The Probation and Parole Officer as an Effective Coach

The Probation and Parole Officer as an Effective Coach
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-05-04
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: The Probation and Parole Officer as an Effective Coach
Unit 2 Transcript: The Probation and Parole Officer as an Effective Coach
Unit 3 Workbook: The Probation and Parole Officer as an Effective Coach
Unit 4 Recording: The Probation and Parole Officer as an Effective Coach

This is a follow-up to Brian Lovins’ webinar on “Referee or Coach: How a Coaching Identity May Just Save Probation”.

Coaching has been established as a valuable skill when managing justice-involved individuals – be it inmates, probationers, or juveniles. However, there seems to be a lack of information on how to conduct coaching to make sure it is achieving its desired outcome. This session unpacks the structure to use as guardrails to make coaching effective through the the COVE (Coaching Options that are Versatile and Effective) model.

This webinar’s instructors are Tom O’Connor and Samantha Collins. Tom is the founder of Transforming Communication, an organization dedicated to challenging and supportive criminal justice agencies to be more compassionate and collaborative, and achieve better outcomes. Meanwhile, Samantha is a licensed counselor and certified addictions counselor who has provided justice-involved adolescents and adults with treatment options. She has been part of Transforming Communication for five years.

Specifics of their presentation include:

  • What the COVE model is, its applicability to various circumstances, and the structure it provides when working with individuals in policing and correctional settings.
  • The coach’s role to support and challenge, and assess the coachee’s progress.
  • The four processes of motivational interviewing and the four steps of cognitive behavioral coaching, and their relevance.
  • How the COVE model combines motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral coaching to establish a flow in coaching sessions through the seven COVE steps.
  • The COVE questions to engage depending on the COVE step, what each of these is trying to accomplish, and the importance of practice to effectively use these questions during coaching sessions.
  • The evidence-based practice involved in each of the COVE steps.
  • Question prompting webinar attendees to reflect on coaching, challenges about coaching, desired skills to learn, the plan to be a better coach, and how the COVE model can help them with their goal.
  • How the effectiveness of the COVE model of coaching is measured based on the coachee’s state of well-being and the alignment between the coach and the coachee.
  • Case studies that demonstrate the trend of coachees’ well-being and alignment during the coaching sessions and the effectiveness of coaching based on these tracked metrics.
  • How the COVE model can be applied in team settings and an example of such application with improvements in well-being observed in as little as four weeks.
  • The power of coaching in its ability to help people focus, grow, and overcome obstacles by evoking their energy and potential.
  • How basic coaching training can be as effective as having a master’s in counseling.
  • How COVE is an evolving model that incorporates evidence-based practices and is continuously improved for better outcomes and skill enhancement.
  • Resources to learn more about the COVE model.
  • The most valuable takeaways for the webinar participants.

Topics raised in the Q&A include:

  • Building rapport and the engagement phase of motivational interviewing.
  • Rapport-building strategies that look into people’s challenges, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Allowing clients to self-assess their progress after trying a skill independently.
  • Working with probationers beyond mere compliance by focusing on their goals and motivation.
  • Utilizing the COVE model in problem-solving court setting.
  • Resources to become a better coach in the probation setting.
  • Being an effective coach despite short client appointments due to heavy workload.


Click here to view and register for other upcoming Probation/Community Corrections webinars and recordings on the JCH Platform.



Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “The questions and practice we had were great. The presenters are amazing.” — Sindia
  • “It was a great webinar. It helps me want to do better for my clients and do better for the Court that I work for. When people work with Probation its not always fun and there is an assumption at times that probation is there to wait in the shadows until someone screws up to put them in jail. But having a positive relationship based on open-ended questions can change that. And hopefully, people will see Probation as someone willing to walk with them through the process offering a helping hand.” — Trisha
  • “The new insight into MI and phrasing the same questions but in new ways.” — TINA
  • “It was great because it was extremely concrete and practical and was done in under an hour.” — Katherine
  • “I learned there are methods available where I can effectively, but more importantly concisely provide guidance to my clients.” — Daniel
  • “The whole webinar was interesting and the presenters were very engaging.” — Mary
  • “I really appreciated the structured approach with guiding questions. I also enjoyed the opportunities for engagement and participating in the coaching method from a participant’s perspective.” — Kayanne


Additional Resources
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