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It’s your first day as the new member of the Youth Offending Team and you are understandably a little nervous. This is when you meet new colleagues, adapt to office working practices, get to grips with the local area, the culture, the demographic, and even some of those odd-sounding acronyms.

Getting started

Following on from last week’s blog about how to find a role with a Youth Offender Team, this week we’ll be helping you to get started as part of a team which will see you aiming to prevent children and young people under the age of 18 from offending, or re-offending. It doesn’t have to be that daunting and if you go into the role with an open mind, know the type of questions you need to be asking, and have a willingness to learn from those around you, you’ll be getting off to a great start.

There are, however, a number of approaches that will help make day one – and the days that follow – a little easier, and of course more enjoyable

Learn from your colleagues

A good number of your new colleagues will have been in the job for a number of years and as a result they will have wide experience, which will prove invaluable to you. You can’t beat picking up good tips from the more experienced personnel around you.

Be prepared to shadow your colleagues; watch how they communicate with different clients, and how they handle potentially difficult discussions and conversations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – however basic you feel they are - because if you don’t know the answer, the sooner you find out the better.

Learn practices and procedures

Some of the practices and procedures within the Youth Offending Team you join may subtly differ to what you expect, or there may be acronyms and abbreviations the office uses that you are not familiar with. Ensure you get up to speed with those at the earliest opportunity and, again, don’t be afraid to ask your new colleagues. Also, use the resources available to you and take a look at the literature in the office to help you evolve and continue your learning process.

Talking is good

Be prepared to talk through difficult situations with colleagues and your managers, or even with your fellow trainees who may be having similar concerns or questions as you.

Talking issues through with co-workers can help you develop and mature as a practitioner and is also good for sharing knowledge and experience.

If you’re interested in joining a youth offending team, then take a look at the latest youth offending team jobs. Join us next week to find out how to join a substance misuse team
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