CJSP Certification Requirements

CJSP Application

The National Juvenile Detention Association’s (NJDA) position statement on Recruitment, Selection, and Retention of Juvenile Detention Professionals opens with the following statement:

The most valuable resource in the juvenile detention field is a highly qualified, committed, and professional workforce who will implement programs and provide meaningful services for detained youth.

In support of this statement, the National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS) is now offering certification for juvenile services practitioners. This certification will serve to provide employers and potential employers with information regarding a practitioner’s education, training, and experience as they relate specifically to the field of juvenile justice, in particular to an individual’s basic understanding and knowledge of the work they will be required to do in a juvenile confinement setting. These requirements reflect what is believed to be minimally necessary for an individual to be an effective practitioner in the field of juvenile services.

 Overall Requirements

Any juvenile detention or corrections practitioner presently or previously employed in either a public or private juvenile detention or corrections facility in any locality, state or with the federal government may be eligible for certification provided they submit the following:

  • Certified Juvenile Services Practitioner application packet (to the National Partnership for Juvenile Services office);
  • Copy of diploma certifying highest level of education (high school, college, graduate school);
  • Original transcripts certifying successful completion of any post secondary credits or coursework from an accredited institution of higher education (mailed directly to the NPJS office);
  • Verification from all (previous and current) facility administrators confirming a) years of employment, b) positions held, and c) performance evaluations based on the organization’s evaluation process (numerical or narrative);
  • One or more letters from facility administrator’s documenting assessment of applicant’s job performance.
  • Copies of training records and certificates signed by the training facilitator or other authorized representative of the institution or organization providing the training, including
  • Continuing Education Units/Hours/Credits (CEU/H/Cs) to substantiate training; Other documents that substantiate education, training and/or experience, e.g., letters of support from faculty members, judges and other government officials, etc. as needed.
  • Professional Membership

Specific Requirements

Following are the specific requirements for certification, including six options for qualifying for certification. Please note that all experience is cumulative and may take place in more than one facility or institution. “Documented clock hours” do not include vacation, sick, personal or other leave time.

Option 1

  • Masters Degree with a concentration in child/juvenile/youth work*; and
  • Five (5) credit hour or extended field placement/practicum/internship in a direct care environment (800 documented clock hours);
  • No specialized training requirement.

Option 2

  • Bachelors Degree with a concentration in child/juvenile/youth work*; AND
  • Three (3) credit hour field placement/practicum/internship in a juvenile detention or corrections setting; AND
  • Six (6) months full-time or at least 1,000 documented clock hours in a juvenile detention or corrections setting.
  • No specialized training requirement.

Option 3

  • Bachelors Degree in Human Services; AND
  • One (1) year full-time or at least 2,000 documented clock hours working in a juvenile detention or corrections setting; AND
  • Successful completion of the NJDA 40-Hour Juvenile Detention Careworker Curriculum, Juvenile Corrections Careworker Curriculum or another NPJS approved curriculum.

Option 4

  • Bachelors Degree in any discipline; AND
  • Two (2) years full-time or at least 4,000 documented clock hours working in a juvenile detention or corrections setting; AND
  • Successful completion of the NJDA 40-Hour Juvenile Detention Careworker Curriculum, Juvenile Corrections Careworker Curriculum or or another NPJS approved curriculum.

Option 5

  • Associates Degree in Human Services; AND
  • Three (3) years full-time or at least 6,000 documented clock hours working in a juvenile detention and/or corrections setting; AND
  • Successful completion of the NJDA 40-Hour Juvenile Detention Careworker curriculum, Juvenile Corrections Careworker Curriculum or or another NPJS approved curriculum.

Option 6

  • High School Diploma or GED; AND
  • Five (5) years full-time or at least 10,000 documented clock hours working in a juvenile detention and/or corrections setting; AND
  • Successful completion of the NJDA 40-Hour Juvenile Detention Careworker curriculum, Juvenile Corrections areworker Curriculum or another NPJS approved curriculum.

*Universities currently offering degrees with a concentration in child/juvenile/youth work include the following:

Indiana State University 
Nova Southeastern University (Florida)
University of Pittsburgh
University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
Eastern Kentucky University

If you have an undergraduate or graduate degree that you believe includes a concentration in child/juvenile/youth work, please indicate this in the “Comments” section of your application. The NPJS staff will conduct a review of the coursework listed on your transcript to determine if it constitutes a concentration child/juvenile/youth work.

NPJS Approved Curriculum

If you have completed a Curriculum you believe applies you please submit curriculum content with application. Curriculum will be approved at the discretion of the NPJS.