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DYFJ Volunteer Opportunities

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Who We Are

We promote public safety and improve the well-being of youth, families and communities by ensuring quality care and creating opportunities that are youth centered and family focused. We carry out this mission through innovative and research-based programming that includes therapeutic services, safe and secure custodial care, responsive health and behavioral health care, supportive reentry services and opportunities for educational achievement.

Our Values

We are committed to creating policies and practices that acknowledge the strengths and needs of youth, families and communities and that support youth in making positive decisions in their lives, by:

  • Eliciting their input;
  • Ensuring youth, families and communities are partners in care; and
  • Providing safe and therapeutic environments that challenge youth to grow and thrive to their maximum potential

We acknowledge that youth should be supported in the least intrusive manner and connected to their communities and families in a safe and nurturing environment, whenever possible. We take pride in our work, by holding ourselves to the highest standards, accepting responsibility for our actions and the resulting outcomes, and demonstrating integrity in all that we do.

What We Do

DYFJ manages a comprehensive juvenile justice continuum of services for youth and families in New York City that includes:

  • Community-based preventive and alternative services for youth who are at risk of delinquency or placement, and their families;
  • Secure and non-secure detention services for youth who are arrested and awaiting court resolution; and
  • Rehabilitative, therapeutic residential services for all youth placed with New York City as adjudicated juvenile delinquents, as well as aftercare services upon their return to the community, as part of the Close to Home initiative.

How to Get Involved:

The Division of Youth and Family Justice, with the sponsorship of NYC Service, offers volunteer opportunities for caring and conscientious adults from communities across New York City to work with division staff, ACS-contracted staff and community partners to support a diverse range of activities for justice-involved youth. Volunteers may provide support services at ACS’ Secure Detention Centers in Brooklyn and the Bronx or Close to Home sites within the five boroughs including Westchester, either in-person or virtually.

Some examples of the ways you can get involved include:

  • Educational tutoring
  • Specialized workshops (i.e. arts and crafts, music, poetry)
  • Faith-based (All faiths welcome)

Please complete the application. All prospective volunteers are required to apply. See below for the complete volunteer application packet. Application may be submitted via mail, or email to Once you submit your application, please allow at least 72 hours for processing, at which time a Volunteer Cordinator will reach out to you with further information. Refer to the Volunteer Manual (PDF) for further detail.

All volunteers must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Provide a reference from a credentialed religious representative. Tutors must provide documentation towards a teaching degree;
  • Reside in NYC metro area;
  • Be interested in working with young people; and
  • Successfully complete background screening