The aim of a reparations officer is to work under the local Youth Offending Team manager to co-ordinate and support a range of interventions and community reparations projects for young offenders. Community Reparations are aimed at ensuring that young offenders sentenced to unpaid work as part of a community order carry out tasks that prove beneficial to the neighbourhood and its local people. They will work closely with all of the YOT staff to help execute a successful Community Reparations programme.
The officer will be responsible for supervising and arranging programmes suitable for each offender. This will include carrying out research on their criminal history as well as liaising with the Youth Offending team, consulting with them about the findings and informing them of the reparation programme that has been instructed. Offenders are expected to work within the specific health and safety guidelines associated with the order, and it is up to the reparation officer to uphold the safety and well-being of the offender, his or her direct supervisors and the related victim/s.
Other duties may include contributions to YOT meetings, which could involve supervision, research and appropriate training. They are expected to contribute to the Youth Offender Team’s information system, which would require collating information regarding the candidate – the information gathered is integral to the successful operation of the team as a whole. It should be noted that any prospective reparation officer should deliver their work in a manner that promotes anti-discriminatory practice in both YOT members and offenders. Officers may also be expected to work evenings and/or at the weekends.
In terms of previous experience, successful candidates would have worked with youngsters and their families in a sector involved in the criminal justice system. It is also obligatory that they would have held a position that deals with victims or victim support, and one that requires work within a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment. Position holders would have up-to-date knowledge of youth justice legislation, especially the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998 and the Criminal and Immigration Act of 2008, and the standards of restorative justice, the reparation practice, and would be able to reflect an understanding of the factors that put young people at risk of offending.
Candidates will show an interest and an understanding of the ways to work and deal with young offenders and victims of crime. This would include a strong ability to perform accurate assessments of the offender or victim and communicate their findings well, be it verbally as part of a presentation or by producing highly literate word reports. Finally, they will have had experience in working as part of a large team. As stated, working and liaising with the full YOT is a crucial aspect of the role.
A related qualification, such as a degree or HND in social care would be desirable, but not essential.
Essential experience would include at least two years work with young people and families.
Strong analysis skills, written, IT and verbal communication skills, team work skills.