Juvenile probation is administered through the local courts in 36 of Washington State’s 39 counties, with the exception of Whatcom, Skagit, and Clallam Counties, where the county legislative authority administers juvenile probation. Juvenile probation is funded, in part, by the Department of Social and Health Services Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA), a state agency.
Most juvenile probation officer jobs in Washington State involve managing caseloads that range from 25 to 100 juvenile offenders.
Minimum Employment Requirements
General – Individuals seeking juvenile probation officer careers in Seattle must possess a valid driver’s license and be willing to undergo an extensive criminal background investigation, a psychological profile, and a polygraph examination.
Degree – Further, all candidates for probation officer jobs in Seattle must possess a BS or BA degree in one of the social sciences fields, psychology, or administration of justice.
Experience – Individuals applying for entry-level (Probation Counselor I) probation officer jobs must possess at least one year of experience working with juveniles, preferably with juvenile offenders or evaluating adolescents. Individuals seeking advanced probation officer positions (Probation Counselor II) must possess at least 3 years of experience working with juveniles.
How to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in Seattle through Training
Upon being hired as a juvenile probation officer in Seattle, individuals must complete a course of training. The Washington State Criminal Justice program, which is designed for juvenile probation officers, must be completed within 6 months of employment.
The program includes 80 hours of training in such areas as:
- Case management
- Field safety
- Individual counseling
- Integrated treatment model
- Legal issues
- Mental health
- Personal safety
- Substance abuse
- Team building
- Transition planning
- Use of force
- Youths who sexually offend
Juvenile Probation Officer Careers in Seattle
Seattle, as part of King County, is part of the Western Judicial District of Washington. King County juvenile probation services are operated out of 4 field offices: Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, and Kent.
Juvenile probation officers (often referred to as juvenile probation counselors or JPCs) are assigned to a field office and may work in one of the following units:
- Diagnostic Unit: Handles juveniles who cases may be sentenced to a state institution
- Sex Offender Unit: Handles risk/needs assessments for youths charged with sex offenses