Position Description

                            Juvenile Justice Counsellor

        Classification: Agency Professional Officer

        Grading: II

LOCATION:                                                  Various

IMMEDIATE ADMINISTRATOR/SUPERVISOR:                        Assistant Manager

CURRENT INCUMBENT:                                         Various

DATE OF ANALYSIS:                                          June 2006

INCUMBENT'S SIGNATURE:                ___________________________________

ADMINISTRATOR'S SIGNATURE:             ___________________________________

DG’s SIGNATURE:                       ___________________________________


                                Reviewed May 2008

                                HUMAN RESOURCES USE ONLY

JJ Counsellor 25 May 2006
Purpose of the Position

To provide effective, offending focused service through assessment, supervision,
therapeutic intervention and case management of juvenile offenders. To deliver
community based programs in accordance with relevant legislation, Agency
policies, guidelines and procedures to minimise the re-offending of juvenile
offenders and enhance their functioning in and/or reintegration into the

To provide advice to Juvenile Justice Officers and other direct client services staff
in relation to therapeutic counselling needs of juvenile offenders.

Reporting Relationships

Position Title of Supervisor

Assistant Manager (Counselling)

Position Titles which also report to the Supervisor


Titles of Positions that Directly Report to this Position


Indirect: Conference Convenors

Organisational Context of the Position

Through the Chief Executive of Juvenile Justice, the government provides a
comprehensive system aimed at turning young offenders away from a life of

The Agency’s ultimate aim is to assist troubled young offenders to re-integrate
successfully back into the community.

Juvenile Justice Community Services Offices located across the state provide a
network of programs designed to provide the courts with a range of sentencing
options for young people who have been found guilty of criminal offences.
Juvenile Justice Officers/Counsellors provide individual counselling, supportive
intervention strategies, group work, employment skills or life skills for appropriate
juvenile offenders. They provide assessment of young people remanded in
custody to address problems relating to bail issues; preparation of background
reports relating to young people charged with offences at the request of the

JJ Counsellor 25 May 2006
courts; provision of court ordered supervision for young people on recognisance,
probation, community service orders, fine default and parole.

There are eight Juvenile Justice Centres across the state for juvenile offenders
who have custodial sentences imposed by a court or who are refused bail.
Approximately 355 young people can be detained on a daily basis. Educational
and vocational programs are provided in the centres by the Agency of Education
and Training. The Agency also controls the function of transport, placements and
drug intelligence within the custodial environment.

In accordance with the Young Offenders Act (1997), the Chief Executive of
Juvenile Justice is responsible for operating Youth Justice Conferences which
are designed to divert young offenders from formal court processes for certain
offences. There are 18 conference administrators across NSW. They are
responsible for the local operation of the scheme, organising conferences as
needed, working with a pool of over 400 youth justice conference convenors.

Specialist counselling programs provide adolescent sexual offenders and those
with alcohol and other substance abuse problems with specialised assessment
and individual treatment. Young offenders are provided with ongoing counselling
in juvenile justice centres and in community youth centres when they re-enter the

The Agency of Juvenile Justice operates from 51 sites across the State. It
provides both community and custodial-based services. The Agency’s EFT
staffing is 1550. Staff of the Agency comprises custodial and community based
staff, as well as clerical occupational groups employed under the Public Sector
Employment and Management Act 2002.

The Operations Directorate was established to manage young offenders under
community based orders, in custody, on bail or participating in youth justice
conferencing within the Agency of Juvenile Justice, which includes services to
victims of young offenders. The Directorate has the primary role of the
management of young offenders in accordance with court and police referrals
and to ensure public interests are served in terms of young offender care and

It has the role of ensuring that young offenders are given the most appropriate
programs and services with an emphasis on programs for diversion from
incarceration to assist and enable juvenile offenders to successfully alter their
offending behaviour and reduce the chances of re-offending whilst in care and
integration into the community. This includes the provision of advice and reports
to courts to address offending behaviour.

The Operations Directorate operates from the Central Office in Haymarket and
four regional offices located at Sydney, Wollongong, Lismore and Dubbo. Within
those regions are multiple community locations and eight detention centres. In
addition to the above the Directorate also facilitates, in partnership with Executive

JJ Counsellor 25 May 2006
Committee members, the provision of corporate                reporting function    to
Government, Parliament and Central Agencies.

The role of the position

The JJ Counsellor provides professional supervision and assessment of juvenile
offenders on community-based court order/s, through developing and maintaining
case/intervention plans, allocation of programs, crisis intervention, therapeutic
counselling (within the specific areas of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Program, Sex
Offender Program, Violent Offender Program, Generalist Counsellor Program and
others as determined) and enforcing court order conditions. The JJ Counsellor
prepares and presents juvenile offender assessments and recommends
appropriate sentencing options to the Courts and other judicial bodies.

    A.       Work Performed

Case management in the Agency of Juvenile Justice is the central organising
process of all client interventions. It enables the Agency to ensure that each
young person receives the services and support they require, in order to
maximise their capacity and opportunity to choose positive alternatives to
offending behaviour.

Provides assessments and supervision aimed at reducing the risk of reoffending by
young people who are required to undergo supervision with the Agency of Juvenile
Justice, either as part of a parole condition or as part of a non-custodial sentence.

Provides case management to young offenders in custody including, counselling
and the preparation of high quality reports to the NSW Parole Authority with realistic
and comprehensive post release plans. The JJ Counsellor works in accordance
with the evidence-based offending focused approach.

Therapeutic interventions form a major part of the JJ Counsellor role, including
Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) counselling, Sex Offender Program (SOP)
counselling, Violent Offender Program (VOP) counselling, Juvenile Justice
Counsellor Program and others as determined.

The counsellor, following sufficient specific training supervision and accreditation
in the relevant service area described above, will deliver specific kinds of
interventions. Family intervention is also a significant aspect of the role.

Individualised supervision of juvenile offenders through case management forms
another part of the role of a JJ Counsellor. The position must aim to reduce the
occurrence of offending and thus fulfils a community protection role.

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The JJ Counsellor is responsible for general referrals and liaison but more
specifically, he/she works with and refers to mental health professionals, school
counsellors, other AOD, community health services etc.

Supervises juveniles released on bail in accordance with the Bail protocol between
Children's Court of New South Wales and DJJ.

The position holder initiates breaches or revocations of court ordered supervision
placed on clients.

The JJ Counsellor also provides counselling and case management services to
juvenile offenders in juvenile detention centres. These include provision of
consultancy service to staff in centres, e.g., key workers, reintegration planning,
crisis support, facilitation of groups and case conferences. An additional way the
JJ Counsellor assists staff in JJCS and JJ centres is through the development of
behaviour management plans.

The position holder attends local staff meetings and participates in staff discussion
on work related issues. This may include the use of teleconferencing facilities.

The incumbent participates in group supervision meetings conducted by either the
Assistant Manager Counselling or the Professional Development Officer. He/she
may also attend Program Branch meetings at Central Office conducted by the
Program Branch. The position holder attends regular professional development

The incumbent provides an extensive range of written reports, including
background reports, parole jurisdiction reports, reports to Serious Young Offenders
Review Panel (SYORP), breach reports, submissions to management, and letters
to the young person, families and relevant government and non-government

The position holder is responsible for maintaining client records and files both
specialist and general, provision of statistical information regarding client
intervention and from time to time, office duties such as intake work.

The JJ Counsellor maintains liaison advocacy with the local community to foster
community understanding and support for JJCS operations and to assess
community resources.

The JJ Counsellor is pro-active in response to client trends and profiles and reports
on such to the manager.

B.       Challenges/Problem Solving

The incumbent faces significant challenges in working with a demanding
operational workload and complex caseload. The JJ Counsellor works with some of
the most disadvantaged and troublesome young people (and their families) in

JJ Counsellor 25 May 2006
society who are facing issues of mental health, AOD, intellectual disability, violence.

JJ Counsellors have dual functions working in accordance with a legal mandate
and a helping, or problem-solving role. Reconciling the legal and helping roles in
work with juvenile offenders who are involuntary clients can be a difficult task.
Coming to terms with this dual role is one of the greatest challenges in work with
juvenile offenders.

At times community agencies can become reluctant to be involved in addressing
issues affecting the Agency’s clients. Therefore, the position holder works with
government and non-government agencies to promote positive outcomes for

The position holder’s challenge is to motivate and encourage relevant other
agencies, including government Agencys, to become involved in a collective
response to client issues and needs.

Rural based JJ Counsellors may face the challenge of long distance travel and may
work in isolation to provide services to juvenile offenders who are dispersed over a
wide geographical area.

C.       Decision Making

Many of the actions of the JJ Counsellor are circumscribed by the various pieces of
legislation governing NSW Juvenile Justice, principally OH&S Act, Young
Offender’s Act, Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act, Bail Act, Children (Community
Service Orders) Act, the Children (Detention Centres) Act and the Sentencing Act.

In relation to more difficult and sensitive case management and client issues, the
position holder makes professional judgments regarding the most appropriate
therapeutic approach. The incumbent consults the Area Manager/Assistant
Manager(s) and receives professional advice and support from the expert internal
consultants/resources including the Assistant Manager Counselling or Professional
Development Officer.

The JJ Counsellor is responsible for making a range of case management
decisions regarding the juvenile offender including the decision to initiate breach
/court ordered revocation and the suspension of the young person’s supervision.

The JJ Counsellor prepares background and other reports for approval by the
Manager. Courts rely on these reports, for example, advice to magistrates
regarding the young person’s circumstances and response to supervision.

D.       Key Accountabilities

        Prepare reports (including Specialist reports) for courts and the State Parole
         Authority, to present sentencing options, individual progress reports,
         offender assessments and other pertinent information.

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        Delivery of effective therapeutic counselling, supervision/case work.

        Development and review of case plans and effective interventions to ensure
         best practice

        Conduct comprehensive assessments;

        Provision of therapeutic interventions;

        Family counselling and crisis intervention,

        Individual and group counselling;

        Supervise court orders

        Supervising juveniles on bail and those who have been released on
         parole, from Juvenile Justice Centres;

        Recommend breaches/revocation of court ordered supervision;

        Provision of consultancy, advice and support to JJOs and other staff in
         detention centres (e.g. key workers);

        Maintain/write case      plans/case/intervention   and   specialist/counselling
         confidential notes;

        Accurately maintain and regularly update CIMS

        Attend and participate in staff meetings and external meetings e.g. at various
         levels including interagency, CSO, regional;

        Liaise and network with government and community organisations to
         resource services for JJCS clients;

        Provide training/presentations to DJJ staff and external service providers

        Perform the tasks of the duty officer including answering phones, dealing
         with casework matters for other JJOs, dealing with counter enquiries;

The position holder actively promotes the workplace as a harassment-free
workplace and adheres to Occupational Health and Safety principles in the

Ensures that communication and teamwork are given priority and there is a
commitment to seamless and quality client focussed services. The position holder
ensures that he/she is fully informed of policy and procedural documents.

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E.       Knowledge

The position requires knowledge of legislation relevant to juvenile offenders in NSW
including the Young Offender’s Act, Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act, Bail Act,
Children (Community Service Orders) Act, the Children (Detention Centres) Act and
the Sentencing Act as well as demonstrated knowledge of the criminal justice
system as it relates to juvenile crime.

Knowledge of the criminal justice system, its various operations including courts
and police.

Capacity to understand and implement the Agency's policies, practices and
procedures is needed to ensure that services conform to expected standards. The
incumbent needs a sound appreciation of effective practice, adolescent behaviour,
case management including casework methodology and approved diversionary
strategies, together with a full understanding of appropriate and necessary safety
and security measures.

The position requires knowledge of:
    Child and adolescent normal and abnormal individual and social
    Engagement, assessment and counselling adolescents,
    Different models of individual and group therapeutic interventions, including
      skills development,
    Evidence based practice literature in What Works for juvenile offenders,
      particularly as it applies to therapeutic interventions,
    Awareness of detection and management of intellectual and learning
      disabilities, Alcohol and other Drugs, mental health problems and suicide
      and self-harm crises.
    and respect for Aboriginal culture.

Sufficient knowledge of the Alcohol and Other Drug Program, Violent Offender
Program, Sex Offender Program, Generalist Counsellor Program and Forensic
(Psychology) Program to be able to provide appropriate support and access to
consultation to those staff who are employed in the JJCS performing these roles
Knowledge of government and non-government service providers.

F.       Skills

        Effective written and oral communication skills.
        Comprehensive individual and social offence-related assessment skills,
        Therapeutic intervention and counselling skills.
        Crisis management and conflict resolution skills.
        Skills in negotiation and pro-social interpersonal skills
        time management

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        Ability to deal with juvenile offenders and their families in an emphatic and
         fair manner while maintaining objective, professional standards.
        Group work skills.
        Ability to work independently and /teamwork skills.
        Networking skills.
        Computer literacy and experience in the use of a range of software

G.       Qualifications

Completed degree level qualifications in Psychology or Social Work or

A current NSW driver’s licence or be prepared to obtain one on commencement
in the position.

H. Experience

Demonstrated experience working with clients with challenging behaviours.
Experience in the provision of therapeutic interventions and a range of counselling

Experience in networking community resources and the community consultation

Experience working with families and/or adolescents.

JJ Counsellor 25 May 2006

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