Clare - Probation Services Officer

“A lot of the time, service users have never had respect before, and I like to think that I’m the difference they need to inspire change in their lives.”

My role is all about treating service users like I’d want to be treated in that sort of situation. Everyone’s human, and what they’ve done may be really bad, or it might not be that bad, but we try to get to the bottom of why they did what they did, and we make sure we speak to them in a way that’s not patronizing. A lot of the time, they’ve never had that respect before, and I like to think that I’m the difference they need to inspire change in their lives.

I think that building a relationship is just so important. Because I know I’d switch off if I went to an appointment with someone who didn’t know who I was and wasn’t that interested in me. But when you’re engaging, and you’re looking at a service user, and you’re open and honest… then they’re going to be the same with you.

People trust you. And you think, they’re telling you things about their lives which can be really upsetting and distressing, but they feel comfortable enough that you’re not going to go out and tell other people. They’ve got confidence in you – I really like that.

Service users make the job – we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t want to help people make these positive changes. That’s the one thing that will always keep me here… just how rewarding it is.

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