Juvenile probation officers in Fort Worth, Arlington and throughout Tarrant County work under the jurisdiction of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. The Texas Juvenile Justice Department was formed in December of 2010, absorbing both the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission and the Texas Youth Commission.
Over 1,800 juvenile probation officers are employed in Texas, a good portion of them in Tarrant County where the emphasis is on an individual strength approach that uses interventions to help juveniles recognize their personal value and strength while simultaneously promoting family preservation by assisting families in overcoming obstacles to responsible behavior.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Juvenile Probation Officer in Tarrant County
Tarrant County law enforcement officers report all juvenile (ages 10-16) law violations to juvenile services. Violations are categorized as either “delinquent behavior,” which includes Class A and B misdemeanors and some felonies, or “conduct indicating a need for supervision,” which involves Class C misdemeanors and such actions as public intoxication, truancy, running away, inhalant abuse or school expulsion.
Tarrant County juvenile probation officer jobs involve performing the following duties:
- Initial screening of referred youths
- Referring offenders to available community services
- Providing reports to the Court
- Implementing court-ordered treatment/supervision
- Administering community correction programs
Special services provided include:
- Drug court
- Offender-victim mediation
- Monetary restitution program
- Sexual offender counseling/therapy
- Alternate Education Program (for expelled students)
The Tarrant County juvenile justice department also operates a juvenile detention center for serious law violators who need 24-hour-a-day supervision and care.
Requirements for Becoming a Juvenile Probation Officer in Tarrant County
Minimum qualifications candidates interested in learning how to become juvenile probation officers in Tarrant County are as follows:
- Over the age of 21
- U.S. citizen
- Valid Texas driver’s license
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college/university
- One year or more graduate study in corrections, counseling, criminology, law, psychology, sociology, social work or a related field OR one year work or intern experience in a juvenile justice, corrections, or social service agency doing case work or counseling
- Ability to pass a criminal background check
- Knowledge of case management, courtroom proceedings, ethics codes, Texas family code, suicide prevention, identification of abuse, neglect or exploitation, and recognition of mental illness in youths
Applications are only accepted for open positions which are listed on the Tarrant County/Job Opportunities website. Online application forms are also available at that website. Newly hired juvenile probation officers in Tarrant County receive 80 hours of training and must pass a competency examination as part of the certification process. The average annual salary for juvenile probation officers in Tarrant County is $36,000.