Sunday, 1 November 2009

How is FND going?

There's an interesting blog (see Interesting Sites on the right) following an ex-offender's experience on Flexible New Deal. He's going into detail about his introduction to the programme, and comes to it with experience of the old New Deal. And he's aware that as an ex-offender he faces more obstacles to employment than most. Such clients are not attractive to FND providers (and will be even less so under the Tory proposals) when so much of the payment comes from getting and keeping a job. One new job title the blogger has come across is "Career Coach", the new name for what A4e used to call advisers.

Meanwhile, the stories about the government preparing to sell off parts of the nationalised banks to create three new banks, to be sold to firms that don't at the moment do banking, raises some intriguing possibilities. Is this what A4e, with its Capitec Uk Ltd bank lying dormant, has been waiting for?

Just for laughs, there's a story in today's Sun about an A4e employee in Northumberland.


  1. I really don't understand why ex-offenders are on FND anyway. Whilst I don't know his circumstances, I would want to know if the person sat next to me on a FND course is an ex-offender.

    In any case I thought ex-offenders had NACRO, or whatever it is called to help them reintergrate into society and help them with housing and employment.

    If I end up on FND I will certainly ask the provider if I will be coming into contact with any ex-offenders. We should have a right to know

  2. If he's an ex-offender (stress on the "ex" - he's done his time) why would you need to know?

  3. did, a4e (capitec) know what was planned. when the banks were taken over

  4. I don't want to know their name or what they've done. But I think I should be entitled to know if there are any in my group.
    And I think many other many others might share my view.
    There was at least one in my group when I was on the old New Deal. No problems whatsover, but as I said, I think people should have right to know.

  5. Hi Jack,

    Just a quick update as I'm on a library machine at the moment, and I'm running out of time before my session ends. Also, any apologies for spelling mistakes - The keyboard is slightly different to the type I usually use, and it's a bit difficult to get used to.

    Historian is absolutely on the nose - the important part to stress is "Ex-Offender" - Unless you're of the belief that people aren't deserving of a second chance in life.

    With regards NACRO - They offer a number of useful services, not least of all, running background checks for ex-offenders, and offering basic skiils courses. I was indeed referred to them, however, in their own words - "There's nothing we can really do for you". As you said - NACRO, ultimately, offer services, that whilst very, very useful and important to ex-offenders, were unfortunately not of any use to me - I hate to go against the seemingly prolific stereotpye that all us ex-offenders are supposed to adhere to, but - and this may be a suprise - some of us are capable of basic things, such as addressing housing problems. Some of us can even read and write.

    With regards their approach to employment - they do indeed offer basic skills and interview techniques HOWEVER, Flexible New Deal isn't designed to offer such services. Regardless of if people want to admit this or not - FND participants are in need of more focused help - unfortunately, however, this help can be lacking.

    Now, with regards your statement, that, should you go onto FND, you'll be asking the provider if there are any ex-offenders on the programme. You are, of course, entitled to ask such a question, however, the FND Provider would be in breach of so, so, many different regualations, that I can assure you they won't tell you.

    I actually raised this very question with my FND Advisor this morning, at A4e, and while I'm not going to type her reply, verbatim, I can assure you that if there are other advisors like her in the system, you won't get the response you'd like.

    Now, to address your second post (he types, whilst looking at the clock) - Anyone who'll be on the same programme as you, and is subject to probation contact, won't simply be "dumped" on the programme - they'll have had checks done, to ensure that the programme doesn't interfere with the probation requirements, and, more importantly, doesn't endanger anyone else on the programme.

    This last bit is especially true of anyone who is subject to MAPPA Arrangements - Typically these are ex-offenders who have been convicted of a violent or sexual crime.

    Now, with regards these type of clients - Why would FND Providers tell people? Can you imagine the response by other clients - Hell I'M an ex-offender, and whilst I'm pretty liberal, I wouldn't want to be on a programe with such as person.

    However - As someone who knows the Probation system "from both sides of the desk", as it were - I can assure you that any ex-offender, who is still subject to these arrangements, will be extensively monitored, and that a full, and comprehensive, background check and risk assessment would be carried out, before they were allowed to take part.

    Now, with regards to ex-offenders who have been released from prison, and who have completed their probation / been removed from licence - What more do these people have todo, in order to gain the public trust?

  6. Thanks Anon, for taking the trouble of giving a more than adequate response to my question, and going into great detail about the probation system etc etc.
    I never suggested you weren't capable of sorting out housing etc. I just assumed you got help with things like that.
    And I can see what concerns I still have will have to addressed elsewhere

  7. This new 'attitude' of some people who want complete life histories of anyone they may, or may not sit next to is becoming far do you take it? ask if anyone is a smoker? drug user? been to court? voted liberal? is a former dictator of a small South American state? lifted a packet of crisps at the age of seven?...Jack, get real please.


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