“We’re not in it for the money. Being the difference by making small changes in people’s lives is why we’re here.”
My job is to build relationships with service users, to get them in to a routine and establish a foundation, so that then they can do the program of work and address the real issues surrounding their offending.
I think that having good relationships with people and believing that people can change is important. If you’re authentic with people then they can see that. And you actually gain their trust.
It’s a real fine balance being a probation officer, because you have to be able to get the trust and have the relationship, but at the same time you’ve got a duty to the public and to manage the risks.
But if you have a good relationship, you can actually see that change happening, and it is really a nice thing when you see people turn their lives around, get a job, get into accommodation, have functioning relationships - and that is why I’m still here after all these years.
I get so much from just knowing someone is looking forward to coming to see you. It’s huge for a service user to trust us with their thoughts and feelings – one of mine calls me the best agony aunt. We’re like a critical friend, and for people to feel that is really rewarding.
We’re not in it for the money. Being the difference by making small changes in people’s lives is why we’re here.
Service users look up to me, which I think is a good thing, because a lot of them have not had any direction in life… that’s the difference I want them to feel.
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.
It’s always our aim to be the difference in someone’s life. It makes me feel so much better… and then I know I’ve done a great job.
I have lots of positive conversations with service users, and this is definitely where I feel like I’m able to be the difference they’re looking for.
My strength is that I’ve got a lot of patience, even in difficult situations, and I think that’s where I make a difference to people.