What we do
HACRO (Hertfordshire Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders) is a predomminantly Grant Funded charity, helping people in Hertfordshire who have been on the wrong side of the law to turn their lives around. We believe in second chances.
Our vision is a world in which everyone on the wrong side of the law has the chance to turn their lives around and lead a life fully contributing to society. We deliver our vision through programmes that build capability and confidence, delivered with respect and integrity. Our mission is to offer support for offenders, potential offenders and their families to make positive changes in their lives and thereby reduce the number of victims of crime.
We do this by providing mentoring support and a range of training and well-being programmes. We also work with other local charities to provide individualised and need needs-based support.
All this experience and expertise has allowed us to create our flagship programme – TurnAround.
HACRO’s flagship programme, TurnAround launched on 1st January 2023 as a personal development programme that provides support, purpose, engagement, structure and opportunity to ex-offenders in their journey back to the community.
How we got to TurnAround
After a change in funding and a comprehensive review of the areas that we have specialised in for nearly 50 years we decided to use our expertise and experience to create what we believe to be the optimal program in Hertfordshire for difficult to reach ex-offenders.
Our research showed there are no other providers of a holistic, needs-based support programme within Hertfordshire which is validated by the fact that 49 referrals were received in our first two months of operation.
Who we work with
We work with some of the hardest to reach ex-offenders and those most likely to offend/reoffend. Our Participants, all of whom are 18+, come from a wide variety of backgrounds across the whole of Hertfordshire.
Where our Participants come from
Over the past 10 years our referrals have come from a wide range of organisations. This hasn’t changed with TurnAround and the greatest numbers have come from Probation and the Police but given our reputation we also receive a significant number of referrals from third sector organisationsas well as self-referrals.
A number of our staff are themselves ex-offenders and have spent time within Prison. This gives us invaluable experience of, and insights into, the challenges faced by our Participants. This has allowed us to put in place individualised and holistic ways to support and engage as well as helping us to continually develop the programme. These staff were instrumental in the creation, setting up and of TurnAround.
We have also engaged with our Participants to understand their needs and requirements and this research was used in development of TurnAround. This programme is ever evolving as different areas of support are identified by both staff and Participants.
The programme provides individual support through one-to-one mentoring and signposting to other relevant charities and group support through skills development and wellbeing training programmes. Participants also undertake community projects that enhance the communities in which we all live, a way of giving back.
Through our individual work with Participants we identify areas of ability, interest and expertise which has allowed us to set up a number of programme activities such as Tennis – where one of our Participants has become reacquainted with Tennis and has qualified as a LTA Tennis Coach as well as another Participant setting up his own fishing business and helping to set up our Fishing activity and subsequently volunteering for this activity.
The programme builds life skills by focusing on four key areas:
Activities keep Participants busy, increase their skills e.g. literacy and contribute to their readiness for potential future employment.
Through mentoring HACRO builds confidence, stability and personal skills to reduce substance misuse and support recovery and progression into work readiness programmes.
HACRO teaches skills such as IT or food hygiene to prepare service users for education or employment.
Aimed at areas of skills shortage in Hertfordshire, Turn Around provides volunteering or work-experience opportunities building service users confidence and providing valuable experience.
Job Title: TurnAround Driver / Support Worker for ex-Offenders
Reports to: Project TurnAround Team Leader (Mentors)
Terms: TurnAround has been awarded funding for a period of a year. As a result, fixed-term contracts will be issued to the end of the year project funded period, 31 December 2023.
Part-time, 22.5hrs/wk. Some flexibility required on days worked to enable full team meetings on one day a week and to enable different activities and courses to be supported.
Overview: Turnaround is jointly funded by the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Probation with the aim of reducing reoffending in Hertfordshire by helping participants to overcome barriers to learning and work.
The key role of the Driver / Support worker is to provide transport for Participants to activities and courses organised by the Tutors and Mentors and to support the Tutors and Mentors in delivering relevant life-skills activities and courses to participants throughout their journey to becoming productive and fulfilled members of the community.
The Driver / Support Worker requires experience of working with vulnerable and challenging people and must hold a valid, clean driving licence enabling them to drive an 8-seater people carrier. They must be between the ages of 25 and 70 for insurance purposes.
Main areas of responsibility
- Drive the People carrier to agreed central pick-up points and take them to the agreed venue for 10am; return them to the same locations at the end of the day (usually 3-4pm)
- Remain with the Tutors and/or Mentors and contribute to the activities and courses they are running.
- Attend monthly case meeting with Tutors and Mentors team to review all cases
- Maintain accurate records of expenses and mileage sieth monthly expense claims submitted monthly to the TurnAround Coordinator
Person Specification – including experience, skills and abilities
- Experience of supporting adults who have been in the criminal justice system or those with mental health / substance misuse / wellness issues, and of building trusting relationships
- Good understanding/experience of the range of issues faced by individuals experiencing barriers to learning and employment – especially ex-offenders
- Ability to relate to people from diverse backgrounds
- Good verbal, written and numeracy skills and the ability to communicate sensitively
- Strong attention to detail and timelines to e.g. ensure accurate record keeping
- Ability to work in a calm, patient and tolerant manner at a pace appropriate to the needs of (sometimes challenging) individuals
- Ability to advocate and negotiate
- Ability to work flexibly and prioritise workload, requiring good planning and organisational skills
- Ability and willingness to work as part of a project team
- Full driving licence – and access to own car to travel independently
Criminal Background Check
Safeguarding children and adults is of utmost importance to HACRO. The charity requires all Turn Around project staff to abide by legislation and best practice. This role has been identified as requiring an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Services (DBS) check. You must therefore ensure that any relevant criminal record check application forms are completed and returned as requested, as this is deemed a contractual requirement of employment. In addition, you consent to allow HACRO to retain a copy of the disclosure certificate within your personal should this say personnel file.
You will be required to and maintain registration with the DBS Update Service whilst employed by HACRO. In line with the requirements of the Update Service you will be required to maintain your personal information. However, lived experience as an offender will not exclude participants from this role and could even be an asset.
If you fail to disclose any caution, reprimand or conviction which is later identified on your criminal background check you will be subject to disciplinary action and the HACRO has the right to suspend and ultimately dismiss you. HACRO will review your criminal background record periodically during your employment to identify any changes in circumstances that may be detrimental to your employment.
Please note that additional information referring to the check is in the guidance notes to the application form. If you are invited to an interview you will receive more information.
Equality and Diversity
HACRO is committed to diversity and equality of opportunity which is integral to everything we do. It will inform every area of activity; from the way we provide services to the way we employ our staff.
Health and Safety
It will be the duty of every employee while at work to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of other people who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work. Is there a need to say they should be familiar with and abide by HACRO’s H&S policy and procedures?