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Vaccination Requirement

As of August 2, 2021, all new hires must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religion or disability. If you are offered city employment, this requirement must be met by your date of hire, unless a reasonable accommodation for exemption is received and approved by the hiring agency.


Bonus

Get a $5,000 bonus after 6 months of service if you're hired before June 30, 2022!


YDS Header - be the strength that changes kids lives

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Become a Youth Development Specialist to Start Your Career and Make a Difference

Your valuable life experiences could positively influence the direction of a young person.

This is your chance to be a role model and a champion for youth while making a difference and giving back to your community.

What we are looking for:

The New York City Administration for Children's Services is hiring compassionate, enthusiastic individuals to work with young people in our detention facilities. Working as a Youth Development Specialist, you would:

  • Provide safe and secure supervision and care to youth who are in secure juvenile detention
  • Serve as a role model, mentor and guide
  • Work as part of a team to support positive and healthy youth development
  • Manage conflict and youth behavior safely including using de-escalation and restraint techniques as necessary
  • Provide structure and engage youth in pro-social activities and behaviors
  • Support youth in their efforts to develop new social, academic and vocational skills and interests
  • Receive valuable training on building healthy relationships with youth and crisis prevention and management

Working as a Youth Development Specialist offers:

  • Starting salary is $47,393 and after 5 years salary goes up to approximately $62,138*
  • $5,000 bonus after 6 months of service if you're hired between Jan. 1, 2022 - June 30, 2022 and work 90% of scheduled tours during the period.
  • Participation in NYC's pension system
  • Comprehensive health insurance offering both individual and family coverage
  • Longevity Bonuses for your years of service
  • Overtime pay at time and a half for working over 40 hours a week
  • Higher educational opportunities

*includes a uniform allowance and longevity pay


Benefits

Health Insurance

Choice of 11 health plans to choose from, some with no co-pays or deductibles.

Vacation, Sick & Holiday Leave

Annual leave may be used after 4 months of city service. Non-managerial titles accrue 8:45 hours monthly and managerial titles accrue 10:30 hours monthly. Up to 12 holidays per year. Sick leave accrues at 5.50 hours monthly.

Union Benefits

Youth Development Specialists are part of DC 37, New York City's largest public employee union, with about 150,000 members and 50,000 retirees. The union is also part of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), with more than 1.6 million members nationwide.

Transit Benefits

Use your pre-tax earnings to cover public transportation costs through the Commuter Benefits Program.

Flex Spending Accounts

Use your pre-tax earnings to cover to help pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical or dependent care expenses, for services such as acupuncture, chiropractor, dental treatments, eye exams and surgery, fertility treatments, lab fees, nursing home and services, organ transplants, psychiatrist and psychologist, weight loss programs, x-rays and more. Also included are products such as reading glasses, braces, contact lens supplies, crutches, first aid supplies, hearing aid expenses, insulin and diabetic supplies, walkers, wheelchairs, and more.

Student Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program forgives the remaining balance on a borrower's direct loans after they have made 120 qualifying monthly payments (10 years) under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer in a public service job.

Grad School Support

The Mayor's Graduate Scholarship Program is an opportunity for full-time New York City government employees with undergraduate degrees to pursue advanced degrees at local colleges/universities.

Pension System

All ACS employees may join the NYC Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS), which provides guaranteed income for life upon retirement and the opportunity to provide a continued retirement benefit to a beneficiary upon your death after retirement. Because your payroll contributions are tax-deferred, it may lower your current federal taxable income. Other types of benefits such as loans, disability and death benefits are also offered.

401K, 457 Plan, ROTH IRA

The NYC Deferred Compensation Plan can be used as a bridge to cover necessary expenses in that period before you decide to collect SS. Even if retiring at a normal retirement age and are eligible to collect social security, pre-tax money is tax deferred - lowering your taxable income.


Requirements:

A four-year high school diploma (or its educational equivalent), fluency in English, and two years of full-time experience working directly with at-risk youth or young adults up to age 24 in a group, community, educational or institutional setting, or other combinations of higher education and work or volunteer experience. Some years of work experience may be waived if you have an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in social work, counseling, education, recreation, criminal justice, psychology, biology, sociology, human services or a closely related field.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Youth Development Specialist

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What are the qualifications to become a Youth Development Specialist?

The minimum qualifications necessary to become a Youth Development Specialists are:

  1. A four year high school diploma or its educational equivalent approved by a State's department of education or a recognized accrediting organization, and two years of full-time satisfactory experience working directly with juveniles or young adults (ages 10-24) in a group, community, educational, or institutional setting or program performing recreational, detention, correctional, vocational, peer mentoring, or anti-violence work; or youth leadership development, young adult leadership development, youth and family health promotion, community organizing with youth and families, and/or closely related activities, which can include internships, volunteer work, mentorship, athletic programs, or closely similar related experience; or
  2. An associate degree from an accredited college or completion of 60 semester credits of study at an accredited college, including or supplemented by one year and three months of full-time satisfactory experience as described in "1" above; or
  3. An associate degree from an accredited college or completion of 60 semester credits of study at an accredited college, including or supplemented by 12 semester credits in social work, counseling, education, recreation, criminal justice, psychology, biology, sociology, human services or a closely related field; and nine months of full-time satisfactory experience as described in "1" above; or
  4. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college including or supplemented by at least six months experience as described in "1" above; or
  5. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college including or supplemented by 12 semester credits in social work, counseling, education, recreation, criminal justice, psychology, biology, sociology, human services or a closely related field; or a satisfactory combination of education and/or experience equivalent to "1", "2", or "3" above; or
    1. Honorable full-time United States military service commanding young adults (up to age 24) may be substituted for experience as described in "1" above, on a year-for-year basis, up to a maximum of two years of military service for two years of experience;
    2. Academic coursework in social work, counseling, education, recreation, criminal justice, psychology, biology, sociology, human services or a closely related field may be substituted for experience as described in "1" above, at the rate of 12 semester credits from an accredited college for 6 months of experience;
    3. General undergraduate education may be substituted for experience as described in "1" above, at the rate of 60 semester credits from an accredited college for 9 months of experience.
However, all candidates must possess a four year high school diploma or its educational equivalent.

What counts as youth experience?

Only professional work experience supervising youth of ages 10-24 in a group setting within the following areas will be acceptable: Community, educational, or institutional setting or program performing recreational, detention, vocational, peer mentoring, or anti-violence work; or youth leadership development, young adult leadership development, health promotion, community organizing, internships, volunteer work, mentorship, athletic programs or similar experience. For example, Little League or youth sports coach, tutor, or PTA.

What safety precautions are in place to protect YDS from COVID?

  • All facility staff are issued, and required to wear, masks at all times.
  • All facility staff and visitors have their temperature taken upon arrival to work and answer screening questions prior to entering the building – anyone with an elevated temperature or confirming symptoms consistent with COVID-19 is turned away.
  • All youth have their temperature taken daily and are surveyed for COVID-19 symptoms by medical staff.
  • Any staff required to work with youth who have been exposed to COVID-19 or found to be COVID-19 positive are issued PPE, including surgical/N95 masks as necessary, face shields, protective clothing, etc.
  • All facility staff are encouraged to stay home if feeling ill.
  • H&H COVID-19 Testing sites are shared/posted as a resource for all staff.
  • All staff identified from contact tracing as being exposed to confirmed positive COVID-19 cases within the facility are notified immediately by their respective leadership.
  • Posters throughout the facility serve as reinforcement of proper donning/doffing of PPE, universal precautions, signs & symptoms of COVID-19 and more.

Are there any work sites outside New York City?

As an agency of the City of New York, our work sites are only in NYC in Brooklyn (Brownsville) and the Bronx (Mott Haven).

I've applied, how long will it take to hear back?

If you are among our qualified candidates, we will schedule a phone interview within 60 days as the first step. Because we receive tremendous interest in this role, we are only able to contact candidates who are under consideration.

License Requirement

A motor vehicle driver license is not required but is a plus.

What is the hiring process?

Applications to become a Youth Development Specialist are being accepted on a continuous basis. Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be scheduled for an in person interview.

Is there an exam for this position?

All Youth Development Specialists are required to take and pass the civil service exam; please visit NYC.gov/DCAS for details on upcoming YDS civil service exams.

What if I have a criminal record?

Having a criminal history does not exclude you from being considered for employment as a Youth Development Specialist or Associate Youth Development Specialist unless your convictions are directly related to the job or pose an unreasonable risk or are among those specified in legislation as disqualifying for this employment such as: (1)The Protection of People With Special Needs Act which presumptively disqualifies based on the following convictions:

  • A felony conviction at any time for a sex offense;
  • A felony conviction within the past ten years involving violence;
  • A conviction pursuant to Penal Law (PL) section(s):
    • 260.00- Abandonment of a child;
    • 260.25- Endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person
    • 260.32- Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person or an incompetent or physically disabled person in the second degree;
    • 260.34- Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person or an incompetent or physically disabled person in the first degree.
  • Any similar offense in any other jurisdiction outside of New York State; and
(2) The Prison Rape Elimination Act, (PREA), which presumptively disqualifies based on the following convictions:
  1. Sexual abuse in a prison, jail, lockup, community confinement facility, juvenile facility or other institution
  2. Engaging or attempting to engage in sexual activity in the community facilitated by force, overt or implied threats of force, or coercion, or if the victim did not consent or was unable to consent or refuse.

What kind of training will I receive?

Youth Development Specialists receive a robust combination of classroom and hands-on training at the start of your employment to bolster your knowledge of the juvenile justice system and give you the tools you need to successfully work with high needs adolescents. The James Satterwhite Training Academy provides pre-service training on important topics, such as: understanding youth development and relationships; safety, security, and supervision; behavior modification and management; and facilitating groups. Ongoing, in-service training is also provided throughout the year to support professional development and additional training opportunities are available through the ACS Workforce Institute.

Where will I work?

You will be assigned to work at either Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center in Brownsville Brooklyn, or Horizon Juvenile Detention Center in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. Work location assignments are based on years of service (seniority) and agency needs.

What hours does a Youth Development Specialist work?

Both Crossroads and Horizon operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You will be assigned to one of the following tours: the AM Tour from 7:00am to 3:15pm, the PM tour from 3:00pm to 11:15pm or the Night Tour from 11:00pm to 7:15am. Shift assignments are based on seniority and the needs of the agency.

Do I have to work weekends and holidays?

Yes, most Youth Development Specialists work weekends and holidays. As a result, Youth Development Specialists get every third Sunday off in addition to their regularly scheduled off days (Monday/Tuesday or Wednesday/Thursday or Friday/Saturday). Days off are based on seniority and agency needs.

Is there overtime?

On occasion, there may be mandatory overtime. If someone calls out from the shift after yours, you may be required to work a second shift.

What is a typical day like?

This is not a sit-behind-a-desk-job. It requires regular interaction with youth. For instance, a typical day might involve you working inside a classroom, counseling a youth in the living unit, leading an activity in the gymnasium, or escorting a youth for their medication. Depending on your shift, your day would follow the typical schedule of the youth in detention: the youth wake up, shower, and are escorted to the cafeteria for breakfast, escorted to class, break for lunch, return to class, attend after-school activities, complete homework, have dinner, attend evening recreation, shower, and go to bed. Youth Development Specialists supervise a group of youth in all of the aforementioned activities.

Is juvenile detention the same as a jail?

Our secure juvenile detention facilities house adolescents whose cases are pending in the Family or Criminal Courts. Their stay is not for punishment - judges decide whether youth should be detained while their court case is being resolved. Secure detention is typically reserved for youth who pose the highest risk and who have been accused of committing serious offenses. Youth are paired with others their age and are given access to education, prosocial programming, recreational activities and health care while in detention.

Is this job dangerous?

This is not a job for folks who can be easily intimidated but it is seldom dangerous. YDS staff work with youth who have experienced significant trauma and sometimes display emotional outbursts that can be upsetting, even violent. YDS are trained to handle and protect themselves and others. Occasionally, YDS may experience a minor injury, but they are never in life-threatening danger such as a fire fighter or police officer.

What about emergencies?

Youth Development Specialists never work alone. All staff working in juvenile detention are trained in Safe Crisis Management (SCM) intervention. When additional assistance is needed, Youth Development Specialists may seek assistance from Special Officer Staff, who are in charge of the facility's security, as well as an array of supervisors.

Will there be any promotional opportunities once I become a Youth Development Specialist?

Promotional opportunities to supervisory positions and the opportunity to work in other parts of the juvenile justice continuum beyond Detention are a possibility.


 




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