Careers in social care.
John Andrews is senior service manager at Rainer Northamptonshire, part of the national charity for under-supported young people aged 10-25. He recently won a national justice award from the government for outstanding contribution to tackling youth crime
How long in the job? Five years.
Single most inspiring person I’ve met: Dr Richard Kay, former chief executive of Rainer. We dealt with extremely vulnerable people in the hostel I managed and Richard would come and stay with them for 24 hours. He believed they had the same rights as anyone else.
Most painful lesson I have learnt: That ultimately I don’t have a magic wand. However motivated I am I cannot dramatically transform a young person’s life if they don’t want to change. It was the death of a young person that taught me that lesson. When you are working intensively with someone who dies the sense of failure is enormous.
Career high: Being appointed manager of a probation hostel. I made big changes around how we supported the young people and improved their accommodation. I used my new power and responsibility to bring about positive changes.
I didn’t get where I am today by: Not being afraid of taking a few risks, although I don’t mean unnecessary ones. I mean understanding the nature of the risk, challenging conventional thinking and sticking to my beliefs.
I aspire to: Do my job as well as I can. When you’re intervening in someone’s life, for however long, it has to be positive, meaningful and helpful. I want their life to be better when I walk away.
Me and my career
We provide an intensive bail supervision and support programme for between 300 and 400 young offenders a year. We work round the clock so I am often in court late in the afternoons and at weekends.If a young person needs help travelling to court we will get them there. This can involve a whole day of driving across the county and a lot of waiting around.
As the service manager it’s vital I am linked in with all partner agencies. I make sure all relevant information is available to the courts and sit on panels along with youth offending team managers to decide what course of action to take with certain young people. They know I’ll be realistic.
My job is about achieving the most appropriate outcome for the young person. What you never get away from with this job is the difference one human being can make to another’s life. Building relationships with young people is often the most important part. I feel honoured that the young people should allow me into their lives at such a difficult time.
I am now working very hard to ensure our service gives young people the basic skills they need to find employment. Ultimately that’s what will get them out of poverty and away from crime.
2000- present Senior service manager, Rainer Northamptonshire
1994 – 2000 Service manager, Rainer Northamptonshire
1989 – 1994 Probation hostel manager, Rainer Northamptonshire
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