The Mentoring and Advocacy Service supports women offenders with personality difficulties to improve their health, engagement and opportunities. The service operates across the North of England and North Wales in custody and the community.

The Mentoring and Advocacy Service is a provider within the NHS/HMPPS Women’s Offender Personality Disorder pathway. It employs a gender-specific approach to support woman offenders with personality difficulties through a pathway of care and management. The service is vibrant, dynamic and responsive, operating throughout the North of England and North Wales in custody and the community.

The aim of the Mentoring and Advocacy Service is to support women to reduce repeat offending, improve mental and emotional wellbeing and live a pro-social life. Although the service works in partnership with a range of external agencies, it provides women with long-term, independent and confidential tailored support.

HOW DOES THE MENTORING AND ADVOCACY SERVICE WORK?

Each woman is allocated a skilled Key Worker who will work with them on a 1:1 basis, for up to 2 years. Key Workers support women to develop a trusting therapeutic relationship that will address their support needs and work together to create an individualised support plan and network.

Throughout engagement, females are provided with emotional, practical and advocacy support around a range of issues including accommodation, finance and benefits, children and families, substance misuse, personal safety, education and training, mental and physical health, motivation and social inclusion.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR MAS SUPPORT?

The Mentoring and Advocacy Service is for women who:

  • Are over the age of 18
  • Give consent to a referral
  • Have a home address in North of England or North Wales

Referrals are accepted for:

  • Women who participate in the CARE programme/Rivendell Unit at HMP New Hall
  • Women in custody, community or an approved premises who have been identified for the women offender personality disorder pathway

WHAT WOMEN SAY:

“Mentors are like a crutch, someone to lean on” 

“Mentors are Diamonds in the rough”

“Teaches how to be independent, responsible and be your own voice”

“Loads of stuff weighing me down, when I come out I feel lighter”

“I feel stronger [since engaging with MAS] – before I was really low”

“Need that guidance from MAS to get through life”

WHAT STAFF SAY:

“Together we were able to build an honest and open rapport where this women said she felt safe to talk, listened to without judgement and believed I genuinely wanted to help her…with support and encouragement she started to engage with other services who helped her flee a violent relationship and rehoused her in a different area”

“I engaged with a women in custody who was struggling to manage her emotions. She stated that she was either really calm or really angry and wanted to develop a “middle ground”. She spoke about constantly been adjudicated and having a bad reputation in custody.

We worked together on a 1:1 basis for two years. During this time we talked through situations and personal experiences that were a trigger for her emotions. The independent and confidential  support we offer was beneficial for this woman and we were able to carry out mediation sessions to resolve difficulties she was experiencing in custody. This woman learnt effective ways to regulate her emotions and deal with difficult situations in a way that was beneficial for her.

Her adjudications were reduced, she was open to deal with difficult situations in a positive manner, felt proud of herself and moved on to reside in a therapeutic community. She felt the support she received helped her to work towards becoming a better and happier person.” 

 

View our mentoring and advocacy brochure below or download a copy here.


Delivery

  • All women will receive a full needs assessment and co-produce an individualised support plan alongside their Key Worker including support with accommodation, finance and benefits, children and families, substance misuse, personal safety, education and training, mental and physical health, motivation and social inclusion.
  • Support will be offered through flexible appointments, visits and telephone contact to help women address their needs while building women’s confidence, motivation and social inclusion.
  • Advocacy will be provided on behalf of or for the women to help resolve issues, access services and have equal opportunity.
  • Using an integrated care model, Key Workers will work to ensure communication and multi-agency working across health, criminal justice, social care and other partners.
  • Women will be supported to access a variety of specialist and community support including local women’s hubs and services.
  • Support will be offered until a woman comes to the end of her period of statutory license/supervision or until she no longer wishes to access the service. The length of support will average approximately two years.
  • Women will be offered a gradual exit from the service with follow-up support available.