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.
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.
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:
*includes a uniform allowance and longevity pay
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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What are the qualifications to become a Youth Development Specialist?
The minimum qualifications necessary to become a Youth Development Specialists are:
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?
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.
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:
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.