Learn How to Become a Juvenile Probation Counselor
1) At minimum, you will need a Bachelor's degree in psychology, social work, criminal justice, counseling, or a closely related field.
2) Often professional work experience in youth related services is preferred. Work for a year as a juvenile probation officer or volunteer at a probation department, residential facility, or youth group home.
3) In some states/counties, juvenile probation counselors and probation officers are one in the same. In other areas, they play separate roles, but consult with one another. Check with the probation departments in your area to find out specifics. Regardless, either position may require at least a Bachelor's degree level of education.
Juvenile Probation Counselor Career Duties
Juvenile probation counselors, sometimes referred to as youth corrections counselors, have a number of duties and responsibilities. Their overall goal is to ensure the juvenile offenders have adequate professional supervision. Probation Counselors are responsible for making recommendations to the juvenile court in regards to the incarceration or placement of a child (in a group home, detention center, state training school, etc). The Juvenile Probation Counselor also consults directly with the Juvenile Probation Officers as well as counsels individually with clients and their families. They speak with school officials, police officers, social workers and others that are interested in the rehabilitation of youthful offenders. They arrange and supervise diversion agreements, prepare predisposition studies, go to hearings to help answer questions about the case and supervise court orders to make certain that all stipulations are met.
Probation Counselors may extend their responsibilities to contribute in other areas as well. Many counselors play a role in substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, behavioral adjustment, and aggression management counseling. Youth correctional counselors may also teach or facilitate classes or programs for clients or their families. Often extended duties such as these are performed by counselors that have a Masters degree level of education in criminal justice, counseling, psychology, or social work.
Juvenile Probation Counselor Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for probation officers is $47,200. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Explore the schools below and request information to learn more about the programs that can get you started or help you advance your career as a juvenile probation counselor.
Online Criminal Justice Schools
- BSCJ - Corrections (Online)
- MSCJ - Corrections (Online)
- Bachelor of Arts - Social and Criminal Justice - Corrections Management (Online)
- Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice - Corrections and Case Management (Online)