Shelley La Rose, youth offending team manager, Slough Borough Council


As team manager for Slough's Youth Offending Team (YOT), Shelley La Rose estimates that she spends 70 per cent of her time out of the office.

Employer: Slough Borough Council
Age: 45
Time in job: Eight years
Salary range: £39,224-£48,050

As team manager for Slough's Youth Offending Team (YOT), Shelley La Rose estimates that she spends 70 per cent of her time out of the office.

A lot of the job involves attending meetings with statutory agencies and the community, looking at how to reduce offending by young people.

Another challenge is to build up her team's skills by arranging appropriate training programmes so that staff can carry out effective interventions. Every three months she will focus on a cohort of young people to look at offending behaviour, and separately she oversees consultations with young men and women to find out how they can be diverted away from crime.

La Rose works flexi hours and can access email from home. It is the daily barrage of email on the latest change in legislation or consultation from a government department that makes the job most daunting.

But the satisfaction of making a difference outweighs the headaches, she says. "One young person did so much work with us that, although we thought he was going to be put in custody, the court was prepared to give him another chance. He's now coaching football for us."

Her career path has not gone in a straight line. When she left school she went into childcare and became a nursery assistant. Following that she spent a year at a youth justice resource centre. It was this experience that made her decide to work with young offenders. "What attracted me? I think it was a case of working with young people who were vulnerable. I felt that I wanted to support them to be safe."

She got a certificate in social work with a probation work element and qualified as a probation officer, working first with adults across Berkshire. After YOTs were introduced in 1999, she applied and got a job as an operational manager at Slough's team. She was promoted and in 2003 reached her current position as team manager.

So what advice would she give others? "You need to do your homework. Do some volunteering to get experience and be prepared to learn, including reading about the legislation because YOTs are a constantly changing environment."

My day

8.00: At home. Send emails and deal with paperwork

9.00: Drive to the office

9.30: Meeting with the police superintendent

10.30: Catch up with email

12.30: Talk to staff

13.30: Drive to court

14.00: Meeting at court

15.00: Drive to Criminal Justice Board meeting

16.00: At the meeting to discuss how to deal with persistent young offenders

17.00: Drive home

18.00 Arrive home and check email.

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