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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Juvenile Justice Youth Development Specialist I - Metro Region - CONTINUOUS Posting

Boston, MA

Job Description

The Department of Youth Services (DYS) is seeking dynamic, positive, service and career-minded individuals to fill the role of Juvenile Justice Youth Development Specialist. Selected candidates will work with juvenile justice involved young people ages 12 - 20 years old (most of the youth served are 14 -18 years old) in DYS residential facilities. You will learn the fundamental principles of rehabilitation, safety and security in the juvenile justice system, and have a unique opportunity to utilize skills that directly and positively influence the course of a troubled young person's life.

The Juvenile Justice Youth Development Specialist is the front line residential staff serving youth committed to the care or custody of the Department. The incumbent will work with youth to help them acquire the knowledge and life skills to become independent and responsible adults while maintaining the safety and security of the program. Juvenile Justice Youth Development Specialist serves as a positive role model and advocate who promotes Positive Youth Development and supports youth in the areas of education, treatment and rehabilitation.

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This is an open and continuous posting for full-time and part-time positions on multiple shifts.

For additional information about the Department of Youth Services and its programs please watch:

Duties and Responsibilities (these duties are a general summary and not all inclusive):

  • Collaborate as a part of a team to oversee, supervise, and provide advocacy, guidance, encouragement and support to the youth in their daily activities that include classrooms and afternoon leisure/sports, mealtime, hygiene, and clinical sessions.
  • Serve as a role model to youth and assist them in developing coping skills and social and life skills while providing guidance and support through daily interactions in order to facilitate their re-entry into thecommunity.
  • Monitor and maintain a clean, safe, and secure environment free of contraband by completing required program security measures including but not limited to supervision rounds, head counts, indoor and outdoor security checks and searches of youth and visitors.
  • Observe the conduct and behavior of youth assigned to the program and take appropriate action as trained to prevent disturbances or self-harm and to ensure the safety of staff/ youth in compliance with established policies, regulations and procedures.

Required Qualifications:

  • Capacity to establish a rapport with youth and staff from different ethnic, cultural and/or socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Ability to interact with people who are under physical and/or emotional stress.
  • Capability to make decisions and act quickly in emergency and/or dangerous situations while remaining calm.
  • Proficiency in gathering information by examining records and documents and through questioning and observation as well as exercising discretion in handling confidential information.
  • Successful completion of a Physical Ability Test (PAT)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong written and verbal communications skills.
  • Flexibility to work varied shifts, weekends, holidays or nights.
  • Ability to take direction and work under the supervision and direction of a senior staff member.

Special Requirements:

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 21 years
  • Must be able to perform the physical requirement of the job (i.e. Ability to properly restrain or subdue youth through appropriate use of handcuffs or other restraint techniques) if necessary.
  • Able to talk and/or hear, stand and walk, run, kneel and climb stairs, as well as lift, carry, push, or pull up to 55 pounds with or without assistance and with or without the use of devices and/or equipment to assist in the lifting effort.
  • Based on assignment, incumbents may be required to possess a current and valid motor vehicle driver's license at a class level specific to assignment.
  • Upon hire, incumbents must complete and maintain a valid certification in crisis intervention, suicide prevention, Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and first aid.

Working Conditions:

  • Incumbents may be exposed to verbal and/or physical confrontations and potentially dangerous environments.
  • Incumbents may be required to physically restrain youth.
  • Incumbents typically work a standard 40-hour work week; however, may be required to work extended hours, nights, holidays or weekends.
  • Incumbents may be required to travel in-state and based on assignment may be required to travel out of state.

About the Department Of Youth Services:

As the Juvenile Justice agency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Department of Youth Services promotes positive change in the youth in our care and custody. Our mission is to make communities safer by improving the life outcomes for youth in our care. We achieve our mission through investing in highly qualified staff and a service continuum that engages youth, families, and communities in strategies that support positive youth development. For more information please go to:

Pre-Hire Process:

Candidates must successfully complete pre-employment screening which includes:

  • Drug/Steroid Screening
  • Psychological Screening
  • Medical Examination
  • Physical Abilities Test (PAT)

If you would like more information, please log on to the DYS website to access detailed information on the Pre-Employment process.

A criminal background check will be completed on the recommended candidate as required by the regulations set forth by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services prior to the candidate being hired. For more information, please visit and click on "Information for Job Applicants."

Education, licensure and certifications will be verified in accordance with the Human Resources Division's Hiring Guidelines

Education and license/certification information provided by the selected candidate(s) is subject to the Massachusetts Public Records Law and may be published on the Commonwealth's website.

If you require assistance with the application/interview process and would like to request an ADA accommodation, please click on the link and complete the Reasonable Accommodation Online Request Form

For questions, please the contact Employment and Staffing, Office of Human Resources at 1-800-510-4122 and select option #4.


Applicants must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

Based on assignment, incumbents may be required to possess a current and valid motor vehicle driver's license at a class level specific to assignment.

Upon hire, incumbents shall be required to complete and maintain a valid certification in crisis intervention, suicide prevention, Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and first aid.

Comprehensive Benefits

When you embark on a career with the Commonwealth, you are offered an outstanding suite of employee benefits that add to the overall value of your compensation package. We take pride in providing a work experience that supports you, your loved ones, and your future.

Want the specifics? Explore our Employee Benefits and Rewards!

Title 101 CMR 23.00 ("Regulation") requires certain agency staff to have received the COVID-19 vaccination and Influenza vaccination, or have taken required mitigation measures, to prevent viral infection and transmission in State Hospitals and State Congregate Care Facilities. The Regulation applies to this position. Successful candidates will be required to acknowledge and attest to your vaccination status for both COVID-19 and Influenza.

An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Commonwealth is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. Research suggests that qualified women, Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) may self-select out of opportunities if they don't meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage individuals who believe they have the skills necessary to thrive to apply for this role.

Client-provided location(s): Boston, MA, USA
Job ID: Commonwealth_of_Massachusetts-240000QW
Employment Type: Full Time

Perks and Benefits

  • Health and Wellness

    • Health Insurance
    • Health Reimbursement Account
    • Dental Insurance
    • Vision Insurance
    • Life Insurance
    • Short-Term Disability
    • Long-Term Disability
    • FSA
    • HSA
    • Mental Health Benefits
  • Parental Benefits

    • Adoption Assistance Program
    • Family Support Resources
  • Work Flexibility

    • Flexible Work Hours
    • Hybrid Work Opportunities
  • Office Life and Perks

    • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Vacation and Time Off

    • Paid Vacation
    • Paid Holidays
    • Personal/Sick Days
    • Volunteer Time Off
  • Financial and Retirement

    • Pension
    • Financial Counseling
  • Professional Development

    • Promote From Within
    • Mentor Program
    • Access to Online Courses
    • Lunch and Learns
    • Internship Program
    • Leadership Training Program
    • Associate or Rotational Training Program
  • Diversity and Inclusion

    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program