July 31, 2023

A perspective on Insights

Kim Thornden Edwards
Chief Probation Officer for England and Wales

Kim Thornden Edwards discusses the importance of cross-cutting learning programmes such as Insights23 in supporting probation professionals to become more effective.  

As a senior leader in the Probation Service, I have had the privilege of witnessing the incredible dedication and hard work of professionals within our organisation. However, it is crucial to recognise that our efforts are just one piece of a much larger mosaic that forms the wider criminal justice system. The effectiveness of our work relies not only on our internal departments but also on the strength of our external partnerships. In this blog I want to emphasise the importance of collaboration and learning and to shed light on the Insights23 festival as a valuable opportunity for growth and connection. 

As professionals our journey of development should never cease. In the dynamic landscape of criminal justice, staying informed about emerging best practices and research is essential. The Insights23 festival offers a wealth of learning opportunities and provides a front-row seat to see the skills and talents of our peers and external partners in action. By actively participating in the festival's events, we also open a door to our own exceptional work and inspire others with our own practice. 

During my time as a practitioner, I quickly came to recognise that I was not an expert on everything and nor did I have the time to be. So, knowing what help and expertise was available out there was very important. Seeing great results for the people I worked with because of referrals I made was hugely satisfying and allowed me to focus on my primary task as a Probation Officer which is to protect the public. 

By seeking partnerships and working collectively with external agencies, we can leverage their expertise and resources to enhance the outcomes we achieve. The insights23 festival provides an ideal platform for networking, forging relationships, and discovering innovative approaches from other partners in the criminal justice sector. 

Great learning opportunities catching my eye this year include, Suicide Risks in High-Risk Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse presented by The Drive Project, and A Biopsychosocial Model for Effectively Managing Risk; A Bespoke Community Approach presented by the OPD (Offender Personality Disorder) Pathway Team in the North East.  

Don’t forget, I am also looking forward to welcoming some of you personally to Manchester as part of the festival for some tea and a discussion about the current and future direction of the service. I look forward to a positive conversation. Apply for a ticket by clicking here!  

One of the greatest rewards as a senior leader is witnessing the recruitment of talented individuals into our profession. To our new colleagues, I urge you to take full advantage of the Insights23 festival. Engage in conversations, build connections, and seize this opportunity to learn, share, and connect. But insights23 has something for everyone and there is much to gain for even the most seasoned practitioner. 

Insights23 runs from 25 September to 6 October. Find out more and get involved by clicking this link

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