Regionally this work is carried out by a broad cross section of the FRS population, in some counties it’s only part of the Arson Reduction Team, in others it’s just one or two full time staff, others part paid, in some all the work is voluntary and open to all comers.
In our experience this does presents the regional Firesetter co coordinators with some challenges. How to pick a suitable candidate? How long will they stay in the role? Are they flexible enough to work with the broad remit this work sometimes calls for?
We are conscious of FRS budgets; this work is important and for many services has some priority. As we wind our way into the mid part of this decade the professional standards for this type of client facing role have grown.
The demands on the advisors to provide something which is still firmly the territory of the FRS but nonetheless forms an adjunct with social services, the custodial system, YOT are great.
Not Everyone is Suited for the Role
In the early years there was a vacuum created by the demise of the Andrew Muckley course, Roehampton University were asked to step in, and Dr Evans composed the very early version of this course back in 2005 for Essex FRS. In those early days the work was offered to all comers in many cases.
The landscape has changed.
The work is more demanding and requires a degree of personal awareness and flexibility, in the past candidates that were ‘unsure’ or didn’t possess the right qualities for this work might still get as far as training and then decide otherwise.
With time constraints and budgets in mind it makes sense to get the right people in the role. In order to facilitate this we have provided a series of questions (which we will send over to you should you decide to proceed with training) that filters out some of the personality styles that aren’t really suited to this very sensitive role.
We are happy to give more detailed feedback during the course to co coordinators about delegate’s capacity to perform this role.
Recommendations about the Selection Process Potential advisors might possess the following qualities:
- A capacity for self-reflection; the ability to understand their own behaviour and internal world
- A capacity to talk with a degree of openness about their own internal process
- A capacity to give and receive feedback in a non-defensive manner
- A capacity to ask questions
- A capacity to see that the world operates differently for another person
- A capacity to empathise with what on the surface might seem destructive or difficult behaviour
- A capacity to see a problem from a variety of positions Of course very few people possess all of these qualities, however, in our experience someone who has a number of these will likely make a good, effective advisor that may last in the role.