Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Opportunity Knocks!

We all know that one consequence of the TR omnishambles has been the chronic mis-match in staff as a result of the split. Generally speaking, far too many PO's got sifted off to the NPS and a lot of disgruntled CRC PO's won their appeals and crossed the divide. 

Significant numbers of staff have just upped and left and yet more are on long-term sick as a result of work-related stress. Added to all this, there has been much talk about whether there was a job for PO's at all in CRC's, and many colleagues simply throwing their hands in the air crying 'what is the job of a PO nowadays? 

If this is the confused background, I wonder what we can determine from the following recent job adverts? First this fom West Yorkshire:- 

Social Workers… Become a Probation Officer

Employer: West Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company
Reference: N/A
Published on: Wed 04/02/2015 10:03 AM
Closing on: Sun 01/03/2015 23:59 PM
Working Pattern: Full Time, Part Time, Permanent, Temporary
Hours:
Salary: £29,038 to £36,084 per annum pro rata
DBS Check: Yes
Location: Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield opportunities


Full Time & Part Time – Permanent & Temporary Contracts

Would you welcome a change of career and like to work for an organisation that is committed to changing offender lives and making our communities safer?

Are you flexible, enthusiastic, adaptable, resilient and an excellent communicator who can develop effective relationships?

Would you like to improve the lives of people who live and work in West Yorkshire and work collaboratively with our new partners to reduce re-offending.

We are looking for Social Workers who share our passion to change lives and would like to become a Probation Officer with West Yorkshire CRC.

West Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company manages approximately 7,000 offenders at any one time. We manage low and medium risk offenders including those who have committed burglaries, shop lifting, violent offences, domestic violence, substance misuse offences, driving related offences, fraud and many other things.

These are exciting times that allow us to think more creatively and be more innovative in our work.

Working as a Probation Officer, you would play a key role in offender assessment, sentence planning, and enforcement. You will motivate offenders to comply with the sentence of the court, complete their period of supervision successfully, and achieve positive outcomes.

The role involves working closely with partner agencies and the National Probation Service. Roles maybe co-located within multi-agency teams to ensure the right balance between public protection and rehabilitation. You should have a good understanding of the key principles of risk assessment and management, domestic violence and safeguarding.

You will be supported through a conversion programme to enable you to meet the challenges of the Probation Officer role.

We believe people can change. Do you?

Completed application forms must be submitted by 1st March 2015.

West Yorkshire CRC is committed to equality in employment and service delivery and positively welcomes all candidates.


Then these two from London:-  


Criminal Justice Services Coordinator
Salary £27,000 Starting Salary + Benefits Location London Job Type Permanent Start Date 02/02/2015 Duration Ref No211424-DSRPS746 Date Advertised 30 Jan 2015

Repose Resource Solutions have been engaged to recruit a number of experienced social service workers to join a major new service initiative within the London prison service.

To successfully implement and manage community resettlement services that reduce reoffending, rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders back into the community. To ensure that your teams facilitate a cohesive resettlement plan generated from the basic custody screening parts 1 and 2 for each eligible offender who is released from a sentence of under 12 months in custody. To Provide pathways, support and appropriate interventions throughout your services to enable successful resettlement for all offenders in both a group and on a 1-1 basis. Work with internal and external partners, agencies and commissioners including MH Prison Service, Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC's) and the National Probation Service to achieve the desired outcomes and KPI's for the service.


The ability to develop excellent internal and external relationships is essential to this role. Team Co-ordinators will ensure that the service is fully embedded within the community. You will be expected to regularly participate in team meetings and other duties deemed relevant by management.


Key Areas of Responsibility
* Adopt BIONIC (Believe It Or Not I Care) ethos in its resettlement prisons.
* Protecting the public and preventing future victims.
* Work directly with internal and external agencies to facilitate successful resettlement.
* Resolve immediate resettlement needs directly, or by ensuring referral of the resettlement need to a partner.
* Provide resettlement advice and signposting to all offenders.
* Ensure review of the offender's progress with the Resettlement Plan agreed during their supervision period in the community.
* Introduce / continue the interactive journaling programme. You shall enable your team to use this as the framework to deliver resettlement interventions / programmes.
* Ensure that the offender is designated to a named Responsible Officer within the CRC cohort most relevant to their needs, with specific arrangements to support the allocated persons on the day of release organised according to individual need.
* Work with other service providers to ensure your services complement existing provision in prison and in the community. 
* Deliver a resettlement service that deals with offenders' immediate resettlement needs. This service will be coordinated and will focus on immediate issues relating to accommodation, health, employment, finance and debt. 
* Ensure with your team that the offender: has accommodation to go to; is returning to employment; or is being signposted to the relevant agencies providing employment or training opportunities post-release. Signposting will be provided for finance and debt advice, and to specialist support for offenders subject to domestic or sexual abuse; who may be or have been sex workers; and those needing specialist mental health or substance misuse support.
* Work with other agencies and co-commissioned services including but not limited to Substance Misuse Services; health services; the Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS); and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Benefits Advisers and Work and Programme Providers within the Resettlement Prison.
* Supply regular progress, action and performance reports to the line manager 
* As part of team activity, you shall arrange a mentor at the gate for the most vulnerable to relapse who do not have sufficient relational support; and a face-to face meeting between the offender resettlement worker and their Responsible Officer ( CRC) within one business day.
* Ensure in the first 48 hours in the community is focused on achieving stability and meeting basic needs
Offender Resettlement Worker
Job Type : Permanent
Location : London
Salary : £23,000 Starting Salary + Benefits
Date Advertised : 26 Jan 2015

Offender Resettlement Workers - Community and Prisons (Days to include occasional evenings and weekends)

Repose Resource Solutions have been engaged to recruit a number of experienced social service workers to join a major new service initiative within the London prison service.

Service Details:
This is a new service that will co-ordinate and deliver custodial and community resettlement and supervision services for offenders across London as part of the wider Transforming Rehabilitation Programme. The offenders being supported will have a wide range of resettlement needs and will have varying and sometimes complex needs.

Main Purpose of the role:
To successfully reduce re offending, rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders back into the community.


To manage the community supervision orders of offenders released into the community that have received a prison sentence of less than 12 months.


To ensure support to adhere to a cohesive resettlement plan generated from the custodial resettlement team. 


To Provide pathways, support and appropriate interventions to enable successful resettlement for all released prisoners in both a group and on a 1-1 basis. 


Work with internal and external partners, agencies and commissioners including MH Prison Service, Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC's), National Probation Service and other community based supporting agencies to achieve the desired outcomes and KPI's for the service. 


Offender Resettlement Workers will also liaise with other staff in providing support and advice to offenders on licence and supervision within the community and be expected to regularly participate in team meetings and other duties deemed relevant by management.

KEY AREA'S OF RESPONSIBILITY.
* Adopt BIONIC (Believe It Or Not I Care) ethos.
* Protecting the public and preventing future victims.
* Work directly with prison staff to facilitate resettlement planning.
* Resolve the immediate resettlement needs directly, or by ensuring referral of the resettlement need to a partner.
* Provide resettlement advice and signposting to all offenders.
* Regularly review the offender's progress with the Resettlement Plan agreed before release from custody.
* Introduce the offender to the 'Getting it Right' interactive journaling programme.
* Ensure that the offender is designated to a named Responsible Officer within the cohort most relevant to their needs, with specific arrangements to support the allocated persons on the day of release organised according to individual need.
* Work with other service providers to ensure its services complement existing provision in prison and in the community.
* Deliver a resettlement service that deals with offenders' immediate resettlement needs. This service will be coordinated and will focus on immediate issues relating to accommodation, health, employment, finance and debt.
* Resolve any immediate presenting issues and revisit resettlement needs and planning regularly to enable the offender to successfully complete the period of supervision.
* Support to ensure that the offender: has suitable accommodation; is returning to employment; or is being signposted to the relevant agencies providing employment or training opportunities post-release. Signposting will be provided for finance and debt advice, and to specialist support for offenders subject to domestic or sexual abuse; who may
be or have been sex workers; and those needing specialist mental health or substance misuse support.
* Encourage all offenders to participate in additional rehabilitative services provided through its Getting It Right programme.
* Work with other agencies and co-commissioned services including but not limited to Substance Misuse Services; health services; the Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS); and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Benefits Advisers and Work and Programme Providers.
* Supply regular progress, action and performance reports to the line manager
* As part of the release planning activity, you shall arrange a mentor at the
gate for the most vulnerable to relapse who do not have sufficient relational support; and a face-to face meeting between the offender resettlement worker and their Responsible Officer ( CRC) within one business day.
* Ensure in the first 48 hours in the community is focused on achieving stability and meeting basic needs

RESETTLEMENT:
* Act as named Offender Resettlement worker for service users as designated by the Resettlement Team Co-ordinator / Service Manager.
* Plan and/or deliver individual support and resettlement packages for the offenders, liaising with the appropriate agencies and care professionals to ensure successful delivery of the plans.
* Deliver 1-1 and group support / interventions as required.
* Constantly ensure there is genuine engagement with the offender using appropriate methodologies and inventions to encourage and support their engagement and progress towards greater independence in the community.
* Provide / arrange for various advice, advocacy and or information to offenders in relation to physical health matters, substance misuse welfare benefits, education, employment and training, life skills and any other identified support needs.
* To positively respond to offenders who may need assistance, seeking the support of the appropriate responsible officer if necessary in emergencies.
* Dealing with any disputes or emergencies.
* Having an understanding of the needs of the client group and working in an understanding and flexible manner using assessment and evaluation skills.
* Updating offender information to the offender management unit (system) with relevant information.
* Ensure that at all times work is conducted within the policy and procedural framework established, ensuring full up to date knowledge and understanding of policies, procedures and legislation at all times.

LIAISON WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
* To act as a public representative of the Project, ensuring good community relations, particularly with partners, are maintained at all times.
* To liaise with other agencies, ensuring that information is accurately and promptly communicated to other relevant professionals.

ADMINISTRATION
* To undertake administrative tasks as part of regular duties ensuring that these are completed accurately and in a timely manner.
* Reporting of incidents as per Options Policies and procedures.
* To complete reports (either electronically or written), including offenders resettlement plans, case notes and other documentation for managers, members of the management board and other agencies, as directed by your line manager in a timely and accurate manner and in accordance with policy and procedure
* To input and extract information from computerised packages, client monitoring system, and other database systems.
* Any other general administrative tasks to be completed ad hoc as requested by the management team.

HEALTH & SAFETY
* To take individual responsibility with the other Team Leaders, Service Manager and HMP Service for the personal health and safety of all people working, or offenders incrassated (Ed oh dear). Report any concerns relating to health & safety issues at the earliest opportunity to their immediate line manager.
* Ensure that you are fully conversant with all aspects of Service and Health & Safety Policy, Hygiene, Fire Alarm and related policies and procedures dealing with issues of aggression, emergencies etc.
* Undertake all required training including BIONIC, security awareness and developmental.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
* Ensure the consistent and effective implementation of the Equal Opportunity Policy and Procedures.
* Positively promote an environment within the service which respects the different ethnic cultures of the service users.

ACCOUNTABILITIES:
* The successful resettlement of offenders into the community
* Accurate and up to date offender records and resettlement plans
* Comply with any required standards or procedures as detailed in the Organisation's ISO9001 QMS and HMP Service.
* Achievement of KPI targets and personal objectives

OTHER DUTIES
* Attend meetings and training commensurate with the post of Offender Resettlement Worker, as requested by your line manager.
* Maintaining a friendly and supportive environment within the service/prison.
* When requested to provide guidance and support to relevant workers, such as volunteers, students, etc., in line with the relevant policy and procedure.

SHIFT PATTERNS / ROTA'S
* Shifts generally operate between 8.00am and 6pm, 5 days per week depending on the requirements of the service/ HMP Service. Offender Resettlement Workers will also be required to attend some meetings and training. Occasional evening or weekend working will be required.

Further information and full job specification available on receipt of application with CV and cover letter. We will endeavour to respond to all applicants however due to the sheer volume of responses, we can only guarantee that candidates who have been shortlisted will be contacted.

20 comments:

  1. "Further information and full job specification available on receipt of application"
    eh??? apply for job before being fully aware of the job spec' ???

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  2. Ensure with your team that the offender: has accommodation to go to;

    The Tories have already said they will cut the benefit cap by at least £3,000 if elected. It will be almost impossible to find accommodation for someone leaving custody and aiming to live in London unless it's hostel based or supported housing- which is obviously expensive.
    I don't know what the solution is going to be, but whoever ends up with the job of trying to get accommodation for discharges is going to have a very hard, difficult and stressful task.

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  3. I've just googled UK probation officer jobs, and am quite shocked at the number of jobs on offer.
    It may be theres more vacancies nationally for probation staff then there is for bar staff!!

    Off topic, but worth a note:-

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/prisoner-saves-another-inmate-hanging-8578251

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    Replies
    1. A prisoner stepped in to prevent a fellow inmate taking his own life due to staffing shortages, it has been claimed.

      An HMP Northumberland insider said the incident happened on the afternoon of January 20 when a prisoner in the one of the house blocks at the Sodexo run jail attempted to hang himself in his cell.

      Staff claim their numbers have been cut drastically making it harder to ensure inmates are given adequate care.

      In 2010 there were 441 staff at the jail but the number of workers dropped to 270 in 2013.

      The member of staff, who was speaking anonymously, said: “It was mid-afternoon and a prisoner attempted suicide.

      “Another prisoner saved him, he picked him up and took the ligature off and brought him down to the association room.

      “On that wing there were four members of staff and now there are two.

      “Relying on a prisoner is poor, normally it would be one of us who found him.

      “We’re grateful the inmate did step in but it shows how little we can do.”

      “We shouldn’t be in a position where we can’t safeguard.

      “There is a very real fear someone is going to die and that’s not right.”

      Delete
    2. Hmmm, even in the days when there were adequate staffing numbers it was often left to fellow prisoners to save suicidal prisoners from killing themselves as the officers were often hiding in their offices and not on the wings keeping an eye on vulnerable prisoners so staffing shortages have nothing to do with this, it's down to staff who can't be arsed to do the job

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    3. To Anon 18:22 look again at the reduction in staff numbers! I am aware of an OS in that prison being allocated 120 cases on day 1 none of whom she has any knowledge of and no time to read the files. Your comment is offensive.

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  4. FFS sake. This should have all been in place pre-TR. Now we have a load of subsidy drunk cocknuts running round trying sort everything out. I sincerely hope they all get fucking incurable cystitis.

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  5. So TR begins with a shortage of POs and 50,000 newly directed clients on their way, no chief inspector, and existing staff with no training regarding the changes, and the companies taking over still to decide how to apply rehabilitation activities and who they're going to engage with.
    But nothing can go wrong- Grayling has a gut feeling after all.

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  6. Opportunity certainly isn't knocking in the CPS: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Criminals-walk-free-Plymouth-courts-cuts-leave/story-25964451-detail/story.html

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    Replies
    1. CRIMINALS could start walking free from court because the agency which prosecutes cases is in “meltdown” after cuts and an office shake-up.

      Judges at Plymouth Crown Court have halted and delayed trials because the Crown Prosecution Service has not properly prepared its papers.

      It comes after the agency shut its Plymouth office, prompting a mass exodus of experienced staff.

      Explaining a delay in a case, one barrister told the court: “The Crown Prosecution Service is in crisis. It is snowed under with cases and giving priority to those where defendants are in custody.”

      Another told The Herald: “The CPS is in meltdown locally and probably nationally too”.

      A judge last month halted the trial of a suspected burglar because the agency had failed to respond in time to a defence expert report.

      Judge Paul Darlow, the city’s resident judge, stayed the proceedings, refusing the Crown the chance to bring the case to trial again.

      The man had denied the offence and remains innocent until proven guilty – but the CPS’s failings meant that further prosecution evidence was not put before a jury.

      Judge Darlow also called another prosecution delay in a complex fraud case “extraordinary and unacceptable”.

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  7. Our first ORA offender arrived this week - 7 days for shoplifting = 4 days custody, 3 days licence and 362 days supervision. Our community CRC is already preparing breach paperwork for the day he goes out NFA.
    We were told last week on ORA training that it has been estimated there will
    l be an extra 5000 recalls coming into the system over the next year yet another prison was closed this week "temporarily ".
    Our CRC hasn't appointed the promised workers for our prison and don't expect anyone to be in post until May at the earliest so the TTG programme is nowhere near ready and existing agencies carry on doing what they have
    been doing while wondering if they will be kept on as subcontractors to Lurking Winks (who have sewn up the South and Wales )or if they will be
    dumped sometime later this year -a bit like us PSOs in fact.
    And the prison computer system seems to be struggling to deal with the new
    sentence calculations leaving CAs tearing their hair out!
    This side of the gate is as chaotic as outside,who the hell thinks that any of this is working?
    Prison PSO

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    Replies
    1. None in my office yet but we have a sweepstake going. Might be the first time I have asked my manager fo an allocation! No TTG in Teesside yet and AFAIK no one has put their name forward. I know words have been had with the local Solicitors to advise them of the Premium Service that their newly released clientele will have and to write a letter of complaint to both Grayling and our CO if this proves not to be the case. We all know the old adage about where the buck stops!

      I also hear of some serious falling out between CRC and NPS managers over office items, paperwork and procedures which is only likely to get worse over the next few weeks. Apparently they nearly came to blows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. am I not reading these adverts on the blog correctly?- as the CJS Co-ordinators (rom SS) and Resettlement officers (on £23K) seem to be holding a leading role, with PO's, PSO's, RO's whatever, taking instructions from them, rather than using their initiative, experience and organisational skills, to maintain responsibilities that the new posts will now have, as RO's roles are down-graded, experienced officers made redundant, leaving new officers inexperienced, unskilled, and poorly paid, with no requirement to become qualified, and work becoming routine, taking over much of the decision making.

    The last vestiges of resistance suffocated, crushed and trampled underfoot, with new eager, compliant employees not having a clue of what is to come.

    Or have I got it wrong?

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    Replies
    1. 21 33 - I missed out a line - I meant to say - WITH THE NEW APPTS 'taking over much of the decision making'

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  9. Wales CRC have already taken on social workers as probation officers. Apparently CRC will only need to employ 'suitably' qualified staff whilst NPS must have PO's via PQF. This has been raised with my local NAPO rep

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure NAPO will keep up their track record of preventing such things, after all, they've done splendidly thus far!

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    2. This exemplifies why the Probation Institute should never be supported. Surely this is the very TR body that should have ensured a training pathway with appropriate professional standards embedded before we end up with non qualified staff ( yes that is what social workers are at this time, not QUALIFIED as POs) in such roles?

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  10. My area, staffs and west mids CRC has asked CAs to fudge numbers to show completions even when it's not true! Requirements that have never been completed are being signed off as having been successfully completed. This was an informal and unofficial diktat issued by line managers.

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    Replies
    1. It'll change from week to week, and more and more dodgy as the weeks go by.

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  11. Somebody is putting the Dik into tat :)

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