1 National Outcomes and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System
2 National Outcomes and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System The Scottish Government, Edinburgh 2010
3 Crown copyright ISBN: (web only) The Scottish Government St Andrew s House Edinburgh EH1 3DG Produced for the Scottish Government by APS Group Scotland DPPAS10507 (08/10) Published by the Scottish Government, August 2010
5 Foreword In October 2009, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice set out the Scottish Government s policy directive for Criminal Justice Social Work services in Scotland at the Association of Directors of Social Work Criminal Justice conference: Shortly after coming into office in 2007 I commissioned a review of community penalties. Reforming and Revitalising was the first step in the Scottish Government s plan to tackle re-offending through a root and branch review of how we deal with those who offend at every stage of their offending behaviour. The purpose of the review was of course to start looking at ways of dealing more appropriately in the community with lower risk offenders caught in the cycle of reoffending. It also looked at how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of community penalties. The outcome was an action plan designed to give the judiciary and communities more confidence in community penalties by showing the benefits to communities when these penalties are working effectively. The second stage of this evidence gathering phase saw us setting up the independent Scottish Prisons Commission to look at the purpose of prison. This widely acclaimed group chaired by Henry McLeish and comprising representatives from various walks of life produced its report Scotland s Choice in July In many respects, it confirmed our view that while we imprison more people, more often and for longer periods of time than most other European countries, prison as a means of reducing re-offending is simply not working. Protecting Scotland s Communities: Fair, Fast and Flexible Justice published in December 2008 is our blueprint for a modern offender management programme. It sets out how the Scottish Government plans to deliver justice, which is immediate, visible, effective, high quality, flexible and relevant. (Cabinet Secretary for Justice, October 2009)
6 The report of the Review of Community Penalties 1 was published on 27 November One of the concerns that the review highlighted was that the range of community sentences was more complex than it needed to be. Scotland s Choice - report of the Scottish Prisons Commission 2 was published on 1 July 2008 and made a number of radical proposals for how imprisonment is used in Scotland. It recommended the creation of a single community sentence to replace existing community penalties - probation orders, community service orders, supervised attendance orders and community reparation orders. It is critical our justice system is able to cope with the demands placed upon on it by life in modern Scotland. The Scottish Government has taken forward a range of reforms to the justice system since May As part of this programme, we are working with stakeholders to ensure sentences served in the community are robust, immediate and visible to the public. To contribute to the delivery of a coherent penal policy we have set out in the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 a more streamlined sentencing regime to replace the unnecessarily complex range of sentencing options currently available, which are not readily understood by the public. When making a community payback order judges will also be able to set review hearings during the course of the order. This is in line with the Prison Commission s recommendation for progress courts to be held as part of the management of the sentence. In bringing together the options for judges, we are highlighting the scope for courts to punish offenders in a way that also addresses the areas of their lives which need to change. Setting out the options in this way also enables us to underline the fact that a community sentence is a punishment and not merely a supportive intervention. 1 2 Reforming and Revitalising: Report of the Review of Community Penalties Scotland's Choice Report of The Scottish Prisons Commission
7 Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System The modern practice and values applied within Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System in Scotland have been underpinned by the historical integration of Scottish probation services into generic social work departments, through the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968.) Since this time Scotland has experienced criminal justice policy trends similar to the rest of the United Kingdom resulting in an increased emphasis on public protection through risk management and on reducing reoffending. Nevertheless, practice in Scotland has remained firmly rooted within social work principles and values with a strong commitment to social inclusion. In 1991, the Government recognised the challenges of securing service provision to offenders by refunding local authorities the full cost of providing criminal justice social work services. This policy aimed to ensure that the services which the courts require for dealing with offenders in the community were available and of an agreed quality. The initial publication in 1991 of National Objectives for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System (Social Work Services Group) sought to establish and maintain the identity and practices of criminal justice social work services in Scotland. Development of National Outcomes and Standards National Objectives and Standards were designed to provide quality assurance through detailed guidance on management and were updated to reflect developing policy and research. These Standards were used as the basis of performance inspection by the Social Work Inspection Agency during Given the parallel development of research and practices in relation to risk management and to reducing re-offending, the Scottish Government and key stakeholders identified that the National Objectives and Standards had not kept pace with the responsibilities and statutory duties that criminal justice social work services delivered. This included the introduction of multi-agency public protection arrangements but also recognised that criminal justice social work practice had matured as a distinct profession within social work service provision. Changing Lives (the 21st Century Social Work Review) sought to build upon the professional autonomy of social work practitioners and this reinforced the need to revise the prescriptive objectives and standards originally published in Criminal Justice Social Work Performance Inspection Programme
8 Accordingly, in 2007 the Scottish Government commissioned a revision of the National Outcomes and Standards for Criminal Justice Social Work Services in Scotland. This was undertaken in parallel with the review and reform of community sentences. A multi agency Advisory Group 4 provided oversight for the redevelopment of National Outcomes and Standards during This included an extensive consultation exercise undertaken by CTC Associates on behalf of the Advisory Group. The emphasis for the revision was confirmed and reinforced the need to support practitioners and managers professional autonomy within a framework of accountability, whilst ensuring the personalised delivery of criminal justice social work services. In addition, a key focus of the revision was to support the active participation of offenders in work towards outcomes. National Outcomes and Standards are intended to provide a clear framework of professional accountability, supported by strong governance and leadership, towards the outcomes of community safety, justice and social inclusion. Workforce development In the development of National Outcomes and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System, the Scottish Government also recognises the significant contribution that highly trained and skilled workers make in a range of complex circumstances. The Scottish Government will work with our partners in the Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW) to ensure that our joint commitment to leadership and workforce development for Criminal Justice Social Work Services continues. The principles of best practice, leadership and quality management identified within National Outcomes and Standards are crucial to achieving the desire outcomes and will form a central feature of ongoing workforce development initiatives. ADSW have been key partners in developing the revision of National Outcomes and Standards and unequivocally supports a mixed skilled workforce in the delivery of criminal justice social work services. 4 National Outcomes and Standards Advisory Group membership: Association of Directors of Social Work, Social Work Inspection Agency, The Risk Management Authority, The Scottish Courts Service, The Scottish Prison Service, Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum, Chief Officer s Group, Sheriff Fletcher, Scottish Social Services Council, the Scottish Government Community Justice Division and Courts and Criminal Justice and Parole Division
9 Effective social work requires a range of professional skills, in particular the ability to make and contribute to holistic, often multi-agency, assessments of individuals circumstances. It also requires co-operation and close working relationships between social workers, people who use services, carers, providers of care in the private and third sector and other professionals in health, education, housing, employment and justice services. The ability to draw together a diverse range of opinions, develop and agree solutions that both promote the wellbeing of the individual and manage the risk to an individual and/or the public, particularly where risks and needs are complex, is a key skill of the social worker. Promotion of health and well-being is important as well as the provision of care and support. It is essential that an appropriate balance is struck between managing risk and encouraging self determination. Whilst the former is critical, it is also vital that supports offered to individuals encourage them to realise their potential. Promotion of personalised solutions has always been important; engaging with people who use support or services, carers, families and communities being the hallmark of effective social work practice. Personalisation is a key means of ensuring that people have the support or services that meet their needs and priorities and address their personal circumstances. In March 2010, the Scottish Government published guidance on the role of the registered Social Worker in statutory interventions. 5 (This was developed by the Practice Governance Group, one of the five change programmes set up as part of the Government s response to Changing Lives, the 21st Century Social Work Review.) 6 This guidance acknowledged the importance of developing public confidence that the accountability for statutory interventions rests with a suitably qualified social worker and complements that issued on the Role of the Chief Social Work Officer in February The Role of the Registered Social Worker in Statutory Interventions: Guidance for Local Authorities Changing Lives, Report of the 21st Century Social Work Review Published March 2009 and available at:
10 National Outcomes and Standards is published with related operational guidance to support practitioners and managers to improve their performance and results. The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with COSLA to support continuous performance improvement and best value in a context of constrained financial budgets. Working with the Association of Directors of Social Work we will continue to identify the impact the revised National Outcomes and Standards have on existing performance management measures and to allow for monitoring, evaluation and proportionate risk based scrutiny. Conclusion In publishing National Outcomes and Standards the Scottish Government recognises that the key to successful delivery lies not just with the Scottish Government but with our Local Authority partners, the eight Community Justice Authorities and other key partners such as NHS Scotland and the voluntary sector. Only effective joint working will secure and increase the confidence of our communities in our ability both to keep communities safe and to support individuals to pay back by turning their lives around. This revision embodies the need to refocus efforts collectively to tackle re-offending and to reduce the numbers being sentenced to short periods of imprisonment. It seeks to concentrate our energy on achieving the outcomes of public protection and community safety, the reduction of re-offending and social inclusion to support desistance from offending. We have a joint agenda to build a safer, stronger Scotland and are fully committed to working in partnership to tackle reoffending through our modern offender management plan... work to deliver that vision is already underway and I want to take this opportunity to thank all those criminal justice interests who are working with the Scottish Government to tackle the current unacceptably high rates of reoffending through a more flexible and innovative approach to managing offenders. (Cabinet Secretary for Justice) Social work services in the Criminal Justice System play a pivotal role in supporting the public s confidence and understanding of the delivery of criminal justice policy with people who offend. CJSW practice must be designed and delivered towards the achievement of national outcomes and the introduction of National Outcomes and Standards is intended to support this understanding of the outcomes that Criminal Justice Social Work Services deliver across the communities of Scotland.
11 With the parallel introduction of the Community Payback Order and National Outcomes and Standards, a suite of practice initiatives will be introduced to enhance performance and support the delivery of results achieved by Criminal Justice Social Work services, including: Framework for Risk Assessment, Risk Management and Evaluation 8 Level of Service Case / Management Inventory 9 Criminal Justice Social Work Report 10 Supported self-evaluation of accredited programmes The Caledonian Domestic Abuse system 11 and; Redesign of the Community Sex Offending Programme Building upon the publication of Towards Effective Practice in Offender Supervision and Culture, Change and Community Justice, 12 the Scottish Government will also continue to ensure that the implementation of National Outcomes and Standards are supported by the most up to date research programme. This will include the outcome evaluations of accredited programmes in the community and those undertaken by the Risk Management Authority to support implementation integrity of proportionate, meaningful and purposeful risk assessment and risk management practices See glossary Culture, Change and Community Justice Towards Effective Practice in Offender Supervision
12 National Outcomes and Standards for the Criminal Justice Social Work Services in Scotland have been designed to support the underlying political priorities in Scotland, to ensure that policy is informed by the knowledge gained from delivery and to apply the most appropriate research based knowledge to appropriate practices. This cycle of learning is only possible by the commitment and competence of reflective and analytical staff engaged in the supervision of offenders and who are supported with effective leadership and management and appropriate partnership arrangements. Criminal Justice Social Workers face tough challenges in their vital role of improving community safety and helping offenders to break out of the cycle of reoffending. These new National Outcomes and Standards have been drawn up in collaboration with all those involved in delivery, and are intended to support skilled professionals to deliver a quality, consistent service. The Scottish Government is committed to ensure that these standards are kept under review and developed on the basis of further research, practice experience and policy,
13 1. Introduction 1.1. The Government s Purpose is to focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable growth. There are five Strategic Objectives in the Economic Strategy: Safer and Stronger, Healthier, Greener, Smarter, and Wealthier and Fairer. The first of these Objectives is clearly relevant to Criminal Justice Social Work Services. The Government has set 15 national outcomes. Criminal Justice Social Work Services contribute specifically to three of them: We live our lives safe from crime, disorder and danger; We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others; Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people s needs. 1.2 These standards define a framework of practice which if consistently and competently implemented should achieve the outcomes required of Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System. They prescribe those core practices which have been found to be critical to the achievement of Criminal Justice Social Work (CJSW) services outcomes. However, their purpose is not simply to maintain a minimum level of acceptable practice. The standards are also designed to support practitioners and managers in CJSW services and supporting community based services to improve their performance and results while at the same time delivering best value within resource constraints. Consequently principles of best practice are also outlined. These principles are intended to guide practice, helping Criminal Justice Social Work Staff to exercise their professional judgement and to use their discretion in individual cases.
14 1.3 The Standards do not deal with the specific statutory duties of Criminal Justice Social Work Services. There is already legislation supported by procedures and guidelines on most of these duties and the Standards provide the relevant links or references. These will be updated to reflect emerging policy. Similarly the Standards do not enter into the detail of practice with specific minority groups. 1.4 The purpose of the Standards is to provide all grades of practitioners, managers and other agencies with a concise statement of core processes and practices which they should apply in a variety of duties and contexts. The Standards may also be used as a basis for service inspection. 1.5 This document sets out: the overall aim of Criminal Justice Social Work Services, the outcomes expected by the public including victims of crime, the core processes to achieve the outcomes, the responsibilities of leadership and management to see that the standards are followed, resources are used effectively and the outcomes achieved.
15 Structure of the Standards This table summarises the structure and content of the National Outcomes and Standards and indicates in which chapter each part can be found. Overall Aim (Chapter 2) Public understanding and confidence in Criminal Justice Social Work Services Outcomes (Chapter 2) Public Protection and community safety Reduction of re-offending Social inclusion to support desistance from offending Practice framework and core interventions (Chapters 3 to 9) A practice framework is outlined (Chapter 3) Assessment of risk, needs and responsivity associated with offending. (Chapter 4) Case management: the management of compliance and the active engagement of individuals in processes of change. (Chapter 5) The delivery of appropriate interventions: restrictions on opportunity to cause harm, (Chapter 6) rehabilitation through effective programmes, (Chapter 7) reparation for the harm they have caused. (Chapter 8) reintegration as contributing members of society. (Chapter 9) Supporting resources (Chapter 10) Practitioners with the necessary discipline, knowledge and skills to engage and manage offenders towards positive outcomes. A range of resources provided by partnership organisations, the community and families Leadership and management (Chapter 11) Managers responsibilities for Strategic direction on the basis of legislation and Government regulations, local authority plans and policies and Community Justice Authority plans The efficient deployment of finance and resources Service level agreements with partnership organisations Managing performance and supporting, supervising and developing staff Monitoring, assuring and improving quality of services Evaluating the outcomes of services
16 2. Overall Aim and Outcomes 2.1 Members of the public want to live in a just and safe society. Crime violates justice and safety, disrupts personal and community life and undermines the social cohesion required for the economic growth at the heart of Government s policy. Consequently the public expects the Criminal Justice System to help protect it from crime. As one part of the Criminal Justice System, Social Work Services work in the community and in prisons to contribute to the protection of the public by seeking to reduce the risks of re-offending and serious harm. This is accomplished by helping to manage risks posed by offenders and by engaging them in rehabilitative and reparative interventions and services to enable them to maintain law abiding lives The public wants to see individuals succeed in changing their offending behaviour and taking their place as contributing members of the community. For this reason social inclusion is an outcome to which social work in the Criminal Justice System must also contribute. 2.3 Criminal Justice Social Work (CJSW) services have a responsibility to deliver effective community based supervision that is seen as credible by the courts and the public. To be credible, interventions must properly reflect the seriousness of the offending behaviour whilst affording individuals an opportunity to make amends and to re-integrate within society. In the event of imprisonment, Criminal Justice Social Work services contribute to effective throughcare in partnership with the Scottish Prison Service and other key agencies.
17 2.4 CJSW services have an obligation to make a clear statement of what outcomes it strives to achieve, how it sets about achieving these outcomes and how it will assure quality and measure its effectiveness. This statement of National Outcomes and Standards (NOS) for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System defines outcomes, outlines consistent standards of practice to achieve the outcomes and sets out principles of best practice. 2.5 The overall aim of the NOS is to increase public understanding and confidence by demonstrating the effectiveness of CJSW services. Effectiveness means contributing to the public s safety, its sense of justice and its wish for an orderly, cohesive and inclusive society. In achieving this aim CJSW services must not only be effective but also be seen to be effective. 2.6 The public includes people directly harmed by a crime, people who have been convicted of crime, and those people who are affected indirectly by the impact of crime in our society. These three groups are not mutually exclusive. 2.7 There are three key outcomes for CJSW services: 1. Community safety and public protection 2. The reduction of re-offending 3. Social inclusion to support desistance from offending
18 Summary The overall aim of NOS is to gain and sustain the public s confidence in the CJSW services to contribute to the values of: Safety By maintaining community safety through protecting the public from serious harm; Justice By holding individuals accountable for their actions in order to reduce their risk of reoffending; Social Inclusion By supporting individuals efforts to desist from offending though their social inclusion
19 Community safety and public protection 2.8 Crime results in real harm to victims. It also creates fear particularly within those communities which suffer most from crime and anti social behaviour. People are justifiably angry if it appears that those who commit offences are not held accountable for the harm that they have caused. It offends their sense of justice. When individuals are brought to justice, the public want disposals that hold individuals responsible for their offending and require them to take active steps not to offend again. 2.9 To achieve this outcome, these Standards set out a practical and transparent framework for the assessment and management of risk, for applying restrictions on individuals opportunity to offend and for the effective use of authority when individuals do not comply with the requirements of their orders/licences. The reduction of re-offending 2.10 The public expects CJSW services to use their contact with individuals to help to reduce their offending. While this outcome is not easy to achieve, experience and research over recent years has generated a significant body of evidence on how services can reduce the risk of re-offending through consistent, skilful and high quality practices and through partnership work with appropriate organisations To achieve this outcome, this document sets out practical and transparent standards for the assessment of risk of re-offending and the needs associated with offending such as addictions, for the motivation and engagement of individuals in processes of behavioural change and for the delivery of rehabilitation programmes.
20 Social inclusion to support desistance from offending 2.12 Social inclusion improves individuals readiness to change and to sustain behavioural change. The majority of those who offend eventually realise that crime is no solution to their problems. They become motivated to overcome the obstacles preventing them from desisting from crime and seek support to improve their social circumstances. This may involve gaining the acceptance and support of the community, gaining qualifications, finding employment, obtaining stable accommodation, or sustaining positive relationships To support social inclusion, this document sets out practical and transparent standards for opportunities for individuals to make reparation to the community and to reintegrate themselves into society as law abiding and contributing citizens.
21 3. Practice Framework The chapter sets out the principles which should inform and shape practices and interventions designed to achieve the national outcomes. Outcome orientation 3.1 The practices and interventions of CJSW services must be designed and delivered to achieve the national outcomes. In an outcome oriented practice model goals should be approach goals (moving towards an outcome) rather than avoidance goals (moving away from a problem). This requires a disciplined focus on what needs to be done to achieve the outcome. The relationship between the outcomes 3.2 The national outcomes are interdependent. To meet the public s needs for safety, justice and social inclusion all three should be addressed. Unless steps are taken to ensure that the public is protected, it would be inappropriate to engage individuals in community based rehabilitation or reparation. Programmes addressing the risk of re-offending are unlikely to be fully effective unless action is taken to maintain a law-abiding life through social inclusion. 3.3 While each outcome is important, in practice there is a greater urgency to address community safety and to demonstrate to the public that immediate action is being taken to reduce the risk of re-offending. Consequently the standards will set out clear expectations for risk management and immediacy of contact.
22 Responsibility and the control of offending 3.4 CJSW services in the community and the prisons working with other agencies (e.g. through MAPPA 13 and/or ICM) 14 can reduce the risk of serious harm by imposing restrictions on an individual s movements, associations and behaviours. However, once these controls are withdrawn individuals are likely to revert to previous behaviours unless they have developed personal responsibility i.e. the commitment and capacity to control oneself. 3.5 There is research evidence to suggest that desistance from crime is likely to be a result of the motivation and actions of offenders to become more socially integrated and improve their circumstances. The interventions of CJSW services should be designed to support the individual s efforts to desist. A participative approach 3.6 Lasting change can only be achieved through the active participation of the individual. To be effective assessments and interventions should be done with the individual not to or for him or her. 3.7 This requires a relationship between the individual and those working to achieve the outcomes that provides the motivation, support and discipline to enable active participation in change. Evidence based practice 3.8 Where possible, practice should be based on principles or premises founded in research into effectiveness in achieving the outcomes. If there does not appear to be available research evidence for a decision or action, the rationale for it should be explicit, clearly thought out and open to empirical testing. 13 and 14 See glossary
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