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We asked Naoise Pye from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Naoise Pye

Social Care Worker

St. Michael's House

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  Naoise Pye
You need to be interested in people, and want to help them. Interests in Creative Arts can help as well as having a degree in Social Studies and having plenty of work experience.
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Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Occupation Details

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Probation Officer

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

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A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

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Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

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At a Glance... header image

Acts as a social worker for both inmates and people recently released from prison.


The Work header image

Probation and Welfare Officers assist the Court in reaching its decision by supplying pre-sanction reports on persons who have committed offences. The reports outline the health, social, educational and vocational circumstances of the offender as well as the attitude of the offender to his/her crime.  
 
If an offender is placed on probation or under supervision, the Officer's duty is to assist, guide and befriend the offender in an attempt to lead him/her into a useful law-abiding life; to see that the conditions required by the Court are observed; to help with personal problems and to report progress.  
 
The Courts have power to order a person aged sixteen years or over, convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment, to perform unpaid work or service to the community. Probation and Welfare Officers are required to prepare reports satisfying the Court that the offender is a suitable person to perform work under a Community Service Order and advising the Court that arrangements can be made for him/her to perform such work.  
 
Voluntary organisations and statutory bodies are contacted by Probation and Welfare Service staff with a view to securing suitable placements for offenders; the Probation and Welfare Officer has the responsibility and duty of supervising the offender and ensuring that the order of the Court is carried out.  
 
Probation and Welfare Officers in prisons and other places of custody are concerned with helping people who are committed to custody to cope with their imprisonment. They help offenders to evaluate the significance of their sentence with reference to their own personal lives, to their families, to their communities and to their victims. They make themselves available in a counselling role to offenders and their families. Personal and social circumstances are assessed and programmes are devised to meet the offenders' needs in conjunction with other disciplines working in the custodial system.  
 
The Probation and Welfare Officer offers counselling on a wide range of problems and liaises with other disciplines both within the prison system and in the community in order to help an offender resolve personal difficulties. In some selected cases, the Service is available to offenders who serve out the remaining part of their sentence under the supervision of a Probation and Welfare Officer in the community. This enable

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Interview probationers and parolees regularly to evaluate their progress in accomplishing goals and maintaining the terms specified in their probation contracts and rehabilitation plans.

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Recommend remedial action or initiate court action in response to noncompliance with terms of probation or parole.

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Administer drug and alcohol tests, including random drug screens of offenders, to verify compliance with substance abuse treatment programs.

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Prepare and maintain case folder for each assigned inmate or offender.

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Discuss with offenders how such issues as drug and alcohol abuse and anger management problems might have played roles in their criminal behavior.

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Conduct prehearing and presentencing investigations and testify in court regarding offenders' backgrounds and recommended sentences and sentencing conditions.

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Inform offenders or inmates of requirements of conditional release, such as office visits, restitution payments, or educational and employment stipulations.

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Write reports describing offenders' progress.

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Arrange for medical, mental health, or substance abuse treatment services according to individual needs or court orders.

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Supervise people on community-based sentences, such as electronically monitored home detention, and provide field supervision of probationers by conducting curfew checks or visits to home, work, or school.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards:  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others:  Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Law and Government:  Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

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Psychology:  Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

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Public Safety and Security:  Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Persuasion:   Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You must be committed to helping offenders break the cycle of crime and protecting public safety  
 
You need excellent communication skills, to express yourself confidently and persuasively in court, establish a constructive relationship with offenders and to work closely with probation officers and other professionals within the criminal justice system  
 
You must be able to listen carefully, and ask the right questions to find out more about the offence, and the offender's social and financial circumstances. You must also know when to be firm and assertive, and how to defuse potential confrontations. The ability to work with people who have the potential to be violent is a vital skill  
 
To produce social enquiry reports, you will need strong written skills and the ability to construct clear, logical, well-reasoned, impartial and objective recommendations.  
 
The work is emotionally demanding and involves making difficult decisions.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Probation and welfare officer - from:  GradIreland
Go..Probation Officer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Probation Officer - from:  YouTube Video
Go..Probation Services Officer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Prison Officers' Association
  Address: 18 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 662 5495
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Probation and Welfare Service
  Address: Haymarket, Smithfield, Dublin 7
  Tel: (01) 817 3600
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Irish Association of Social Workers
  Address: 114-116 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 677 4838
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Department of Justice and Equality
  Address: 94 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 602 8202
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Public Appointments Service
  Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
  Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Irish Prison Service
  Address: IDA Business Park, Ballinalee Road, Longford, Co. Longford
  Tel: (043) 33 35100
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Security, Defence & Law Enforcement
Social & Caring
Community & Voluntary

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