Volunteer Program

Internship Program



Volunteer/Undergraduate Intern Opportunities


STEP Mentoring Program

The Washington County Juvenile Department provides volunteers and undergraduate interns over the age of 20 with the opportunity to serve as a mentor to a youth through the Supervision, Training and Employment Programs (STEP). Volunteers and interns will have the opportunity to learn more about the Juvenile Justice System and can explore observation and training opportunities with the Washington County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Office as well. Internships between 40-300 hours can be accommodated, but all require a six-month commitment to your mentee. For more information click here.

Juvenile Counselor Interns

The Washington County Juvenile Counselor Intern position is designed for Senior students in a BSW program or MSW students needing at least 16 hours per week of experience for nine months. Juvenile Counselor Intern’s will receive training and hands-on experience in working with at-risk youth and learn how the juvenile department operates. Interns will work closely with juvenile department staff to learn the role of a juvenile counselor.

Opportunities to intern exist within several teams including regional teams (Hillsboro West and Beaverton), a school-based prevention program at Tualatin High School, the substance abuse team, a shared spot with Victim Services/STEP, and both the court and assessment teams.  In addition, one spot within our Mediation/Conciliation team is available as a clinical placement for a second year MSW student. Interns will learn the various components of the department including intake and assessment, court, field probation, custody services, house arrest, community service, and victim services. 

Interns will receive training in a variety of areas including conducting assessments, writing history and background reports, boundaries, field safety, handcuffing, crisis intervention, court etiquette, cultural competence, and more.

Interns will attend an initial intensive training academy before being matched with a team to gain the hands-on experience of field work. Ongoing training's will occur regularly as well. Interns will work in a support role to the juvenile counselors with work duties to include conducting school visits, transporting youth, conducting assessments and writing reports, and taking urinalysis tests. As students gain skills they will work more independently and may be assigned individual cases to supervise.

For more information, please e-mail jennifer_yonker@co.washington.or.us. Students will be selected in partnership with your academic institution through a competitive interview process during the late Winter/early Spring terms.

Juvenile Counselor Intern Brochure

Harkins House

Limited opportunities exist for students to intern at Harkins House. These candidates are typically students referred by their educational institution.



Graduate Interns

Washington County Juvenile Department provides excellent opportunities for graduate students in counseling, social work, or art therapy master’s degree programs who have a desire to work with at-risk youth. The Graduate Internship Program is committed to providing a supportive, flexible and challenging environment for all students while addressing individual educational needs and graduate program requirements. Two students are selected annually for placement at the Juvenile Department. Ideal candidates will have previous experience working with at-risk youth and a knowledge of adolescent development. Graduate Interns are provided the opportunity to learn direct counseling skills with youth ages 12-18 and their families, and to learn about the juvenile justice system. Interns may also have the opportunity to assist with programming for both STEP and Project Hope.

The Washington County Juvenile Department takes pride in providing excellent supervision and training to all students who participate in our internship program. Students completing the program will be fully prepared to enter the counseling field as competent professionals. Students are typically accepted through a competitive interview process in February annually. Harkins House also accepts two graduate interns and partners with Youth Contact for this selection and supervision process.

Please contact Jennifer Yonker, LCSW at (503) 846-8775 or e-mail at Jennifer_yonker@co.washington.or.us for more information about the graduate internship program.


Therapy Animal Teams

The Washington County Juvenile Department utilizes certified therapy animals within all of our programs through Project Hope. Teams assist victims, youth, or family members in court hearings and visit guests in our lobby. If you are an experienced team and would like to volunteer please contact Jennifer Yonker at the Washington County Juvenile Department at (503) 846-8775, or e-mail at jennifer_yonker@co.washington.or.us with additional questions about these volunteer opportunities.


Project Hope Logo