Volunteers & Interns

The Benton County Juvenile Department welcomes intern students, practicum students, graduate students and other volunteers. There are many opportunities to make a difference in the lives of youth. Volunteer commitments range from a few hours, one or more days, completion of a special project, one school semester to a year or more.

We need individuals and groups who are interested in working with English speaking youths and families as well as those who are bi-lingual and/or bi-cultural.

If you are interested in further exploring the field of juvenile justice, gaining job skills, or if you have skills to share that could benefit youth and their families, then please consider volunteering.

Volunteers and interns are assigned to one of the following areas:

Probation

New volunteers and interns are initially assigned to shadow a Juvenile Court Counselor where they will learn the essential functions of that position. Some of these functions include: 

  • Case management 
  • Probation supervision
  • Conducting youth and family intakes and risk assessments 
  • Report writing 
  • Counseling techniques 
  • Rehabilitation and guidance theories and strategies for behavior change

Volunteers and interns assigned to this area may: 

  • Co-facilitate competency groups 
  • Tutor youth in an educational setting 
  • Observe and assist Juvenile Court Counselors in case management 
  • Assist in transporting youth
  • Supervise urinalysis tests 
  • Make client contacts in the Department or in the field (home, school, community) 
  • Write reports 
  • Conduct intakes
  • Complete risk assessments 
  • Attend court and other legal proceedings 
  • Other duties as assigned

All probation volunteers and interns are required to spend a minimum of two days working in the Community Service/Work Crew Program.

Long term volunteers who have demonstrated competence may be assigned to supervise cases, present cases in court and other advanced duties.

Community Service/Work Crew

New volunteers and interns are assigned to shadow the Community Service Coordinator and/or the Work Crew Coordinator where they will learn the essential functions of that position. Some of these functions include: 

  • Scheduling projects 
  • Conducting orientation 
  • Scheduling crews 
  • Contacting work sites 
  • Supervising crews at a work site and other special projects

Volunteers and interns assigned to this area may: 

  • Explore community work and volunteer opportunities for youth 
  • Make field visits to check on youth in their community service site 
  • Conduct community service orientation 
  • Help supervise work crew 
  • Work one on one with youths at their assigned work site 
  • Teach job and other marketable skills to youth 
  • Other duties as assigned

Desired skills and experience includes:

  • Construction
  • Building
  • Landscaping
  • Gardening
  • Mechanical
  • Bicycle repair 
  • Cooking/Food Service
  • Tool knowledge/safety

Mental Health/Counseling

Graduate students in Counseling or Social Work and/or licensed, experienced counselors provide a valuable service to youths and their families by providing counseling services at no cost to juvenile department clients. Services may include:

  • Individual, group and family counseling
  • Conducting mental health assessments and making appropriate recommendations
  • Conducting suicide and self-harm risk assessments
  • Assist in connecting youth and families to other community resources
  • Conduct substance abuse assessments using ASAM criteria
  • Assess youths' risk to harm others
  • Facilitate pro-social skill building groups
  • Provide consultation and education to department staff about mental health issues
  • Conduct parenting classes and teach parenting skills in a variety of settings
  • Other duties as assigned

Mental health interns and volunteers may have clinical supervision arranged through Benton County Mental Health and/or other licensed counselors in the community.

Mental health interns and volunteers are provided an office within the Juvenile Department to conduct services.

Other Volunteer and Intern Opportunities

  • Research and Evaluation
  • Teen Court
  • Skills Group Facilitation: cognitive skills, anger management, gender specific groups, etc.
  • Educational Group Facilitation: finance class, independent living skills, etc.
  • Special Projects: Lunch with Santa coordination, Youth Job Shadow coordination, etc.
  • Mentoring
  • Teaching youth about pro-social recreation: art, photography, music, writing, hiking, fishing, geocaching, cooking, etc.

Application Process

All applicants will need to complete an Intern/Volunteer application, an interview, reference checks, criminal history check, and a driving history check.

Anyone interested in a volunteer or student intern position should complete the application and submit it to Luis Maciel at the Benton County Juvenile Department: 4077 SW Research Way, P.O. Box 3020, Corvallis OR 97339.

For more information, contact Luis Maciel, Juvenile Services Supervisor, via phone or email:

Luis Maciel
541-766-6060
luis.maciel@co.benton.or.us 

It is helpful to start this process several months prior to the intended start date, even up to two semesters/quarters in advance in order to increase the likelihood of an opening.

Program participants must pass a criminal background check and driving history check prior to being accepted into the program. No person having a history of criminal conduct involving drug use or delivery, abusive behavior to youth or felony convictions will be considered as a volunteer. A history of any criminal conduct, including serious driving infractions, will be reviewed. The decision to accept a person as a volunteer will be made on an individual basis at the discretion of the Department Director.

Volunteer/Intern Program Expectations:

  • All volunteer and intern positions are unpaid.
  • It is expected that volunteers and interns will be reliable, dependable and professional.
  • It is expected that volunteers and interns will be appropriate in their attire and interactions with youth and families, other agencies and the general public.
  • All program participants will be expected to learn and follow the Benton County Juvenile Department policies and procedures.
  • All program participants are expected to learn and follow the National Juvenile Court Services Association Code of Professional Ethics.
  • All program participants must sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • All program participants must provide proof of insurance before transporting youth.