Men in the community being supervised by Probation are to receive specific support with managing their finances in a bid to reduce their barriers causing reoffending. It follows the launch this month of a Finance, Benefits and Debt (FBD) service.
The service, funded by the Ministry of Justice and delivered by Ingeus in conjunction with the Probation Service, offers people on probation help to understand and apply for benefits, support to open a bank account, personal budgeting planning and looking at the options when dealing with debt. Specialist debt support will be available through our Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) accredited partners Birmingham Settlement and Access 2 Advice. Group work interventions giving insight to all elements of FBD will be a major part of the service, delivered from our “Looking at” programmes, for example Looking at Benefits, and Looking at Banking. The aim being to give practical insights and knowledge to develop financial awareness.
The service includes one-to-one and online support with case advisers providing practical help. Included as part of the team are community support workers, many of whom have been through the probation service and faced similar financial issues to the scheme participants. This ‘lived experience’ means they can better relate to the issues faced by those looking to turn their lives around.
Research by Ingeus has shown that helping people on probation to deal with debt and navigate the benefits system can be key to reducing reoffending. Pat Bannigan, Head of Programme Delivery for Ingeus, says: “Struggling with financial problems is a major barrier when it comes to rebuilding your life. So, this new service will not only help the participants but also their families and communities. We are offering wraparound support in conjunction with experienced partners licensed to offer the best possible advice to make a real difference to these men’s futures.”
The contract to provide the FBD service builds on Ingeus’s experience of providing education, training and employment, accommodation, and personal wellbeing programmes as part of the Ministry of Justice’s Commissioned Rehabilitative Services.