Pros: free breakfast, lunch and dinner. all shows and events were free to staff
Cons: long hours, had to work holidays and every other weekend
Working with young ( 14 to 18 years of age) men who have been mandated by the courts to complete a long term residential treatment program was challenging. Often time these young men were in gangs and it was easier for them to surrender to treatment to address their substance abuse/of dependence as oppose to leaving their gang family. I learned so how about myself during the nine years that I worked as a substance abuse counselor for Fairfax County/ Drugs and Alcohol Services. I was comfortable giving these young men direction and supervision and willing to always hold them accountable for their behaviors. Since the program was an eighteen month program, I was able to really get to know the young men and their families that were on my caseload. When I started at Crossroads Youth Program, I was hired as a Substance Abuse Counselor I, which primarily focused on providing direct care coverage. ( Escorting them to and from appointments outside the facility, overseeing meals and supervising all of their free time. After 18 months I was promoted to Substance Abuse Counselor II, which was a clinical position. I was now responsible for team planning, medication management, completing court reports quarterly and participating in Clinical team meetings to present my clients for movement from one level to the next. I really enjoyed my job and it gave me a sense of fulfillment.