The Probation Service supervises offenders with the aim of reducing re-offending and protecting the public. As part of their main responsibility to supervise offenders in the community, offender managers are in contact with, or supervising, a number of offenders who have been identified as presenting a risk, or potential risk, of harm to children. They also supervise offenders who are parents or carers of children and these children may be at heightened risk of involvement in (or exposure to) criminal or anti-social behaviour and of other poor outcomes. By working with these offenders to change their lifestyles and to enable them to change their behaviour, offender managers safeguard and promote the welfare of offenders’ children. In addition, Probation Areas/Trusts provide a direct service to children by:
- providing a statutory victim contact scheme to the victims of violent and sexual offences, including children and young people (where the victim is aged under 17, their parent or guardian is also entitled to services);
- delivering unpaid work requirements to 16- and 17-year-olds;
- fulfilling their role as statutory partner of YOTs; and
- ensuring support for victims, and indirectly children in the family, of convicted perpetrators of domestic abuse participating in accredited domestic abuse programmes.
Offender managers should also ensure that there is clarity and communication between MAPPA and other risk management processes – for example, in the case of safeguarding children, procedures covering registered sex offenders, domestic abuse management meetings, child protection procedures and procedures for the assessment of people identified as presenting a risk or potential risk of harm to children.