Working with youth in detention

Do you want the opportunity to make a difference to young people, their families and their community? Can you be a positive role model? Do you want to know that what you do at work each day is meaningful?

In a youth detention centre, you will have a positive influence on the lives of young people and work in a unique and active environment.

You will be part of a team that provides care, counselling and activities to young people. These activities are sensitive to gender, cultural beliefs and the health needs of young people and will help them integrate back into the community.

Every day will be different but everything you do will be about encouraging young people to turn their lives around.

We train our staff to work with adolescents and help young people in detention to achieve normal adolescent milestones. These include developing independence and getting ready for employment.

Our youth detention centres operate 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. Young people who are:

  • refused bail
  • remanded in custody
  • sentenced to detention

are safely and securely detained in these centres.

Youth detention centres are secure environments and all staff are subject to security measures at the centre. You will play an important role in maintaining a safe and secure environment.

Roles in a youth detention centre

Detention youth worker

As a detention youth worker you will have a frontline role in the rehabilitation of young people in detention. You will work closely with young people who are separated from their family, friends and community. You will make sure young people are engaged in constructive activities and help them integrate back into the community.

Detention youth workers:

  • escort young people in detention to school and other activities
  • demonstrate positive and socially appropriate behaviour to young people in detention
  • manage the complex and challenging behaviours of young people (and may need to use physical restraint in some circumstances).

You will be a key team member in addressing offending behaviour.

Section supervisor

As a section supervisor you will supervise, coach and lead detention youth workers to manage daily activities and routines in the detention centre. You will develop and coordinate the plans that are used to rehabilitate and reintegrate young people in detention and make a difference in the lives of young people in detention by focussing on:

  • achieving positive outcomes
  • addressing offending behaviour.

You will make critical decisions in an immediate response to manage events, incidents and activities.

Shift supervisor

As a shift supervisor you will be responsible for the daily management of centre operations. You will influence the level of care and supervision given to young people in detention. You will supervise section supervisors and detention youth workers, and coordinate the movement and transfer of young people with external agencies.

Shift supervisors help to develop:

  • operational procedures
  • systems
  • contingency plans.

You will work closely with centre management to oversee and coordinate all operational processes on a daily basis.

Caseworker

As a caseworker you will play a critical role in the team and work closely with young people to address their behaviour. You will contribute to the management, care and legal processes of young people assigned to you.

Caseworkers deliver culturally appropriate casework and counselling services that:

  • promote the safety and wellbeing of young people in detention
  • help young people in detention to make positive progress during their time in custody
  • help young people to stop offending
  • reintegrate young people with their family and the community.

Program support officer

As a program support officer you will be part of a team that continually looks for new and better ways to address the criminal behaviour of young people in detention.

Program support officers work closely with program providers to develop, deliver and review programs to:

  • address offending behaviour
  • rehabilitate young people
  • reintegrate young people with their family and the community.

You will also help maintain communication between youth detention centres and community agencies.