Pros: for serious counselors, invaluable experience with juvenile offenders and a mentally ill population
Cons: no life, low pay, poor management
Sixteen hours accompanying juvenile offenders (clients) in their daily schedule (school, rec, meals, showers), while facilitating the client's emotional growth using counselors who usually have no counseling training other than in-house training during the initial hiring phase, which teaches motivational interviewing and therapeutic crisis intervention – more... (TCI). Many counselors don't even have psychology degrees.
Some counselors are verbally and physically abusive, but there is no corrective action taken by the administration who ignore the problem.
Because the "counselors" are not properly trained they take the clients through the motions of the program, so the clients can graduate (clients who fail the program reflect poorly on the program, which would mean no government funding, which would mean no jobs).
The "wing it as you go" approach is not successful as evidenced by the client recidivism rates.
Counselors' housing and food is paid for if you don't mind not having a choice of housing or dietary needs. You are not allowed to leave during your 24 hour day/96 hour rotation. That means you live and breathe the program for 96 hours with 1 or 2 days off in between shifts depending on how many counselors have quit.
Counselors rarely get breaks during their 15.5 hour day, which can be longer if you have non-compliant clients. A counselor is lucky if they get a 20 minute break per day. It's difficult to get a shower at the end of the day, because that would mean taking away from your sleep time.
If clients make false accusations, management takes the side of the client.
They lock you into a $21,000 yearly salary and give you two choices, which are to work 16 hour days or quit.
When my two-years is up I'm out. – less