Unlike most Virginia counties, which are under the jurisdiction of the commonwealth’s Department of Juvenile Justice, Fairfax County juvenile probation is a division of the Fairfax Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. When the Court places a juvenile on probation, he/she is referred to one of the four county probation services units (East, North, South or Center), preferably as close as possible to the school attended by the offender.
The unique School Probation Officer Program is a joint scheme of the Court and the Fairfax County public school board. It designates specific intermediate and high school teachers as part-time probation counselors. They address the school problems of juvenile offenders by providing counseling and support and by working closely with teachers and school officials. The Court may assign a “probation” teacher either before or after a youth is officially granted probation.
Requirements for Becoming a Juvenile Probation Officer in Fairfax County
- At least a bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred)
- Valid Virginia driver’s license
- Experience counseling youths (preferably at-risk juveniles)
- Knowledge of criminal justice system and court procedures
- Ability to use Microsoft Office programs
- Knowledge of social/psychological factors related to delinquency
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Interviewing experience
- Ability to establish positive interpersonal relationships
It is noted that Fairfax County does not require certification.
Hiring and Training of Juvenile Probation Officers in Fairfax County
All candidates for Juvenile Probation Officer Jobs in Fairfax County must complete an official on-line application available at the “Virginia Jobs” website. Persons whose applications are accepted will be contacted for a personal interview. The annual salary range of juvenile probation officers in Fairfax County is $34,272 to $48,186.
All newly hired juvenile probation officers spend their first week on the job learning about effective interview styles that motivate youth as well as how to use the YASI program and develop case management plans.
Duties and Responsibilities of Juvenile Probation Officers in Fairfax County
Becoming a juvenile probation officer in Fairfax County involves holding juvenile offenders accountable for their actions and providing them with opportunities to change their destructive behaviors. Specific duties include:
- Do intake evaluations (after-hours intake duties are assigned on a rotating basis).
- Receive cases from Court and act as liaison with the Court through written progress reports and testimonies.
- Evaluate the family situation and develop a case management plan by using the Youth Assessment and Screening Program (YASI) to assess risk factors.
- Supervise offenders to ensure their compliance with probation conditions.
- Provide family-oriented counseling
- Refer juveniles to human services agencies as needed.
- Represent probation services on intra-agency teams.
- Document all activities using the agency data system.