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Bilingual Mandatory -Child & Youth Services Counsellor, 1 position: Maternity Leave contract ending October 31, 2021 - John Howard Society of Ottawa

Sep 18, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario

Internal / External Job Advertisement

Bilingual Mandatory, Day 1, French and English ready--***Screening will be conducted in both languages***

Title: Child & Youth Services Counsellor, 1 position: Maternity Leave contract ending October 31, 2021

Department: Child and Youth Services

Location: Mobile community outreach with Vanier and Kanata office locations

Salary: $44, 068 -50, 298   ***dependent upon experience

Employer: The John Howard Society of Ottawa

Closing Date: September 18th, 2020 at 3pm

*We sincerely thank all applicants who express interest in this position, though only those selected for an interview will be contacted*


The John Howard Society of Ottawa is committed to reflecting and responding to the diversity of the people and communities we serve, and is seeking that diversity in applicants for this position.



This position offers a unique opportunity in prevention and intervention services. The successful candidate will be involved in three Child and Youth Services programs:

  • The Non-Residential Attendance Centre (NRAC) program is a non-custodial sentencing option as identified in the Youth Criminal Justice Act. This program in Ottawa is a continued plan from the Youth Justice Division of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to decrease reliance on custody and further intensive community-based interventions. The goal of this program is to support youth in reducing offending behaviour through targeted programs that are offered in both individual and group settings.
  • The Prevention stream of the On Point program is in partnership with youturn Youth Support Services and is funded by the Youth Justice Division of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Serving youth aged 12-20 in Ottawa, Rockland, and Russell, On Point aims to serve youth who may be at-risk of being affected by, or involved in, street violence and gang activities.  Services are delivered in the community and this program has an open referral source.
  • Diversion Services is in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club, Ottawa Community Youth Diversion Program, providing individual and group programming to youth who are involved with Extrajudicial Measures or Sanctions.

Education and Experience:

  • Post-secondary degree or diploma in the field of criminal justice or social services
  • Minimum 2 years working with vulnerable populations (preferably youth and youth justice)
  • Understanding of, and experience working with, clients that struggle with multiple barriers (mental health, criminality, substance use)
  • Delivery/facilitation of structured group interventions
  • Competency in using criminogenic risk/need assessment instruments and supporting clients who are mostly pre-contemplative establish and achieve goal plans, as well as support successful sentence conditions
  • Experience collaborating with other system professionals to support client success
  • Experience working in gang prevention or intervention programs considered a strong asset

Languages: Bilingual Mandatory, Day 1 French and English ready. Screening will be conducted in both languages. 

Preferred Knowledge and Skills:

  • Thorough understanding and experience applying Cognitive Behavioural, Social Learning, and Social Ecological approaches
  • Thorough understanding and experience in the use of Motivational Interviewing
  • Understanding of the theory and application of effective correctional interventions
  • Familiarity with the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the youth justice system
  • Understanding of and experience teaching effective parenting strategies
  • Strong engagement and rapport building skills to establish relationships with high risk youth
  • Be highly creative to support interactive and engaging curriculum implementation
  • Easily adaptable, extremely organized with solid time management, flexible, committed, hard-working and willingness to “do whatever it takes” attitude for client, and program success

Successful candidates will:

  • Have an updated clear Criminal Record Check working with a vulnerable population
  • Have a demonstrated ability to work as part of a cohesive team unit
  • Have experience working within a program model that is accountable to process, as well as comprehensive quality assurance measures
  • Have an interest and willingness to work within a structured clinical model, established program model
  • Be prepared to work closely with JHS Clinical Director and Program Coordinator
  • Have strong facilitation skills to support structured group interventions with youth
  • Have valid driver’s license and their own reliable vehicle for working with clients in the community
  • Be willing to work evenings; willing to attend weekend events when necessary
  • Have excellent people skills to facilitate relationships with clients, colleagues, supervisors, program partners and community members
  • Have a genuine interest in working with youth in a caring, empathic and non-judgemental manner
  • Be willing to work at multiple site locations (Kanata and Vanier office sites, community work)

The John Howard Society of Ottawa is committed to reflecting and responding to the diversity of the people and communities we serve, and is seeking that diversity in applicants for this position

See below job description for more information


Child & Youth Services Counsellor


The Counsellor will report to the Program Coordinator who in turn will report to their Department Director.  The Counsellor, under the management of the Program Coordinator and under the clinical direction of the Clinical Supervisor, will undertake the objectives of the Non-Residential Attendance Centre, On Point, and Diversion Programs.


  • Complete standardized assessments to evaluate the client’s risk and need areas, and to develop and implement an intervention plan to address those areas of need that are most strongly associated with criminal activity
  • With guidance from Clinical Director, establish with the client achievable, time specific goals, and identify intermediate targets for change
  • Intervention development will utilize behavioural, cognitive behavioural and social learning approach. Emphasis will be placed on using systemic strengths to promote generalization of skills across settings, including home, school, and work
  • Effectively facilitate group sessions utilizing pre-established curriculum in a manner that is engaging, interactive, creative and non-judging
  • Provide structured individual sessions to support motivation, establish goals, and bolster group work  (through generalization and application of material to clients specific circumstance) 
  • Maintain knowledge of and assist clients with referrals to appropriate community service agencies and educational/vocational programs
  • Provide relapse prevention and booster sessions in After Care services
  • Attend and participate in group clinical supervision meeting with Clinical Director

Report Writing/ Administrative

  • Maintain client master files by affixing assessment and intervention plan, discharge reports, statistical forms, and any relevant internal or external documentation
  • Complete initial, progress and termination reports for Case Managers or community partners
  • Ensure client file notes are maintained on the client information management system
  • Produce additional written reports and records as required
  • Collect information for program evaluation and statistical purposes
  • Prepare and submit mileage and program request in accordance with agency/program policy
  • Ensure a comprehensive understanding of the Non-Residential Attendance Centre Operations Manual and be prepared to comply with protocols and processes associated with building and program
  • Ensure a comprehensive understanding of the policies and procedures manual for the John Howard Society of Ottawa.
  • Attend staff meetings as required

Collateral Communication/Program Representation

  • Strongly advocate for client in pursuit of achieving program objectives
  • Maintain consistent communication and develop positive relationships with the referral agent, significant individuals (such a family members), and other professionals involved with the client
  • As appropriate participate in youth justice related meetings/obligations involving a client
  • Establish partnerships with relevant community resources viable for promoting and sustaining gains made by the client
  • Assist in the intake/referral process for new clients
  • Participate in committees or meetings as requested by management
  • Assist with program development and promotion as requested by management

Program Level Responsibilities

  • Facilitate excellent collaborative relationships with program colleagues
  • Assist in maintaining a positive environment for clients and colleagues
  • Be knowledgeable about evidenced based research in community corrections
  • Maintain professional development through participation in relevant training, participation in supervision and through counselor development plans
  • Actively participate in program evaluation
  • Provide supervision to student placements as requested
  • Perform other duties as may be occasionally requested. This may include: training and community presentations


Training:              Diploma or degree in a related field

Experience:        Minimum 2 years of counselling experience with young persons in conflict with the law

Essential Skills

  • Excellent writing and organizational skills to support case assessment and management
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines, manage multimodal interventions and efficiently work under pressure

Additional Assets:

  • Knowledge of the Youth Criminal Justice Act
  • Experience working with and implementing the concepts of effective correctional intervention


This job description indicates the general nature and level of work expected of the incumbent.  It is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities required of the incumbent.  Incumbent may be asked to perform other duties as required.

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