Juvenile offender services in Knoxville and Knox County are administered by the Knox Region, one of 11 regions overseen by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS), Division of Juvenile Justice.
As of July 2012, the DCS had 4,303 budgeted staff positions, including 2,430 juvenile probation officers, often referred to as case managers or family service workers. DCS reports that it serves about 3,000 juveniles on probation or aftercare at any given time throughout the year. According to recent DCS statistics, there are currently 481 juveniles in the Knox Region under the care of the DCS, 47 of who are categorized under probation supervision.
Qualifying for Employment in Knox County
Education – Candidates seeking probation officer jobs in Knoxville and throughout Knox County must possess the proper education and experience to qualify for employment. In particular, all candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree, with at least 60 semester hours of work in criminal justice or social services.
Experience – Further, candidates must possess at least one year of full-time experience working in a child welfare setting. Individuals with qualifying experience will have proof of working in one or more of the following areas:
- Psychological, social, or correctional case management or counseling
- Juvenile classification
- Volunteer services coordination in a children’s service program
Training – Newly hired officers in Knoxville and throughout Knox County, upon employment, must complete 40 hours of training through the DCS to effectively learn how to become juvenile probation officers. Actively employed juvenile probation officers must also complete at least 40 hours of annual, in-service continuing education, as required by the DCS.
A Closer Look at Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services
In addition to juvenile probation and aftercare services, the Department of Children’s Services is responsible for the state’s three youth development centers and is tasked with providing child protective services, foster care, adoption services, and rehabilitation services for the state’s youth.
The Division of Juvenile Justice serves those juveniles who have been referred by juvenile courts. The services provided by this division include probation, custodial care, and community-based placement. Further, the Division helps fund local juvenile courts and community court programs throughout the state.