The use of individual and group sessions is focused on helping adult men to consider the reasons behind their offending and the impact of their actions. The individual and their social worker develop an action plan which targets the key offending-related issues so that the individual is given the tools and skills to change their behaviour. In East Lothian we are developing a group programme which allows group members to think about their routes into offending, how their actions have impacted on their family, raise victim awareness, consider alternative pro-social behaviour patterns and set realistic, achievable future goals. The social worker also uses individual sessions to focus on the specific issues identified for the person who offends, as well as making referrals to local community services to promote social inclusion.
The needs of women who offend are often different from men and in East Lothian we focus on trauma-informed practice which is gender specific and based on research. The group programme, CONNECT, is supported by different social work specialities as well as the NHS and engages women in a programme of change, as well as developing resilience, self-confidence and promoting social inclusion.
Children's Services have specially trained social workers who work with young people who offend or who are on the fringes of offending behaviour. We work with them individually and within family and environmental dynamics. We follow Scottish Government guidance and policies that aim to help young people avoid trouble and avoid coming to the attention of the Police or Criminal Justice System. This can sometimes involve the Children's Hearing System. We work with the Procurator Fiscal in relation to Diversion from Prosecution, providing assessments to aid decision-making and offering a support service to those young people who need it. When offending is of a more serious nature and ends in Court, we work with young offenders and their families to try to avoid them repeating the behaviour. We are responsible for completing Court reports and supervising Community Payback Orders, when imposed by Sheriffs.
Moving Forward Making Changes (MFMC)
In East Lothian many men who have been convicted of sexual offences are instructed to undertake individual and group sessions as part of Moving Forward Making Changes, a Scottish Government accredited programme of offence-focused intervention. MFMC is a behavioural programme designed to provide treatment for men who commit sexual offences or offences with a sexual element. MFMC is designed to help participants lead a satisfying life which does not involve harm to others. The programme is delivered in modules and tailored to meet participants' treatment needs. All participants are assessed to ensure the programme is suitable for them.