The central task of the Youth Offending Team volunteer coordinator is to manage, coordinate and nurture YOT volunteers from a variety of cultural and professional backgrounds. They are responsible for providing and managing volunteer training as well as recruiting new volunteers. They are expected to work with and as part of the full YOT team, and will liaise with relevant members such as probation officers and social workers on regular occasions.
Coordinators are expected to be able to rally, organise and work with a pool of volunteers and manage under a specific pre-determined budget. As well as this, they need to be able to steer their volunteers individually, regularly reviewing workloads, schooling them and analysing the need for additional training. Records will need to be maintained and volunteers are required to be provided with work reports. The position holder would thus need to be computer literate and be able to work with a paper filing system. Reports are also occasionally delivered as part of a presentation, and coordinators would be expected to reflect adept speaking and presenting skills.
There are some data collecting and collating tasks involved with this position, such as analysis of services and quality assurance surveys. It is the coordinators’ task to help ensure that successful relationships are established and maintained between YOT managers and that professional boundaries are upheld at all times. They must also work within an equal opportunities framework at all times in an attempt to minimise discriminatory behavior within the professional sphere. It is their responsibility to stick to health and safety guidelines and precautions must always be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of the volunteer, the offender, the victim and the public.
It must be noted that the work is generally flexible to meet the needs of young offenders and coordinators may be expected to work on evenings and weekends. Also, the role involves building up a strong relationship of trust between the community and the volunteers. Dealing with young offenders can be a sensitive area for members of the public and the work that volunteers do needs to be presented and executed carefully – this is the responsibility of the coordinators.
The role holder is there to encourage and organise the volunteers to carry out a range of different tasks that relate to all of the public services provided for by the YOT. The volunteer coordinator is also there to expand the scope of work carried out by the workers so that they are taking part in all relevant activities and services associated with the organisation. The role is highly adaptable and candidates are expected to be willing to change their roles and duties within the position.
A qualification related to youth work is usually required, an undergraduate degree would be beneficial too.
Experience of community work or youth work would be required.
Strong team management skills, IT skills, organisation skills, analysis skills, verbal communication skills.