Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Juvenile Justice Residential Services (PA-JJR) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of youth.


Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience. Support can be provided through supervision or other learning activities to improve understanding or skill development in specific areas.
2020 Edition




Juvenile Justice Residential Services promote public safety by providing youth with a supportive, structured setting that helps them address their needs and develop the attitudes and skills needed to make responsible choices, avoid negative behaviors, and become productive, connected, and law-abiding citizens.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Table of contents of training curricula
  • Procedures or other documentation relevant to continuity of care and case assignment
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Training curricula
  • Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
  • Documentation of current caseload size per worker​​​​​​​


  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

PA-JJR 2.01

Personnel providing youth care and supervision are qualified by at least:
  1. two years of college in a social or human service field; or
  2. a high school degree or equivalent and at least two years’ experience working with youth.

PA-JJR 2.02

Case managers are qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree in a social or human service field; or 
  2. a bachelor’s degree in a social or human service field and experience working with youth.

PA-JJR 2.03

Supervisors are qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree in a social or human service field; or
  2. a bachelor's degree in a social or human service field and at least two years' experience working with youth.

PA-JJR 2.04

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. understanding youth development;
  2. assessing risks and safety;
  3. recognizing and responding to needs, including needs related to health, mental health, trauma, and substance use;
  4. suicide prevention and response;
  5. appropriate disciplinary techniques;
  6. providing services in a culturally competent manner that considers gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, developmental level, disability, and other relevant characteristics;
  7. protocols for responding to service recipients who run away; 
  8. understanding the importance of rehabilitation and reintegration;
  9. understanding the definitions of human trafficking (both labor and sex trafficking) and sexual exploitation, and identifying potential victims; and
  10. understanding the different organizations, agencies, and systems likely to serve or encounter youth involved with the juvenile justice system.

Fundamental Practice

PA-JJR 2.05

There is at least one person certified in basic first aid and CPR on duty at each program site, at any time the program is in operation.

PA-JJR 2.06

The agency maintains service continuity by:
  1. assigning a worker at intake or early in the contact;
  2. avoiding the arbitrary or indiscriminate reassignment of direct service personnel; and
  3. using a team approach to ensure a comprehensive, integrated approach to service delivery and supervision.

PA-JJR 2.07

Employee workloads support the achievement of youth outcomes and are regularly reviewed.
Examples: Factors that may be considered when determining employee workloads include, but are not limited to:
  1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of personnel, including the level of supervision needed;
  2. case complexity and status, including the intensity of youths’ risks and needs;
  3. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities;
  4. whether services are provided by multiple professionals or team members; and
  5. service volume.