Youth Justice Worker (Custodial) - Parkville and Malmsbury

Job Details
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Department: Department of Justice and Community Safety
Work Type:
Job Function: Prison and Corrective Services
Classification: YJW1
Work Location: VIC - Multiple Locations
Reference: VG/YJSEP19
Closing Date: 31-May-2019
Salary Range: $51,717 - $66,414
Job Duration: N/A
Attachments: Health Assessment Fact Sheet.pdf (PDF, 287KB)

Youth Justice Worker Recruitment Process (Update).pdf (PDF, 246KB)

Youth Justice Worker - Position Description - 060519.pdf (PDF, 277KB)

Contact: Youth Justice Recruitment Team

Position Details


Set boundaries. Build futures.


  • Multiple full-time ongoing vacancies available on a 76-hour two-week rotating roster
  • Base salary of $52,493, although entry-level staff earn up to $76,650 on average after penalty rates, overtime and superannuation
  • No formal qualifications are required but professional experience in any field is highly valued
  • We're looking for mature, empathetic and resilient people who can provide a safe and secure environment for vulnerable young people with challenging behavioural issues



 We are now recruiting for our September 2019 training intake of full-time youth justice workers in:

Please note, you can only apply for one custodial precinct. Due to the long 12-hour shift, you need to live within 100 kilometres of the precinct location for health and safety reasons. You will be given the opportunity to make your preference in your application.


Join us at an upcoming information session

It is important that you attend one of our free information sessions to gain a better understanding of a career in youth justice. You will hear about the experiences of current staff at our custodial facilities and be able to ask any questions you have about the job and the application process. 


What is a youth justice custodial precinct?

“Although it's a custodial type of environment, we try and keep it as normal as possible by taking the young people to programs, school, sporting events, mixed programs.”
– John, Youth Justice Worker, Parkville



  • The young people in a youth justice custodial precinct are either on remand and awaiting sentencing or have already been sentenced to a youth order by a Victorian court.
  • They may have committed serious crimes and will often demonstrate incredibly challenging and even violent behaviour.
  • Many of these vulnerable young people have experienced trauma, including child abuse and neglect, exposure to family criminal behaviour, substance abuse, mental illness and homelessness.
  • As well as safety and supervision, they require role models and mentors who can assist with their education and rehabilitation, helping them become positive members of society into adulthood.

Learn more about the Parkville and Malmsbury precincts >>

Discover what it's like living in and around Malmsbury >>


What does a youth justice worker do?

"A good YJ worker is someone who 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

Your number-one priority is to ensure the safety and security of all people in our youth justice custodial facilities. Although this role may not be 'youth work' as you know it, our core ambition is still to help rehabilitate young offenders and provide them with the confidence and skills they need to become positive contributors to their communities.

Guiding personal behaviour change in young people is a difficult task and means a youth justice worker has many responsibilities. You will need to:

  • Manage any challenging behaviours of vulnerable and hostile young people
  • Meet the needs of young people from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds
  • Conduct and oversee searches, counts, admissions and supervise visits
  • Use sound judgement to respond effectively within a changing work environment
  • Help young people maintain relationships with their family and community, as well as legal, education and employer contacts
  • Be a positive role model for the young people in your care.


What makes a great youth justice worker?

“You need a certain level of maturity … that doesn't mean to say you have to be over 40. But life experience counts for a lot, and just having patience and resilience.”
– John, Youth Justice Worker, Parkville

There is no one kind of person who makes a great youth justice worker. No relevant experience or qualifications are necessary and we aim to recruit from a diverse range of backgrounds and industries. However, there are some personal attributes that are essential in a youth justice worker. A good youth justice worker will have:

  • Life experience and maturity: When managing challenging behaviour, your maturity, integrity and life experience will help you make good decisions quickly and consistently.
  • Resilience: The job is both physically and emotionally taxing so a measured and calm response to stressful situations and setbacks will help you persevere and achieve your goals.
  • Effective communication skills: Building rapport with young people is crucial. Delivering information professionally and confidently will help build mutual trust and respect.
  • Conflict management: How do you cope in stressful situations? Your ability to confidently assess and then react quickly to conflict situations will be tested on a daily basis.
  • Empathy and cultural awareness: An appreciation and understanding of a range of different cultures and backgrounds will help you meet the complex needs of young people.
  • Teamwork: A safe and secure youth justice facility is built on teamwork. You will need to work collaboratively and cooperatively to achieve your goals as a close-knit team.


What are the benefits of a career in youth justice? 

“Many of our young people haven't had positive influences in their life so it's up to us to be that role model.”
– Sarah, Youth Justice Worker, Parkville

The young people in our custody can be incredibly challenging, but they have enormous potential for change. As well as providing a valuable contribution to the lives of young people, a youth justice worker can expect to receive:

  • Four weeks paid annual leave per year plus additional leave for Sunday shifts
  • Six weeks paid training prior to commencing with your new team
  • Salary increases every six months
  • Regular professional development; including additional training toward your personal goals
  • Job security as a member of the Victorian Public Service and opportunities for promotions to senior positions within Youth Justice, the Department of Justice and Community Safety and the wider public-service network.  


What is a typical roster for a youth justice worker?

“You obviously have to feel comfortable in your surroundings and have faith in your team. That's the biggest thing. Teamwork's massive in this job.”
– John, Youth Justice Worker, Parkville

  • Work hours are scheduled on a two-week rotating roster
  • Work no more than three days in a row
  • Shifts can be up to 12 or 13 hours, but generally finish no later than 9pm
  • No overnight shifts so you can keep a regular sleep pattern
  • Regular rostered patterns of shift work – generally every second weekend and public holidays as required – means you'll get paid additional penalty rates on top of your salary.

This is an example of a typical two-week roster for a Youth Justice Worker:



What happens during the application process?

“We have a wonderful team of staff around us and we look forward to more of you joining our team.”
– Robert, Youth Justice Worker, Malmsbury

Being a youth justice worker is an important job with a lot of responsibility and accountability so we have a thorough recruitment process in place to make sure we select the right people. It can take between 6 to 12 weeks, but we will be there to guide you through the whole process. During the application process you will:

  • Attend an information session:
    Get all the information you need about becoming a youth justice worker and ask any questions you may have about the role.
  • Apply online and complete a video interview: 
    If your application progresses to the next stage you will complete a short video interview on your computer or smartphone.
  • Attend a practical simulation:
    So we can better understand your conflict resolution style – and you can better understand the day-to-day realities of the role – you will complete a 10-minute role play scenario that aims to simulate a typical incident in a youth justice facility.
  • Visit an assessment centre:
    The recruitment team will facilitate a number of individual and group activities to ensure you have the appropriate skills, conduct and characteristics to become a great youth justice worker.
  • Conduct security checks and health assessment:
    A health assessment will make sure you can do the job safely and without putting yourself or others at risk – see the attached health assessment information. As the position requires high security clearance and moral character, we will also conduct extensive reference and security checks.
  • Accept your offer:
    Congratulations, you've been made it this far and you've been offered a role as a youth justice worker.
  • Time to start training:
    There's a lot to learn once you become a youth justice worker, so all new recruits undergo six weeks of fully paid pre-service training combining both theoretical and practical learning.


Apply Today!

Applications will be regularly reviewed up until the closing date, so please do not hesitate in applying.

For more information, please contact the Youth Justice Recruitment Team on  

It is recommended that you complete your application on a desktop. You can also save your application as a draft if you cannot complete your application at once. 


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