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Modern Probation Values v our values

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Mickeyp
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Username: Mickeyp

Post Number: 75
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 01, 2007 - 01:12 am:   

Reintegrative shaming is another name for a form of Restorative Justice.
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identity crisis
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Username: Pigs_with_wigs

Post Number: 48
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 01, 2007 - 12:01 am:   

what is reintergrative shaming?
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papa_chango
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Username: Papa_chango

Post Number: 180
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 09:02 am:   

Myob-- good post but regarding eOASys It ads little to the old paper A B and C sheets but takes much longer and ergo costs more.

What about the Monty Project (monty Don that is ) It got several young people off drugs-- but again it's what we did in the past. "Reintegrative Shaming" could be used with violent offenders. I'm thinking of Gun crime and inner-city gangs.
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Myob
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Username: Psiman

Post Number: 121
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 12:04 am:   

Why "Modern Probation Values v Our Values"? As employees of the Service, surely our values constitute those of the whole... OK, so there are particular "service values" but I see nothing in the posts here that is opposed to those values. There may be practice and theory that management would reject, but not the underlying values. Or maybe this is just semantics. On a similar point though – we should never forget the question mark in “what works?” Omitting that changes the search for good practice into the blind following of dogma that underlies many of the problems we see here.
Secondly, there is no reason to reject 'old' methods of working as incompatible with CBT. Solution Focussed Brief Therapy (as it was taught to me) is a fantastic tool that works well utilising techniques such as motivational interviewing. Advise, assist, and befriend may not be de-rigueur in our language, but even the enforcers of recent years do it every day. I am surprised that people don't seem to recognise this as when I trained (cohort 2) we were given a full appreciation of varying methods and the way they intertwined. Maybe I was just lucky?
I also hate to say it (cos I usually get shouted at) but I still think eOASys is an excellent tool. When done well it not only ensures all angels are covered, but enables us to demonstrate what we do, and that we do it well (regardless of the methods we use). Yes, it is a pain and takes a fair while, but the problem then lies in workloads and caseloads, not the tool.
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Spike
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Username: Spike

Post Number: 355
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 08:29 pm:   

You know what, I got so excited the other day Diderot, because I managed to get a senior to agree a £9 fare for a case to get to a college open evening. Sad isn't it when that's about the most innovation I'm allowed.
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identity crisis
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Username: Pigs_with_wigs

Post Number: 43
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 05:31 pm:   

snoopy are you in Napo? If so have you ever heard of monitoring. Frankly I find your post offensive and not very funny.
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Snoopy
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Username: Snoopy

Post Number: 43
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 02:21 pm:   

ID what are books, you want to get in front of the TV and watch the film version of the books you read.

It appears other areas are more on the ball than yours, do you work in the county of ' Disney Land '.

What you need is a transfer down our way ( south ) where the sun is shining and the cases are low and we all hold hands and sing and dance on our way to work.

I think you may want to reconsider the help you gave as a librarian being better than that as a PO. Helping somebody come off drugs or sort their lives out is a lot better than showing a kid where the Harry Potter books are....... then again.
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identity crisis
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Username: Pigs_with_wigs

Post Number: 42
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 11:45 am:   

diderot. That sounds wonderful and i admit that is what I thought this job would be when i applied. I used to work as a librarian in schools in "deprived" areas and spent much of my time doing that. Building relationships with children and their parents until eventually i decided i wanted to do just that and no longer work with books [the second love of my life]. Know I think I probably helped more people as a librarian than as a probation officer. Sad isn't it.
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Diderot
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Username: Diderot

Post Number: 103
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 10:37 am:   

ID crisis: responding to your original post - I think that the key thing about probation practice when I started in the job (mid-1970's) was that it wasn't about applying a set of techniques, it was about trying to understand the 'client' as an individual within a social structure, and identifying what were the issues that were leading to their offending. We were expected to use our imagination to work with clents to produce solutions. That is why it is hard to generalise about what we did - but some examples might help.

I worked with one man, a heroin addict of many years and a persistent burglar. He was desperate to end his drug abuse, but had nothing else in his life to fill the gap. He was particularly embarrassed about the state of his mouth - which was filled with grey rotting stumps that used to be teeth. He was so self-conscious about his appearance that he would not talk to anyone, so had no mates. I spent weeks trying to get him to go to the dentist, but (even though he had spend years injecting drugs into veins all over his body) he was terrified of getting a needle in his mouth. Eventually, after months of persuasion,I got him booked in to see a sympathetic dentist at the dental hospital and went with him (literally)to hold his hand while he had all his teeth removed under general anaesthetic. His appearance was transformed by his new dentures; he started going out and making friends and withdrew from drugs. I met him a few years later with his girlfriend and child and he told me that he was still clean and keeping out of trouble.

I worked with another young man who was engaged in a cycle of aggressive violence and self-harming after growing up in residential care. Most of my work with him over two years was about helping him to trace his natural family - he had had no contact with them since he was a baby. Eventually, after much detective work, I discovered that his mother had been working as a prostitute in Birmingham but sadly had died a couple of years before. I got permission to drive with him to visit his mother's grave, which he found helpful. I had more luck chasing his father and eventually arranged a meeting between them. They got on well and the client decided to move home to live with his dad. The improvement in his attitudes and behaviour was dramatic and again, he settled down and stopped offending.

I could go on with examples - the football team I ran for lads coming out on Borstal licence, the coach trips we ran to Blackpool lights for the children of our clients - the list is endless.

None of these activities were formally evaluated and researched, but personally I am convinced that they were at least as effective in reducing re-offending as 'Think First' and the other mechanistic garbage that has been foisted on us. And there was vastly more job satisfaction because our managers expected innovation and imagination from us, rather than conformity to a set of rigid protocols.
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Spike
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Username: Spike

Post Number: 354
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 01:21 am:   

ID crisis, only our admin use crams, does it interconnect wirh OASys? We use word templates for contact logs, so they are 2 completelty separate sytems which is rubbish. I've long believed that contact logs should tie up with OASys or we should be able to just update a section, say employment for eg. without having to do a whole clunky review. Many of my reviews consist of a pasted "no change to record" at the bottom of most sections.

Back to values, I worry about the ending of the current training, swithcing to employing OMs (PSOs) and doing it by NVQ only, no bad reflection on PSOs, but while the NVQs help learn the mechanics of the job, it is the accademic study/struggle that builds reflective practice and the heart/soul that makes us into Probation Officers. It is the elevation of thought and the surrounding debate that gives a level of nous? understanding? I'm not saying it can't be there without the training and I'm not saying that training will automatically infer it, but in the main I've seen it produce damn fine caring practitioners.
any way, back to completing my compulsory risk audit, another "waste of time" "keep me from the people" piece of makework.
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identity crisis
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Username: Pigs_with_wigs

Post Number: 41
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 10:05 pm:   

oops sorry guys I was typing in my own shorthand. I do a full proper oasys when I write a report. I meant I say see crams on the reviews cos I can't see why we do crams entries and then have to do huge reviews as well. Spike thanks for clarifying I was kinda thinking that some of the stuff I was taught seemed familiar but had a different name. As for workloads. Our area think giving everything to PSO's will solve the problem. They pay us at Band 4 to type or own stuff and then get others to work with clients on the cheap.
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Spike
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Username: Spike

Post Number: 353
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 08:53 pm:   

ID crisis, I 2nd Zog on that 1(I'm a PSR writer too)
Papa, you may be pleased to know, we still make extensive use of TFC, although they've cleverly(sarcastic) changed the name to Targets for Effective Change, mow its far more efficacious!
I still think there is a lot of autonomy in how we can work, as long as one doesn't mind creative or bland contact log writing.

I think that our training while not being able to specifically say it was aimed at giving us an overview of all the methods of working with people, and for those bright enough to see it, theories such as attachment and labelling will always resonate, and we find our own ways of fitting them in. Transactional Analysis is now called motivational interviewing, Brief solution focused therapy is another way of saying, problem solving techniques, eg identify, information, steps etc. it's all still out there. Papa has called it right, its about the time to do it, so often my focus is on reviews and reports, that actually working with people is secondary. Its not about my values, its about the workloads :-(
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ZogofAlbania
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Username: Zog666

Post Number: 51
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 07:56 pm:   

No disrespect intended Identity as I am sure you are a good officer, but when I get allocated a PSR and find that the previous supervising officer has just put 'see crams', it really pees me off. Not only does it not help with the assessment of the offender, it creates unnecessary work for the PSR writer at a time when work-load is an issue. Please, please, please, do complete your OASYS - as one colleague to another. Actually in my area managers will not countersign OASYS with scant information.
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identity crisis
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Username: Pigs_with_wigs

Post Number: 40
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 09:52 am:   

possibly I should do but I don't. My Oasys reviews generally consit of see CRAMs. We unfortunately got lumbered with that system. I refuse to repeat myself. I came into this job to work with people and that is what i do. The records are their but not repeated. My Oasys interventions are generally other as i don't like the limited list they give me. Perhaps I am running on borrowed time but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that I am doin something useful and rewarding whilst here.
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pipling
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Username: Reality

Post Number: 55
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 08:12 am:   

Identity,
Papa describes many of the differnces. To add something I'd say we were generally allowed much more autonomy as to how we worked with people. The training was also very different. You basically qualified as a Social Worker with a slant on criminal justice issues thrown in. Now its all NVQ and the dead hand of 'evidence based practice'. I personally think the introduction of programmes was a bad thing. It used up a lot of money that would have more effectively been used elsewhere e.g more case workers. I've yet to see a study showing that programme intervention is more effective than general case management. I think our problem now is that we have our agenda set for us by a Govmt who are trying to micro manage both the process and the outcome of what we do. This 'strategy' is set by people who have little experience of day to day management of offenders and those that do have this experience are already sold on the policy and are not critical enough. The problem is identity advising you of 'techniques' is not going to help you really, you'll be having to concentrate your time on yet another OASys instead!
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papa_chango
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Username: Papa_chango

Post Number: 173
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 03:33 pm:   

Identity--- I have not been around since the Ark, I had a life before probation. I became a Probation Officer during the early 90s and at that time many of the "Help advise, Assist and Befriend " people were still about. In those days we/they were busy but they had time to get to know the people they worked with. Time is the most important thing we have.

We got to know the families of those on orders, crucial in helping people and crucial in managing risk. Back in the day I used Brief therapy( I dont think it was called this then) in the main, rather than confront and challenge, it was abour getting to know the individual, getting them to understand the harm they were doing and getting them to move on.

Many colleagues used "Transactional Analysis". This was attempting to get the individual to face up to their problems in an adult grown up way. When I did group work I used a lot of theatre stuff, Masks in order to let the real person stop hiding, and role play in Victim work.

Back then CB was used We had "Targets for Change" which we dipped into liberally. Psychoanalysis was used by some too. Rogerian client-centred counselling where the workers main task was to provide unconditional positive reagard, making the process warm and safe for the person to explore their real fellings. The probation officer didn't set goals or suggest solutions. This was the task of the person with whom we were working. This method was underpinned by the quality of the relationship and the POs capacity to empathise, respesct and empower the client.

This is why I spent time talking about my Walsall F C and whatever the young person wanted to talk about.

Identity we did loads of stuff and back then we were given time to read about and develop our practice. Much of the work we did was underpinned by a sociological( social conflict) perspective. Read C W Mills "A Sociological Imagination" 1959. Its still good stuff
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identity crisis
New member
Username: Pigs_with_wigs

Post Number: 38
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 12:21 pm:   

the forrest gate thread led to some interesting discussions about the good old probation days and modern techniques. As a newbie i would like to learn some of the techniques used by coleeagues pre-what works as we never get taught them. Cheers

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