Transcript of Jeena talking about her work as a programme facilitator - extended clip
Ultimately, our goal is to manage safety in the community, make the community a safer place, and reduce re-offending. So I'm like a cog in this massive wheel that's all going for that same goal, and my part of it is creating a space where the guys can start to work through things that are little bit closer to home that maybe they struggle to talk to their probation officer or their case managers about it. And so we work with them every day, four days a week, for three months usually.
That creates an environment where they can really explore what's going on for them, what's been happening in their lifestyle, what's been leading to their offending, and what do they want to change, and how do they want to change it, what strategies can they use. So we really dig, dig deep.
The training's amazing. We get trained in all different types of programmes. So there's alcohol and drug programmes, the motivational programmes, and then the rehabilitative programmes. And we all learn them as we go, and then you chop and change between them - which keeps the job new and exciting as well, because you're constantly moving around and working together to make it all work.
So a typical day in the life of a facilitator is based around - you'd probably spend half the day in the programme with your participants, and then you spend the other half taking notes from what you saw in the room and developing objectives and treatment plans that you can keep live throughout the process. And then you plan with your co-facilitator or plan for the next session for the next day so that you're all ready to roll, and then you go from there, yeah.
Culture is important because we're working with a range of cultures. You can have some really diverse groups in the room, and being able to work with those and being able to relate to those cultures rather than coming from one specific perspective is more relatable for them.
I feel safe, definitely. I always feel safe. I didn't on my first day, obviously, because I didn't know what to expect. But once I got used to it, and once I got to know everybody involved and the team and that, I definitely feel safe.
The offenders are different to what I expected. They're really nice people - it's just a matter of getting to know them and really giving them a chance. And once they really can see that what's going on in this room is going to be helpful, and it is going to help change their lives if they take it seriously, then that's when the magic starts to happen.
The most rewarding part is when the change happens in the room right there before your eyes, when suddenly the same person who got really angry and almost started a fight two weeks ago is now breathing through it - you know, little things like that - is now actively practicing different ways of approaching things right in front of you. And when the whole group is working together on that, and encouraging each other, and reinforcing each other, and supporting each other, it's massive. That's probably the days I buzz the most when I come back to the office.
Some people are only going to change a little bit, some people are going to change more, and it's always going to be different. So you can't get your hopes up too high, either. Having realistic expectations is really important, but definitely, believing and knowing that people have the power within themselves to change.
It's just finding that and finding what drives them and finding that motivation, and being able to pull that out and show it to them and say, hey, look, you've actually got this. All it's going to take is this, this, and this. This might help. What kind of skills suit you? Finding what suits them.
That can be really powerful. That's my favourite part of the job. I love that. You have the power in this job to really make a difference. Sometimes all it takes is that one conversation and it can change everything for them.