Corrections Youth Worker

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Corrections Youth Worker


Teenagers are just figuring out who they are and amid all the decisions they face, sometimes, teenagers do not make the right decisions. They may skip class, or they lie to their parents, and sneak out at night. But it's when teenagers start stealing, or hurting people and themselves, that the law comes in to see if it can't help steer them down a safer, more acceptable path. Corrections youth workers monitor teenagers and children who are acting out for a variety of reasons. These workers see if they can't figure out what is it that is causing the inappropriate behavior, and try to come up with solutions and coping mechanisms for their clients.

Young offenders charged with a crime might have to leave home and live in a group home or other correctional facility, or they may only be monitored under the supervision of the corrections worker while living at home. Correctional youth workers focus on education and social behavior when they work with troubled youth. They develop and implement programs and activities, they counsel youth in groups or individually, they meet with family, friends, evaluating each youth's specific needs and concerns. The officers must record the progress of the youth, including analyses of home life, custody battles, and social behaviors. They meet with other probation officers, guardians, and other concerned workers to establish plans for future living situations and school transfers.

The corrections youth worker is responsible for the security and the supervision of the clients, regardless of whether or not the client lives under their care, or only meets with them weekly for sessions.
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Grand Canyon University
Interested in enhancing your skills and knowledge in the criminal justice field? Learn more at GCU!
Programs Offered:
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  Average Earnings  
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  Interests and Skills  
It's important for people working as corrections youth workers to like young people, and be able to have an unbiased attitude towards everyone they work with, from first time shoplifters to experienced car thieves. A positive outlook, a belief in the innate goodness of everyone, and a creative problem-solving ability are all assets. Youth workers must be
mature, thoughtful individuals, who are sensitive to human behavior, and can assess people without being judgmental. They should also have good computer and typing skills.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Interview young offenders, their families, and friends
  • Recommend conditions and curfew
  • Observe offenders in daily life
  • Organize outings, recreational events, and counselling sessions
  • Monitor offenders' routines, helping with school work, living arrangements, and personal problems
  • Complete regular reports, documenting offenders' progress
  • Each day brings a corrections youth worker the chance to have a significant impact on a troubled individual. Their biggest task is to ensure that an offender chooses to start a new life, instead of returning to an old life. Each day they must act as a friend, a psychologist, a teacher, and a supervisor. They will work at a desk, writing endless reports, as well as working in recreation rooms, meeting rooms, and the homes of the youth. The workers will most likely find themselves on call for evenings and weekends, especially if they work in a group home situation. The days can be long and stressful but ultimately fulfilling.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Hours of work and working environments vary considerably depending on the type of work. Corrections youth workers may be assisting young offenders in youth centers, group homes, and community corrections offices. They may be employed by the federal government, state government, or social service agencies.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Once corrections youth workers are hired by the government, they must complete a probationary period of one year before being considered for advancement. They may move up to section supervisor, or area manager, and choose to move to either the federal or state level, as the case may be. If a parole officer wants to change jobs, there is always police work, law school, or psychology. A parole officer may want to start a community service organization, or else write books and articles about offender rehabilitation, or move onto adult parole and probation work.

  Educational Paths  
Corrections youth workers are required to have either a two year college diploma, or a university degree in sociology, criminology, psychology, or social work, and candidates federal positions must be able to pass a fitness test. Before applying to work in the field, it is a good idea to work or volunteer in any aspect of corrections and welfare, such as in group homes, women and children's shelters, support groups, and mental hospitals. Senior corrections youth workers will hire people with experience, because it means the worker has a good idea of the systems the offenders have been in already, and it will give them ideas about the services out there the offenders can use.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002,

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Colorado State University Global Campus

Colorado State University Global Campus

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