Programs and Services

Unless otherwise noted, contact the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court at 703-228-4500 or email for more information on these programs.

Argus House
Aurora House
Basics of Safe Driving Program
CASA Program
Community Service/Restitution
Detention Diversion Program (DDP)
Driver’s License Ceremony
Gang Intelligence Program
Girls’ Outreach
Internship Program
Mediation Program
Probation and Curfew Enforcement (PACE) Program
Psychological Services
Public Relations Program
School Probation Counselor Program
Shoplifter Program
Street Law Program
Substance Abuse Program
Training Program
Truancy Awareness Group (TAG) Program
Truancy Program
Victim Awareness Program

Argus House

  • Community-based group home for at-risk boys ages 13-18, specifically juveniles who have committed delinquent offenses — or have been labeled as a child in need of supervision — and who display the motivation and ability to change
  • Emphasizes personal accountability, competency development, leadership and positive functioning in the community
  • Works closely with parents, siblings, schools, probation counselors, employers and community members to help residents make lasting changes in their lives
  • Allows residents to continue attending their own schools while in the program, which residents usually complete within 12 months
  • Provides residents with opportunities to hold appropriate employment, participate in sports and other school activities and to spend weekend time with their families
  • Uses peer groups, study hall, anger management training, social skills training, therapeutic recreation, community service projects, parent groups and multifamily activities in its daily program

For more information, contact Group Home Manager Chris Edmonds at 703-228-0422.

Aurora House

  • Serves females ages 13-17 who reside in Arlington or the City of Falls Church and who demonstrate significant problems that prevent them from living with parents or family members
  • Deals most frequently with school truancies and home runaways who often have other underlying problems such as highly troubled child abuse histories, promiscuity, low self-esteem, depression, chronic authority-figure conflicts, problematic peer relationships and gang-member associations

For more information, visit Aurora House or call 703-237-6622.

Basics of Safe Driving Program

  • Increases driving awareness and skills for inexperienced adolescent drivers involved in traffic offenses
  • Encourages parents to provide ongoing driving supervision and instruction

CASA Program

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) workers are trained volunteers appointed by judges to speak up for children in the juvenile court system. They:

  • Advocate for the best solution for a safe, permanent home for the children with whom they are matched.
  • Work alongside attorneys, social workers, treatment providers and other professionals to advocate for the child.
  • If you are interested in becoming a CASA worker or want more information about the program call 703-836-1820 or go to www.scanva.org

Community Service/Restitution

Gives adjudicated juveniles and adults an opportunity to repay the community for the injustice they have caused.

  • Offenders perform community service through a court order or a diversion program.
  • Offenders are referred to Offender Aid and Restoration of Arlington County (OAR) for work-site supervision and assignment.
  • OAR assesses a participant’s skills, education, experience and talent; finds placements that consider school and work schedules; and matches the community service requirements with a community need and request.

Detention Diversion Program (DDP)

  • Offers a home-detention alternative to the secure detention of juveniles awaiting criminal court proceedings by allowing them to return home with their parents/guardians instead of being detained at the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Home
  • Releases juveniles upon their agreement to follow the strict conduct rules as stated in the DDP Contract/Court Order
  • Closely monitors each juvenile’s behavior at home, at school and in the community to ensure compliance with the court orders

Driver’s License Ceremony

  • Formal Driver’s License Ceremony takes place the first Wednesday of each month to distribute new driver’s licenses to persons under the age of 18.
  • Letters are mailed to drivers inviting them to attend a ceremony. Drivers who are under 18 years of age must attend with a parent or legal guardian.
  • Attendees should dress appropriately for court and arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the ceremony to check in.
  • Cell phones and other similar electronic devices are prohibited in the Courthouse 
  • Drivers must surrender their Learner’s Permit and Driver Education Certificate at the time of the ceremony. The ceremony lasts about an hour.
  • If you cannot attend the ceremony, you may attend any subsequent ceremony. The Clerk’s Office will keep the license until it expires. The Chief Judge may waive the ceremony requirement for good cause. Call the Clerk’s Office at 703-228-4495 for more information

Gang Intelligence Program

  • Focuses on enhancing community safety through the enforcement of court-imposed rules such as curfew and court orders prohibiting juvenile delinquents from having contact with gang members or “wannabe” gang members
  • Holds rule violators accountable through the currently developed continuum of sanctions
  • Shares intelligence on gang activity and members
  • Helps prevent gang recruitment and activity

Girls’ Outreach

  • A year round partial day treatment program offering structure and supervision to adolescent girls ages 13-17 who reside and attend school in Arlington Virginia or the City of Falls Church
  • Client referrals are accepted from the Court, schools, DHS or the youth’s family
  • Fosters self-esteem through psycho educational groups, structured activities, community service and therapeutic recreation
  • Emphasizes education through mandatory study hall, homework assistance and collaboration with Arlington Public Schools
  • Encourages personal responsibility through weekly house meetings, goal setting, behavior management and a level system
  • Program is monitored and advised by the Juvenile Court Psychologist
  • Program provides case management and collaborates with other agencies in order to make appropriate referrals to address client needs and concerns

Internship Program

  • Provides a volunteer opportunity for individuals interested in the probation/parole field to gain work experience serving Arlington’s juveniles, adults and families
  • Allows interns to interact with court staff, judges, lawyers, schools and social service agencies
  • More information

Mediation Program

Mediation can reduce the time, cost and stress of resolving conflicts.  Family issues can be resolved through mediation.  Skilled mediators help participants work with each other to resolve their disputes in the areas of child custody, visitation and child support. Mediation promotes trust, cooperation and respect, while giving voice to the emotions which arise with such stressful issues.

Custody and visitation cases are reviewed at intake to see if they are eligible to be referred to attend a mediation orientation session which is at no cost to the participants. Following the orientation session, the parties may choose to go forward with mediation with a mediator of their choosing.  The mediator is there to help focus on relevant issues and assist in finding useful and creative methods to solve problems.  If the parties are able to reach a resolution, the mediator will assist the parties in drafting a written agreement which will then be presented to the Court.

Probation and Curfew Enforcement (PACE) Program

  • Provides after-hours curfew checks on targeted probationers and parolees
  • Involves Arlington police officers working with a court probation counselor to make checks on high-risk juveniles
  • Helps decrease the chances of probationers and parolees engaging in unacceptable behavior due to the unpredictable times these checks occur
  • Is popular with parents, as it takes some of the responsibility of “reporting” their children away from them and places it on the court

Project “Open Book”

  • Distributes thousands of books for all ages to court clients in the waiting area and through the Intake and Probation Units
  • Distributes books on an individual basis to a child or parent when requested by a staff member
  • Receives most books from the Reading Is Fundamental program, which encourages child literacy and positive communication among family members
  • Also receives books and other donations from interested community members and organizations

Psychological Services

  • Includes services for adults and juveniles such as individual and family therapy, group therapy, skills training, mental health evaluations and psychological testing
  • Includes consultation and training for probation counselors and special program staff, with direct and consultative services available to the Juvenile and Adult Units, Argus House, Aurora House and Girls’ Outreach program
  • Includes a Psychology Externship Program for graduate students working toward doctorate degrees in clinical psychology at local universities — under supervision, externs provide individual, family and group therapy; mental health evaluations; and psychological testing to all court units and programs

Public Relations Program

  • Educates the public about juvenile justice in Arlington through court tours and various speaking engagements
  • Makes presentations in various settings ranging from major universities and community colleges to high schools and churches (civic and parent groups and schools comprise the majority of the presentation requests)

To request a speaker for your group, email the Public Relations Program coordinator. tcoffman@arlingtonva.us

School Probation Counselor Program

  • Provides intensive supervision and assistance to adjudicated juveniles with a history of school problems
  • Provides counselors at all Arlington high schools for cases referred from juvenile probation counselors

Shoplifter Program

  • Is a diversion and court-referral program for first-time petty larceny offenders
  • Educates juveniles and their parents on the harm that shoplifting causes
  • Involves speakers such as retailers, commonwealth attorneys, defense attorneys and court staff members
  • In lieu of a court appearance, requires juveniles to attend a 2.5-hour program session, pass a test on presented material and complete a community service assignment
  • Sends those who repeatedly fail to appear for the program to court

Street Law Program

  • Reduces delinquency and improves compliance with probation conditions and the overall judicial system response
  • Runs monthly and requires all Detention Diversion Program clients and their parents to participate
  • Involves a self-assessment component in which participants reflect on their offense; address behavior and options; and analyze the positive and negative consequences of each option

Substance Abuse Program

  • Performs on-site drug screening to identify and deter illegal substance abuse and to promote an alcohol- and drug-free lifestyle
  • Conducts a substance abuse assessment that includes the adolescent version of the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI-A2)
  • Uses screenings and assessment for substance abuse prevention, early intervention, deterring usage, recommending treatment and relapse prevention
  • Provides substance abuse education classes to the Argus House and the Girls’ Outreach program

Training Program

  • Provides 20 hours of in-house training per year to court staff across all service units
  • Surveys staff for their training interests and needs
  • Coordinates locations for training
  • Maintains contact with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) regarding DJJ-sponsored training
  • Distributes the Arlington County Training schedule and informs staff of area training opportunities, which include live presentations, televised instruction and interactive webcasts on topics such as gang information, suicide, truancy, teen behavior and victim’s rights

Truancy Awareness Group (TAG) Program

  • Provides education and information to parents of children with a history of unexcused absences from school
  • Helps parents understand their role in their child’s school performance and absences
  • Encourages parents to maintain open communication with both school personnel and their child to avoid truancy’s negative impact on the child’s life and livelihood

Truancy Program

  • Created following the Code of Virginia amendment that requires schools to address attendance issues following five unexcused absences
  • Addresses these absences through continued parent contact and conferences
  • Requires schools to bring truancy-related issues before the Intake Service Unit following seven unexcused school absences
  • Schedules interagency meetings with the Department of Human Services, school representatives, the student, the parents and the truancy coordinator to determine a solution to the truancy situation
  • Following the interagency meetings, refers families to the Community Assessment Team, if necessary
  • With the occurrence of continued student absences without parental permission, sends the student before a Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court judge for a situation review and additional solutions

Victim Awareness Program

  • Heightens juvenile offenders’ awareness of the impact their crimes have on the victims, the victims’ families and friends and the community
  • Uses methods such as victim videos, discussions, role-playing exercises, victim testimonies and written exercises to achieve successful outcomes