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Working with Young Offenders

Working with Young Offenders

It is a rather sad fact that there are a large amount of young offenders in society, and worryingly this number is rising. This can happen for any number of reasons, a lot of the time it falls down to the extremely oversimplified idea that individuals fall into the wrong groups of people or gangs. These young offenders need help and support to stop these lapses of judgement escalating into things a lot more serious. Working with young offenders, can be a challenging and moving experience, here are some of the areas which you can be expected to work with young offenders.

Often, young offenders who have repeat offences will be sent to a Youth Offenders Institution, therefore if you have experience in counselling. Then you may be suited to be a counsellor within one of these institutions. This will largely focus on preparation for once young offenders leave the facility to make sure they do not end up reoffending again. And perhaps having a role in re-educating them/working out if there are holes left in their education as a result of their offences.

There are also specific job roles for once someone has been released from these institutions. This would often be part of a larger youth offending team, whose role it is to carry on the rehabilitation process often started by counsellors inside the institution. You will need to have a strong rapport with the those you are helping rehabilitate, and be helping them with anything from not falling back into old ways, to helping them find a new place to live.

Your role may be more of a practical one where you will be helping young offenders finding lawful employment, help make sure they complete a certain level of education or finding somewhere to live, quite similar to a member of a youth offending team. They key difference being you would most likely be working with people who have not offended multiple times and ended up in an Youth Offenders Institution. This would usually come under the jurisdiction of a social worker, and would be part of a wider range of responsibilities covered within your role.

If this seems appealing, agencies such as Sanctuary offer a large variety of roles working with young offenders. Often, the requirements will vary massively from role to role, so it is worth exploring which jobs will match your skill set.

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