The roles and responsibilities of a young offenders worker

When people discuss working with children, the majority of people will think of teaching or working with children in care. It is less likely you would be thinking with children within the criminal justice. Working with young offenders will never be easy. Yet, young offenders jobs can also offer the chances of some of the best job satisfaction out there. In this article, we will look at the overview of young offenders jobs, and try and show the responsibilities that come with this job on a day to day basis.

One role within working with young offenders is a similar role to that of a probation worker, apart from those you are in charge of looking after and helping out are minors, rather than adults who have commited crime. Unlike probation workers, in this role, you are trying to stop bad behaviour snowballing into something a lot more serious.It is often the case with young offenders they feel let down by ‘the system’ in one way or another, this can often make them hostile both physically and mentally, and make them closed up when it comes to the idea of changing their behaviour. Thus, a responsibility is to try and find the best way to make someone more compliant, open to ideas, and seeing the larger picture. Your role is to give them the necessary tools, mentally speaking, to help them become more self-controlled in a harmonious way, both for themselves and society.

The specific problems that young offenders face can vary massively. One day it might be helping out someone at home with their family situation, gang affiliation, or something as simple as helping them finish a key part of their education or finding a job. Children can often find it hard to ask for help, especially from an authoritative figure. Therefore, to help overcome specific problems with young offenders it’s important to be versatile, approachable and quick thinking. Without these you won’t be able to adapt from situation to situation, or even worse, a youth will simply not feel comfortable divulging the problems they need your help with.

You could also be working in a young offenders institution (YOI), which is basically a prison for minors. The roles and responsibilities within a YOI can change on a daily basis, but in short it would largely mirror the structure of roles and responsibilities within a prison. Of course, there are still plenty of other roles working with young offenders, but I hope this has shown some of the skill sets needed if you are considering entering this line of work.

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