Youth Services - Volunteer Qualifications 

What are the Qualifications
to be a Volunteer at the
Department of Youth Services?

Concern for troubled youth

The most important qualification anyone brings to this work is a concern for troubled youth. If you work with us, your patience will be tested, you will be pushed to your limits and you will not get paid for any of it. What you must be able to fall back upon is your sincere commitment to help the adolescents in our community who have made poor choices. These are the youth this department serves.

Time availability

Volunteer placements at the Department of Youth Services vary a great deal in  the number of hours required each week . See individual Volunteer Opportunities for specific details to match with your availability. Even more important than the weekly commitment is the length of time that you can work with our youth. Most of the placements require at least three month commitment and some ask for six months to a year. That is what we have found it takes to learn your role and be able to contribute to the Department and its work with youth.


The age requirement depends on the job. For example, if you want to work in the DYS detention facility, you must be 20 years old. If you want to tutor youth at the Martin Luther King Jr. Education Center you must be 18 years old.

Criminal record

When you sign and submit the DYS Volunteer application form, you authorize the department to do a background check. This includes a check of your criminal history. If you have an adult or juvenile record, this is not an automatic dis-qualification from working with us. Rather, we may need to discuss it with you and then make an individualized decision by the Program Manager and the Assistant Director.


The application form asks for names and addresses of three people who have known you for at least three years and who are not related to you. We need to be able to ask people who are familiar with you to tell us something about you and  your ability to work with our youth.