Funding secured to help develop practice

Interserve’s Community Rehabilitation Companies have secured funding to help develop the next phase of the company’s personalisation project.

Personalisation involves focusing probation practice on an individual’s needs, giving them increased ownership over the service they receive.

Interserve’s five CRCs have each piloted a unique approach to personalistion within a probation setting. Evaluation of the projects has been carried out by Interserve in conjunction with the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The next step is to roll out the second phase of personalisation across the CRCs, and this phase has won funding from the European Commission.

Kim Thornden-Edwards, Interserve’s director of rehabilitation and professional practice, said: “I am thrilled that commissioners were impressed by our bid for the funds, it highlights that people think we are carrying out pioneering work and that we are on the right track.

“Personalisation has a long history in social care and has proven to deliver excellent results.

“We believe that similar approaches can be applied to probation, and that personalisation can be hugely successful in supporting offenders to rehabilitate.”

The European Commission is backing nine pilots across the continent, all of which have a common theme of encouraging partnerships between service providers – eg. the public sector, third sector and private organisation – and the intended beneficiaries of services.

The funding will pay for the leadership and coordination of the project. Caroline Marsh, independent personalisation expert, will be implementing the project, which will take place at Hull’s probation office from January.

She said: “I am pleased by the learning from the pilots and how they have performed, and even more excited to be moving to the next phase.

“Ultimately what we want to do is help service users to make positive change.”