Becoming a probation officer - any advice?

(8 Posts)
DanGleebals Tue 26-Mar-13 12:44:30

I have wanted to be a probation officer for years but I have never quite had the courage to go for it. I am now a part time marketing manager, and although I like my job I am not particularly enthusiastic about it. This morning DS asked me how long it would be until I retire (he's 6). My reply of "oh about 30 years" got me thinking that I've got a long way to go so I may as well do something I feel passionately about!

I know they're not recruiting at present and the structure had changed a lot but does anyone have any advice about how to get into it and when they are likely to recruit again please? We have a charity attached to our local probation office and i have previously been accepted as a volunteer but then they had some funding issues so it never materialised. They are still working in our area but not looking for volunteers at the moment. Should I just write to them any way with my cv and see what happens? Any other advice gratefully received! Thank you

scottishmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 19:46:45

Chase up the volunteering,see what happens.or can you meet with PO?
I'd more advise social work,rather than be probation officer option.sw has wider career path no PO route in Scotland,it sw role
I hope I'm not stating obvious but do you really Know what job entails also it has unsocial hours etc
Have you contacted uni. Offering the course?will you be able travel to placement,who'll help with son

Good luck,
do meet a PO
Look into the course
Consider a SW

scottishmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 20:00:47

Try get mental health and/or substance misuse experience as is significant for PO clients

DanGleebals Tue 26-Mar-13 20:21:02

Thanks scottishmummy. Yep, fully aware of what is involved in terms of hours etc. Have DH, in laws and nursery/after school club for kids. I have contacted charity and will wait to see if they come back to me. I have met a PO previously when applying to do the volunteering. I might try that route too, thanks. I've looked into social work before but Have a bit of a block about it, like I'm not quite clever enough or something blush. Are you a social worker? Do you enjoy it? I think part of the reason I would like to do this is because I would like to do something that makes a difference. Thanks for your advice, I will continue to look into it.

AlisonM1971 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:49:01

There are a couple of different routes into becoming a probation officer - either the grad route or working as a Probation Services Officer or similar and then getting trained internally. Do you have a degree? I would certainly follow up the voluntary work as this will be really useful when applying. As it looks you know the government are currently looking to change the way probation is delivered so might not the best time to get into it and may be worth looking into social work.

I don't know where your based but Probation Services is split into different trusts so if you put in probation job and were you live you should find out where you nearest one is. You could then e-mail the HR department to ask if they are hiring any time soon. You could always take an entry level job and see if you can work your way into offender management but this might take some time and no guarantee.

PolterGooseLaidAChocolateEgg Wed 27-Mar-13 18:51:34

I work in probation. At the moment the only way to qualify as a PO in our trust is to be an existing employee in a PSO role and get accepted to undertake the PO training. There is no means to train outside of a probation trust. You might be fast-tracked if you have a relevant degree. In theory you can still be employed as a PO with a social work qualification, many of my colleagues were social work trained, but you would need relevant placements (eg a YOT) or experience.

The hours aren't anti-social at all, and can fit very well with family life on my experience. Lots of opportunities for part-time and flexi-working once qualified.

However, whilst probation work is fantastic, we face imminent privatisation, and who knows what will happen. I would advise you to consider social work training which will give you more choices and if you are interested in working with young people who offend it will get you into YOT.

DanGleebals Wed 27-Mar-13 20:37:22

Thanks PolterGoose that's really useful information. I think I'll look into the social work side too as by the sounds of it that seems to open up more options. I will contact my local trust - I live locally to one of their main offices so might be able to arrange a chat. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

nellyjelly Thu 28-Mar-13 01:53:01

Echo above comments. Probation is being privatised and lots of staff will be made redundant. There are few vacancies at present and little new recruitment.

Social work will give you a generic background and you could use the qualification to work in youth justice or drugs field.

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