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The Ohio Department of Youth Services is committed to recruiting and retaining dedicated volunteers and reentry mentors to work with and mentor youth within the institutions and on parole. The department will provide quality training and supervision to all volunteers. Volunteers can reap great rewards knowing that they have made a positive impact on the life of youth. 

Interested in Volunteering?

Submit a Volunteer Contact Information Form or email DYSVolunteer@dys.ohio.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

All youth committed to DYS will eventually return to their communities. DYS invites community partners to support DYS youth through a variety of meaningful activities in an effort to teach the life skills youth need to be successful, crime-free adults. Volunteers are needed to mentor and help youth within the DYS facilities and while they are on parole. Knowing you have personally impacted the life of a youth in DYS, brings great personal satisfaction.

Individuals may volunteer to work inside our facilities throughout Ohio or with any of our regional offices.

There are many possibilities for the type of volunteering activity you can provide. We encourage volunteers to consider hobbies, talents, or skills they might have that they could share with the youth. Examples of current volunteer activities are:

  • Reentry mentor
  • Teaching an art, craft or dance class
  • Teaching a faith-based or character building class
  • Skill development
  • Game nights
  • Attending sporting events (for youth on parole)

Regardless of the activity you choose to provide, being a good listener and a friend is just as important.

Yes, all volunteers receive initial training at the facility where they will be volunteering. Additional training is also available throughout the year.

  • Speak with someone who has volunteered before
  • Shadow someone who is currently a volunteer
  • Tour the facility prior to volunteering
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Be fair, firm, consistent and dependable
  • Ask questions

You must be at least 18 years old and not currently under probation or parole.