle to comply - if you're on Programmes and work then some of mine report not getting home until pushing 10pm again because the Progs department is another 10 miles further up the road!!
To top it all we have a new management and I just hope and pray they are not to pernickety over accepting absences or offenders re-scheduling appointments because the last thing I need is a manager breathing down my neck - flexibility is the key in this brave new world. Despite everything tho I enjoy change, I'll do what I can to make it work because what else can we do?
It sounds incredibly stressful, rushing around to do things with very time to do it. I feel that experience is now all very common across the service throughout different Trust. We are now in the danger zone where something is likely to happen very soon. I worry for myself and my colleagues. I went to see my manager today regarding a sex offender who turned up to report after being sentenced from Court yesterday. There was no paperwork, no information, no induction packs, nothing recorded in Delius regarding what was said to him, by whom, where he was living and with who. I was instructed to see him and I had to refuse. I’m sorry but I don’t get paid to see people without the proper risk assessment procedures and paperwork completed, as I'm not going to take responsibility in case after he sees me, does something and I get blamed for it. I ‘told’ my manager he needed to see the client. He did not. Instead (to my amazement) another officer volunteered to see the person which left me feeling flat. My manager has referred my refusal up to the ACE level. We will see what happens next.
At the moment I'm not finding it stressful but I've noticed this afternoon I was really tired and had backache - something I don't suffer from. Considering this is only for me week one of the new working practices I wonder how I will cope in the next few weeks, all I know is I've got to morph into something that's alien to me but on the other hand something that my employers encourage - they only want us to target resources at those who's criminogenic needs dictate so. The problem I've got is learning to stagger cases throughout the month so they don't all come in the same week. I'm very relieved not to be doing anymore reports, I do feel as though a bit of a weight's been lifted and it's one less deadline hanging over my head. The next thing they need to look at is a short format oasys - far too laborious and time consuming in its current state especially for CRC cases - no point doing fabulous war and peace sentence plans if I'm not going to be seeing people and carry any of the objectives out!!
I'm more likely to be killed on the roads of Britain than by a punter at the moment. Been in shadow working since Monday and I've already driven more than 200 miles in the huge rural area I work in. I'm rushing around with a head full of stuff, not knowing where I'm going or who I have to see. Tireder than a tired thing in a tired place. Just completely exhausted and stressed to pieces.
Ah Jim, it’s truly mental. We are beside ourselves with confusion. 6 of us from Weary Town have been sent to Dreary Town. 2 from Dreary Town have been sent to Weary Town. We took all our stuff: files, stationery, phone books, chairs, mouse mats, mugs etc.... Unfortunately all the clients have stayed in the same place so we are going to work in the morning, driving back to our old office, sitting in our old desks but with none of our resources or equipment. I feel like I’m going mad in a parallel universe.
If I were a company considering bidding for a CRC I would consider in great detail the way that NOMS and the MOJ meddle in everything, embrace bureaucratic systems and move the goalposts at every opportunity. They will demand minute detail of all that the CRC do.
Just a warning we already know in the Probation service how it works on a micro level - total unbridled chaos and weak management.
Quote: "The staff list for the CRC is full of so-called back office staff with frontline workers as rare as hen's teeth, whereas the NPS is mainly made up of practitioners. Do bidders know they will inherit a load of IT staff and office managers-that will supervise them a lot of offenders?"
Bidders should not assume that the staff list they are given by MoJ is accurate. These lists were very hurriedly compiled, barely checked, and I know for sure that the one from my own PT had plenty of mistakes and, crucially, lots of missing detail and context. For example where there are act-ups or secondments the lists bidders see might show who is in the substantive posts instead of the actual ones, but without actually highlighting this difference. So bidders might believe they are getting a particular staff mix, when actually they will get a significantly different staff mix. Let the bidder beware!
My organisation was a potential Tier 2/Tier 3 bidder for CRC work.
Reading this site persuaded me not to be part of this process. It also gave me the information I required to go to my Board of Directors and say “don’t get involved” and we withdraw from the process.
Be critical of many things but not of this site.
I'm in exactly the same position. Have refused offers from a number of Primes to support their tenders as 'bid candy' and the information gleaned from this blog has given me much information to justify my decision to the Board. In fact, we intend to close the organisation rather than become involved in TR, with that decision being made both on 'business-case' and moral grounds.