I thought I'd write a quick summary of my initial thoughts and observations following my first week in West Yorkshire. Its been a busy week of meetings, looking at our processes and I've been able to meet around 50 people from different offices across all job roles.
You won't be surprised to hear I have consistently observed the same themes, with the main two being:
1) people just want to do a good job
2) obviously people are concerned about the future, last weeks announcements of staff reductions are raw and sensitive, understandably people want to know about their own future
What struck me, with pleasure, was that despite the potentially personal impact of change, the overriding priority is that of doing a good job, whether that be front facing with service users or corporate services assisting in the delivery of services.
It is that passion and commitment that has always helped Probation stand apart from other sectors, and it is important we never loose that value, one which aligns very neatly with Interserve's own values 'do the right thing' and 'be proud'.
I want to try and make it as easy as possible for us to deliver the best services we can. One quick way we can do this is to make it easier for you to access local performance data. Within a week or so you should be able to access that data within one or two clicks rather than the complex process you currently go through to find performance reports. Last quarter we failed to achieve a couple of measures, and this has resulted in a significant fine of £95k, this is something I know no one wants to happen again.
With regards to the second theme, we all understand the anxiety every staff member will be feeling and will seek to provide you with clarity of your personal position as soon as we are able. The unknown is never pleasant, but we will be open, transparent, and as fair as possible. We genuinely do want to find as many people jobs as possible, but the reality is the MoJ pays us significantly less than we received as a public body and as such, restructure was inevitable.
The staffing changes should not be confused with the Interchange Model though, of which I'm a huge fan. The Interchange Model gives us a real opportunity to work with service users in a way that we were unable to do under NOMS direction, and I'm genuinely excited by that.
Well, I will finish there. Other than to say thank you for the warm welcome I've received so far, I really do feel privileged to be working alongside you all.
The Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire
Community Rehabilitation Company Limited
8 Corporation Street
Lincoln LN2 1HN
We learnt yesterday from the Napo General Secretary's blog that he'd signed up to a 'ground breaking operational procedures agreement' with Purple Futures, which raises a number of questions in my mind and that of this reader:-
What exactly is this 'ground breaking operational procedures agreement' signed with 'Purple Futures' - or, as they now seem to be known, 'Interserve', what with the supposed 'partners' - plainly no more than bid-candy – barely getting a mention these days? And when the GS says 'just' signed does he mean AFTER their announcement of 23% job cuts in Yorkshire alongside smaller but significant cuts in their other CRCs too? And their plans to decimate PO numbers and force qualified PO staff into PSO roles? And does he mean AFTER the presentation of their woeful desistance-lite, research-free, social work devoid, disaster in-the-making 'Interchange model' for transforming clients lives by being a bit more chipper and trying not to mention their crimes? I wonder if he might instead consider trying to help those of us under the purple cosh to fight to maintain some professionalism, some integrity and some jobs?--oo00oo--
My name is Jasmine and I am an undergraduate student at the University of Greenwich studying Criminology and Criminal Psychology. I am currently undertaking a dissertation research project exploring the emotional impact associated with being a probation officer. The study would like to hear about the personal experiences of being in probation and how it has affected the probation officers. Officers will be asked a series of questions that will explore matters to do with caseloads, stress, interactions with clients and feelings towards the changes made under Transforming Rehabilitation. If you are a probation officer working anywhere in the UK and would like to take part in the study, or if you would like more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interviews can take place in person or over the phone and will last no longer than thirty minutes. Your contribution to the study would be much appreciated.