We're so proud of our passionate and resilient youth justice workers. Their commitment to their work is critical to the success of the youth justice system at large and makes a massive impact on our shared futures as a community. We know this job isn't easy, but it sure is rewarding, and we think you'll quickly see why if you join us. Read on to learn about the responsibilities of YJ workers and find out if you're eligible to apply.
What you will be doing
While this isn't strictly 'youth work', as you may know it – the safety and security of all people in our facilities is the number one priority – our core ambition is still to help rehabilitate young offenders and provide them with the confidence and skills to become positive contributors to their communities.
Youth justice workers understand that crime is complex, and that successfully dealing with it demands action beyond simple punitive measures. Guiding personal behaviour change is a massive task, though, and means our staff have many responsibilities, including:
❂ Supporting young offenders in their personal development through individual casework
❂ Encouraging young offenders to contact their families and act on referrals to services
❂ Ensuring that a secure environment is maintained for the benefit of young offenders, staff and the community.
❂ Conducting searches and security checks, responding to codes and filing reports on incidents.
"A major part of our role is to challenge difficult behaviours and to maintain a safe and secure precinct."
– Robert, Youth Justice Worker, Malmsbury Youth Justice Precinct
An applicant seeking employment with Youth Justice Custodial Services as a youth justice worker must be either:
❂ An Australian citizen – a birth certificate, citizenship certificate or current passport is required as proof of eligibility
❂ A permanent resident of Australia
❂ A New Zealand citizen who has entered Australia on a valid passport.
❂ Eligible to work in Australia for a period of more than six months.
Prior to commencing work within the custodial facility all candidates must have independently obtained:
- Current First Aid Certification (HLTAID003 is preferred, or the Provide Basic Emergency Life Support course - HLTAID002 at a minimum)
- Current CPR
- Working With Children Card (Employee)
You will likely have time to obtain these certifications after learning of your successful application.
A driver's licence is not required but is desirable.
"A good YJ worker is someone that can develop a rapport with the young people. And that’s especially important when you’re trying to de-escalate a situation."
– Di, Supervisor, Parkville Youth Justice Precinct
It’s never too late to take your career in a new direction – we would love your help in making our state a safer and happier place to live.
Prior work with young people is not essential. Your placement in a role will include a seven-week fully-paid training program, in which you will be shown the skills to flourish in your new role.
Don't be put off because you think you might not be suitably qualified to be a youth justice worker. We recruit from a diverse range of backgrounds and industries; including customer service, hospitality, retail, nursing, child care, social work, aged care, trades, farming, security and retail.
"There are seven weeks of training where you learn tactical operations and also the safety aspects of the job role. But there will be times where you will have to back yourself and know that you can do the job."
– Colin, Youth Justice Worker, Malmsbury
Still, some attributes are essential in our staff. Being a youth justice worker can be physically and emotionally taxing, so you'll need to be fit and resilient. It is also preferable that you possess the following:
- Life experience – be able to adapt to and manage challenging behaviours.
- Solid verbal communication and written communication – conflict management and skilled report writing will be a big part of your job.
- Self-management – be able to maintain passion for and commitment to the job, even after setbacks.
- Ability to build a rapport with young people whilst still setting boundaries – generating and maintaining mutual respect will be critical in your efforts to make a positive impact on the young people you work with.
Benefits of working in Youth Justice
❂ Starting annual salary of $51,717 - $66,414 per year plus superannuation and penalty rates
❂ Several weeks paid training provided
❂ Flexible work arrangements give great opportunity for work/life balance
❂ Generous penalty rates for working overtime, weekends and public holidays.
❂ Personalised Professional Development Plans – creating opportunities for promotion and career progression within the Department of Justice and Community Safety and other government agencies
❂ Uniforms provided
❂ Five weeks paid annual leave for ongoing staff