Directly support incarcerated youth

Posted on:
Start: Aug 19, 2020 / End: Aug 20, 2021 / Location: New York

“Just Love” with a small but mighty volunteer program! Good Shepherd Volunteers offers year-long opportunities to serve women, teens, and children in a variety of social service agencies. Volunteers live in community with each other, receive a small stipend, and practice the 4 Tenets of GSV: social justice, community, spirituality, and simplicity. Our volunteers work side-by-side with experienced social workers, counselors, and educators, gaining a tremendous foundation for their future careers.

As part of the Close to Home initiative, Good Shepherd Services has two Non-Secure Placements (residences) for youth who are involved in the criminal justice system. Youth serve their sentences by living in these placements (similar to a group home) as an alternative to incarceration. There is one male and one female residence, both with approximately 12 youth, typically ages 14-16. Youth stay in placement for an average of seven months. These residencies use trauma-informed models to provide a safe, structured, and understanding environment for the youth. Because it is an alternative to incarceration, youth are only allowed to leave the placements with approval. Residencies are staffed 24 hours a day with a combination of frontline child care staff, social workers, case planners, health services and others to provide the youth with all the resources they need including school and more. It is a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment.

GSV Role
The GSV in this position works closely with the youth in placement in tasks such as escorting youth to school, helping them study, implementing groups or participating in recreational activities with the youth. The GSV may also accompany youth to any medical appointments, court appearances, or other outings. The GSV also counsels youth when necessary, providing them with personal support and assisting in conflict mediation and resolution. The GSV may work alongside the Recreation Specialist, Education and Vocational Specialist, Behavior Management Specialist, and Health Services Staff. There is also an opportunity for the GSV to work more behind the scenes, doing things like pursuing entrepreneurial partnership building and community organizing around relevant social-justice related issues.