The answer is not necessarily. Many juvenile court systems use probation officers to work with children in other capacities.
For instance, if your child is ordered by the court as part of their case disposition to complete certain conditions, for instance, community service, counseling or pay restitution, a probation officer will likely work with your child and family to ensure these tasks are completed. Your child may be ordered to complete these tasks as part of an informal adjustment or other agreement, which is not court mandated probation.
On the other hand, probation is a common way that juvenile courts work with children to monitor their progress and keep them on task. Juveniles are frequently placed on formal probation and in this instance, they will have a probation officer who will generally check in with the child and their family on a monthly basis. It is likely the probation officer will come to the child's home at some point, if not every month.
In either scenario, whether your child is on formal probation or if they are being supervised by a probation officer in another capacity, it is critical to stay on excellent terms with the probation officer. The probation officer has the important task of reporting the child's progress to the judge and judges typically request the probation officer's input on a regular basis, giving them great deference. Additionally, if any changes come up during the term of supervision such as a change in the child's home address, school, telephone number or custody arrangements, it is important to immediately notify the probation officer.
Kathryn Boortz has a passion for working with youth and their families. She is the founder of Boortz Law, a law firm that focuses on juvenile defense.