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Albertina Kerr Centers
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6 reviews

Albertina Kerr Centers Employer Reviews

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  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Compensation/Benefits
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Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Hard, hard work and little support
Foster Care Consultant (Former Employee), Salem, ORMarch 6, 2014
Pros: co-workers are great
Cons: hard work for little pay, long hours, unrelaistic expectations
Poor management. Poor use of resources. Excellent front line teams, but unrealistic work loads. The kids need stability and security, but so do the people that work with them. The system is broken, but Kerr is headed down that path as well.

I loved working with the kids and the families. Know it's not always easy, but the overall feelings are good. – more... The kids need you even if they are angry - this is a HIGH level of therapeutic care.

You learn a lot and for short term it's great. Don't volunteer, get paid for this level of care - it's rough.

If you need work or decide to give it a try, good luck. And be good to your other front-line coworkers. – less
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Everyday is a Test
Life Enrichment Specialist (Former Employee), Beaverton, ORJuly 10, 2013
Pros: feeling of being a part of something that matters.
Cons: physically, mentally, and emotionally draining.
This job will test your will and your patience. It will test your ability to build relationships with others as well as your ability to stay calm in stressful and hostile situations.
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fun place to work where you will never know what your day will be like.
Assisant program manager (Current Employee), Portland, ORJuly 4, 2012
Pros: paid benefits, a large amout of paid time off, an amazing management team, getting paid to go out and do fun things in the community with the individuals we support.
Cons: due to being a not for profit company our wages are not, as hi as we, would like them to be for the care and responsibilites that staff and management take on.
On a typical day at my job I balance working the floor to provide personal care to the individuals support, as well as findingtime to get into the office to complete my management duties. I have learned that no matter the challange that is put before you there is a way to over come it. I have also learned stress management skills, as well as effective – more... management skills. I work with some of the most amazing people in the city of portland. The hardest part of my job is balancing work and home. Since it is a twenty four hour facility the work never ends and we never close. The most enjoyable part of my day is enriching the lifes of the individuals we support in our company. If I get a smile or help them solve a difficult problem then I know I am doing my job to the best of my ability. – less
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There are issues that need to be addressed
Mid Level Manager (Current Employee), Portland, ORJune 18, 2012
Pros: paid time off and 401k are good for a social service agency
Cons: see below
The real trouble with Kerr is that as an organization there are not enough junior leaders minding the activities of an undereducated, underpaid and under motivated workforce that is asked to provide life sustaining service to some of Oregon's most fragile citizens.

There is little management presence in its individual work units and this leads to a – more... culture of punishment for misdeeds rather that reward for outstanding service. Due to the management structure in the organization upper leaders almost never see their subordinates performing well on a day-to-day basis, they only deal with issues that arise as a result of employee misbehavior. Managers in Kerr DDS are managers in name only, they are really just policemen. Inevitably this creates and sustains a culture where, at best, disabled Oregonians needs are often not consistently met and at worst, results in situations of horrific abuse, all conveniently ascribed by management, to the actions of aberrant employees as opposed to the culture that spawns them.

To be fair is is not exclusively the fault of Kerr upper management. For the most part they try to do the best they can within the limited scope of their knowledge concerning how to effectively manage people. The main fault lies with Oregon State budgeting and the poor quality of oversight provided by the state agencies overseeing Kerr and the other DD and Mental Health Providers in Oregon.

On the plus side Kerr's Youth and Family mental health services run much better than its Developmental Disability Services. The factors that contribute to this are a highly educated workforce and good oversight from management, the State of Oregon and the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations of which Kerr is a member.

The irony is that in addition to being the most educated workforce at Kerr the most entry level of Kerr's Youth and Family Services employees are also the most directly supervised, in contrast to Developmental Disability Services who employ managers to oversee up to three group homes and have lead staff with little or no authority. In a typical week the manager may only be at a 24/7 group home for 15-20 hours. Over 95 percent of employee misbehavior and injuries occur when there is no management present.... Statistically, direct care workers at Kerr have a one in six chance of being injured on the job due to poor training, safety practices and supervision and most importantly, management hubris.

Albertina Kerr Centers is one of Oregon's largest and most visible non-profits and sadly it is horribly broken. Fixing this noble institution is not impossible but it can only be truly fixed with management changes at the very top and a serious restructuring of the way in which its services are performed and overseen at all levels, especially with regard to its Developmental Disability Services.

If you choose to accept a position with Kerr be very aware of what you are walking into and be prepared with an exit strategy if you try to bring your concerns to management attention, you will be disposed of. – less
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Promote you, but you're completely overworked and underpaid/underappreciated!
Life Enrichment Specialist/ICTS Skills Trainer (Former Employee), Gresham, ORMarch 12, 2012
Pros: good benefits, opportunities for advancement, thourough trainings.
Cons: underfunded, understaffed, underappreciated, underestimated.
The group homes are sad...the employees are mediocre and the pay sucks. No one wants to stay there. The community-based youth services are really fun, but you easily get fired or burned out and quit. Company as a whole really wants to reach out and help people, but it's under-funded and understaffed.