Social Worker I / Adoption Social Worker, Modesto and Stockton, CA - September 5, 2015
I only recently left the agency after over more than 9 years as an employee with one of the Central Valley regions. When I began with the agency, when it was originally FamiliesFirst, Inc. there was a very strong family vibe internally as well as externally. The supports as a worker and for the families we worked with were phenomenal. The staff worked in harmony at least 95% of the time, all staff from admin all the way up to local management. This changed over the years, after a few layoffs after the 2009 merge with EMQ. During my last two years at the agency, the management was not up to par, accountability by certain management was nil, and there was a negative internal culture within the work site due to favoritism and lack of accountability. Although there were still supports internally that were still strong, it was more of a smaller group of supports than global, as it once had been. If I have learned anything from this experience, it is you have to enjoy your co-workers about as much as you enjoy the families and children you work with, even when times are challenging. It was this continuing internal disconnect that led me to leave the agency after such a long time. Upper management was almost invisible until issues arose, which is something they were trying to improve on, but were slow on the go with it by the time I left. There are truly dedicated workers in this agency, not just locally, but across the agency as a whole that continue to allow for the agency to have a decent, if not good, reputation. It however, needs to continue to improve, and this needs to start with its staff. I honestly would have stayed longer if the internal environment had not declined as it had. Great work experience though. The two things that most staff report as the reason they stay with the agency is the good medical benefits packages provided by the agency as well as flexible schedules. Works well with staff who have families.