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Probation: Health Services

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 147089, tabled on 25 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans his Department has for the provision of clinical supervision to probation officers.

Answered on

4 April 2022

Rather than offer structured supervision provision for probation staff, we deliver one-to-one ‘Reflective Sessions’. Reflective Sessions, formerly called Structured Professional Support, have been in place for probation staff since 2018. The sessions are delivered by qualified professionals from the incumbent Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provider, provides a safe space to discuss the impact of difficult cases, challenging casework and other impactful aspects of their role.

The sessions are not counselling but a preventative measure that focuses on the impact of work on one’s professional life, assisting to further develop coping strategies for managing stress and mitigating the professional impact of working with offenders. Furthermore, Reflective Sessions assists in considering aspects of probation work that may trigger challenging emotional responses and explore additional strategies for managing these. Furthermore, Reflective Sessions explores and considers the qualities and strengths the employee brings to work, the specific stressors of their work and what strategies are most beneficial to support them.

We have expanded the service to account for the increased staff count following unification of probation and simplified the booking process to make these sessions more easily accessible to all staff.