Minimum Qualifications Two years full-time direct care experience* in the care and programming of youth** under 21 years of age;
OR two years of full-time experience in the care, programming and/or secure custody of residential clients in a health care, mental hygiene or correctional institutional setting;
OR a Bachelor’s degree;
OR an Associate’s degree AND six months experience as described above*;
OR a high school graduation or equivalency diploma AND one year of experience*
OR a satisfactory equivalent combination of the above education and experience requirements;
*Direct care experience with youth involved in the juvenile justice system or in an institution, camp, school, community center, youth rehabilitation program, or residential center.
Appropriate verifiable part-time experience will be accepted on a prorated basis
Satisfactory completion of the probation period must include possession of a valid motor vehicle operator’s license and the ability to operate a motor vehicle legally in New York State.
Duties Description The Youth Support Specialist (YSS) works directly to supervise court-placed youth, age 12-20, who reside at OCFS secure, limited-secure, and/or non-secure residential facilities. YSSs are part of a team that ensures that a facility is physically secure (e.g., responsible for youth movement, key and door control, and conflict resolution) and emotionally safe for both youth and other staff. YSSs help create a professional, healthy, and therapeutic environment. A YSS must:
• Establish a relationship of professionalism, confidence, safety, and trust with youth and other staff from different racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, physical ability, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) and/or socio-economic backgrounds. Supervise and monitor youth, which, depending on a youth’s clinical needs, may include 1-to-1 supervision.
• Actively participate as a member of a youth’s support team. A support team is a treatment.
• focused group of professional and para-professional staff who work together to address the emotional and behavioral needs and goal of youth.
• Be confident in engaging with people who may be under physical and/or emotional stress.
• Employ graduated harm reduction strategies while supervising youth. This includes correcting, and in some cases, verbally or physically intervening when a youth displays unsafe behaviors toward themselves or other youth and staff. Harm reduction requires that a YSS learn to recognize personal or situational flags that could lead to conflict or harm, provide positive mentorship to youth, and help youth work on their own interpersonal skills and use of self-regulation strategies.
• Take opportunities to improve the well-being of the facility community by being collaborative and informed.
• Supervise and/or assist youth during recreation and education activities, and take on well as various, as-needed assignments
• Establish and maintain positive, professional, and appropriate relationships with youths’ families and loved ones.
• Assist youth in achieving education, work readiness, and community transition goals.
Attend a 4-week Juvenile Justice Basic Training orientation, be proficient in OCFS-approved physical skills and youth restraint techniques (given two times a year for eight hours total), take NYS employee mandated annual trainings, and other annual training refreshers.
· Some intrastate travel may be required (e.g., supervision at youth medical appointments, intramural games, extracurricular activities, or other events)
· The YSS is position is physically demanding. A candidate must be prepared to act to ensure the health and safety of youth and staff, which may include use of approved physical restraint techniques.
Additional duties will be discussed in detail during the interview.
• The YSS position is at all nine facilities operated by OCFS. Vacancies are throughout the state.
• The YSS position requires shift, weekend, holidays, and overtime assignment, including mandatory and voluntary overtime.
Additional Comments Please specify in your cover letter and/or resume how you meet the minimum qualifications (as described above) when responding to this posting. For example, you should provide specific date ranges for qualifying experience, qualifying education or certifications, or the age range of individuals served. Non-specific submissions may be disqualified from further consideration if the information you provide does not meet the minimum qualifications.
IMPORTANT: Candidates must indicate in their cover letter and/or resume how they specifically meet the minimum qualifications about when responding to this posting. Without this information OCFS will not be able to consider you application.
For example, a candidate should provide specific date ranges for qualifying experience, qualifying education or certifications, or the age range of individuals served
All youth who reside in OCFS facilities, regardless of age, are considered ‘vulnerable persons’ and protected by the NYS Justice Center. The Justice Center works to ensure that no youth is subject to abuse, neglect, or other mistreatment while residing in an OCFS facility.
Civil Service Employees Association, Inc (CSEA) represents that YSS position. The position is subject to all attendant CSEA-OCFS agreements, rules, and opportunities.
Background Investigation Requirements:
1) All prospective employees will be investigated through a Criminal Background Check (CBC), which includes State and federal Criminal History Record Checks. All convictions must be reported; conviction of a felony or misdemeanor, or any falsified or omitted information on the prospective appointee’s employment application, may bar appointment or result in removal after appointment. Each case will be determined on its own merits, consistent with the applicable provisions of State and federal laws, rules, and regulations. Prospective employees will be fingerprinted in order to obtain a record of their criminal history information, and may be required to pay any necessary fees.
2) All prospective employees will be screened against the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR). Prospective employees will be required to pay any necessary fees.
3) For Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth (DJJOY) prospective appointees will be checked against the Staff Exclusion List (SEL) maintained by the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. Prospective employees whose names appear on the SEL as having been found responsible for serious or repeated acts of abuse or neglect will be barred from appointment and may have their names removed from the eligible list(s) for the title(s) if applicable.
Your physical and medical condition will be evaluated to ensure that you are able to satisfactorily perform the duties of this position with or without reasonable accommodation. The physical/medical standards include a fitness test, a medical standards evaluation, and a substance abuse screening.
Prior to appointment, you will be required to participate in a drug screening test and are responsible for the clinical laboratory fee. Failure to meet the standards may result in your disqualification.
The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is an equal opportunity employer. OCFS does not discriminate based upon age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, military or veteran status, sex, disability (including pregnancy-related conditions), predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status or status as a victim of domestic violence, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We devote special attention to dismantling racial injustice and recognize that diversity in our workforce is critical to fulfilling our mission. We are committed to the diversity of our staff, and encourage applicants from marginalized communities to apply. All applicants must be dedicated to working in and sustaining an environment of inclusion that affirms and celebrates the backgrounds, learned and lived expertise, whole identities, and individual perspectives of our staff. Applicants of all backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to self-identify during the application process.
Some positions may require additional credentials or a background check to verify your identity.
52 Washington Street, 231 North
Notes on ApplyingQualified candidates should e-mail their resume and letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org You MUST include the Vacancy number of the position in the subject line of your email and/or cover letter to ensure receipt of your application. In order to qualify you for the position when you have current or prior New York State employment, you may be contacted by OCFS Personnel for your social security number to confirm your employment history.