Connecting Ex-forces Personnel through E-FAN
This week our Opportunities for All campaign is taking a look at some of the work we do with ex-offenders across different parts of our business.
In 2014 Interserve assumed responsibly for delivering probation services across five areas – called Community Rehabilitation Companies – of England, representing approximately 25% of the low and medium risk services in total.
We deliver the services on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and we bring a wealth of ingenuity and expertise to the table. The work we are doing in Greater Manchester to provide fresh support to ex-service personnel who come in to contact with the criminal justice system is an example of this innovation. Both groups face very different barriers to securing skills and opportunities, and both will be a focus of our campaign.
What is E-FAN?
The Ex-Forces Action Network (E-FAN) is a new initiative aiming to provide a unique and comprehensive service that will connect ex-forces personnel, who’ve had any contact with the Criminal Justice System, to a wide range of services tailored specially for those who have served in the British armed forces.
E-FAN is funded by the MOD’s new Covenant Grant Fund and forms part of the Government’s long-term commitment to supporting schemes under the Armed Forces Covenant, which is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served are treated fairly. Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CGM CRC) is responsible for delivering E-FAN in partnership with the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS).
Although there are significant resources available to former service personnel, a lack of awareness about how and where to access them, and in some cases a reluctance to ask for help, can lead to some veterans missing out. E-FAN aims to tackle this head on by providing an individual assessment for each client and referring them to specialist help and assistance, as well as providing access to a number of entirely new opportunities created by E-FAN to support clients.
Any former member of the British armed forces who has had contact with the Criminal Justice System and who resides in Cheshire or Greater Manchester.
How does it work?
- The client is referred to E-FAN
- A full assessment is made within 10 days
- Within 5 days of the completed assessment an E-FAN key worker creates an individual action plan for each client
- The key worker will help the client identify their strengths and needs and will actively involve them in the assessment, goal setting and the drawing up of their action plan
- The key worker pulls together access to, and help from, those services that most effectively address the needs of the client
- Within 12 weeks the client is working with all the key services identified in their action plan
Who can refer a client to E-FAN?
Anyone who works with former members of the armed forces who’ve had contact with the Criminal Justice System; veterans in this category who reside in Cheshire or Greater Manchester are also welcome to refer themselves. It’s important to note that potential E-FAN clients DO NOT have to have been sentenced to a Court Order. Where the client is subject to a Court Order E-FAN will work closely with probation staff to ensure the best possible outcomes for the client.
What else can E-FAN do to help?
- A DMWS Welfare Officer will assist with medical needs for those needing help from health care services, including mental health services
- E-FAN has a policy to support clients should they wish to become a peer mentor, all of whom will receive valuable training and experience that will be useful beyond their time with E-FAN
- In some cases, clients will have the opportunity to devise a Community Impact Project that will benefit the local community
- To date E-FAN has received 79 referrals
- Of these 31 in Cheshire area and 48 in the Manchester area.
- Cheshire currently has 15 active cases with 16 closed.
- Manchester has 44 active cases with four closed.
- The most common age range of our service users appears to be 40-50 years
- Work, mental health and debt management are the main areas service users require most support