The Delaware Services for Children, Youth and their Families (DSCYF) runs two Community Services, Probation and Aftercare facilities in Wilmington as part of its Youth Rehabilitative Services Department: the Beech Street Office and the New Castle County Family Court on North King Street.
Based out of these facilities, juvenile probation officers, also known as Family Service Specialists, perform their traditional duties- checking up on young offenders and ensuring they are following the terms of their probation. Officers also have the opportunity to work with several non-traditional evidence-based programs in Wilmington that have been involved in helping decrease the rate of recidivism among participating youths.
Education for Becoming a Wilmington Juvenile Probation Officer
Delaware recognizes the importance of having a prerequisite for those interested in becoming juvenile probation officers in Wilmington, and therefore requires its officers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in the behavioral or social sciences, or a closely related field. Knowledge in these fields should include:
- Individual and family community support
- Financial assistance programs for rent and food
- Medical services such as disease prevention and heath care
- Mental health services
- Child protective services
- Substance abuse programs
Becoming a Juvenile Probation Officer in Wilmington
Application – Pursuing Wilmington juvenile probation officer jobs start with the application process. The DSCYF posts vacant Family Service Specialist announcements on its jobs website. Candidates can apply online by opening the job advertisement and following the instructions provided therein, creating an account with the state’s Human Resources Department. If there are no Family Service Specialist positions advertised, candidates can provide their email addresses to be notified when there are openings. The rest of the application process includes:
- Background investigation
- Pre-employment drug screening
- Medical and psychological evaluation
Training – After selection for hire, juvenile probation officers will complete an extensive training process that includes an orientation and two full-time weeks of training. Training is taken very seriously and new officers are not allowed to miss any classes or workshops barring emergencies.
After their first year of training an annual 40 hours of continuing education classes are required each year.
Wilmington’s Progressive Juvenile Probation Programs
Juvenile probation officers working in Wilmington will have the chance to work in some of the most progressive probation programs in the state. One of these programs is the Delaware Juvenile Drug Court Diversion Program which sees probation officers working with youths who have been convicted of their first misdemeanor drug offense. Offenders go through the drug court program as an alternative to a sentence, and upon successful completion will have the charges against them dropped. Participants had a 25 percent lower recidivism rate one year after graduation than those who were not involved with the program.