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Spotlight On... Probation Officer

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We often get asked questions about what it's like to work through Service Care Solutions and people frequently comment on the fact that we recruit for such a wide variety of roles. One of the things we pride ourselves in is that we are specialists within certain industries and services, so we thought it would be a good idea to put the 'spotlight' on some of our more prominent job titles to give you a taste of them.

One of our divisions specialises in recruiting for Probation and Youth Offending services and has done for over ten years now. Needless to say, we feel we have an excellent knowledge of the Probation arena and many clients and candidates agree.

‘Mr A’ is one of our Probation Officers in the Sheffield area. He kindly agreed to speak to us about his day to day role:

How did you find your job with Service Care Solutions and what is your background?

I found the job through word of mouth - quite a few of my colleagues are familiar with the company and they recommended I apply.

I went to university then worked within hostels for a number of years (often looking after people with a history of drug abuse). I then applied to the probation service. Many unqualified job-seekers gain roles successfully, then they earn their degree to become a qualified Probation Officer. It can be quite challenging, as there are multiple stages to the interview process, but these are necessary as the job can be tough at times and our superiors need to ensure we have what it takes!

How have you found working through Service Care Solutions?

I started in August 2017 and I cannot fault my consultant, Tasleema. She is always available for me to speak to and often reassures me or helps solves any issues I have. She has a great grasp on the industry and has her finger on the pulse when it comes to 'inside knowledge' which is always helpful. I think, because her and her team specialise in this area, they understand what the roles entail so there's very little that they can't deal with!

Can you describe your role and day-to-day duties?


My setup is slightly different others, but we are based in a nice modern office on an industrial estate centrally located in Sheffield so it's handy for transport links. I share the office with 5 non-uniform police officers and we work in Drugs Services. Our main objective is to reduce re offending of people who have a criminal record and drug issues. These service-users will have been placed under a DRR (Drug Rehabilitation Requirement) and instructed by the court to attend sessions with us to ensure they get the support they need.

My day consists of appointments with service-users to check on their welfare and I also liaise with the non-qualified members on the team to ensure they are getting the best support.

I may get a call from a police officer to say that a service-user has been seen in an exclusion zone (somewhere that they are forbidden to go by the courts) and it is my job to assess the situation and decide whether the person breaching their restrictions needs to be remanded back into custody. This can be quite difficult as the decision I make will greatly affect someone’s life, and, potentially, a whole community’s too.

What do you enjoy most about the job?


I find it incredibly rewarding that I am able to help people that have previously been struggling (or, in most cases, are still are struggling) get back on their feet. We sometimes deal with people who are suicidal or are self-harming and I enjoy liaising with other agencies (such as those who help people find shelter if they are homeless) in order to provide them with hope and with a plan.

What would you say are the most challenging things about your role?

As with many jobs in today’s society, we are often working with very large caseloads. This can be difficult as it means I can’t spend as much time as I’d potentially like with each service-user. Ideally, we’d like to go out into the community and see people in their own homes where they feel most comfortable; in the past I have found that service-users communicate better that way. We sometimes have up to 70 service-users at any one time so we need to be very organised. We also have inspectorate reports to keep on top of, and rationalisation is required around the decisions we make and this can sometimes make us feel under pressure. Having the support of management really helps with this, however, and having Tasleema at Service Care Solutions on the end of the phone when I need her can be a great stress reliever too!

What would you say were the main qualities needed for a role in the Probation Services?

I would say that a willingness to want to help people, a tenacity to work hard and having excellent organisational skills are some of the keys to success. Whilst my job can be stressful, I do find it very rewarding and really enjoy the challenges and variety each day brings.

Should you be interested in a role in the Probation or Youth Offending Service, please have a look at our vacancies here or give our team a call on 01772 208968
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