Four Oaks Employee Reviews

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Engaging workplace with opportunities for advancement
Youth Counselor (Current Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IA 52404October 24, 2016
I love working for Four Oaks. Direct care with residential at-risk youths is not for everyone, but Four Oaks does its best to ensure that the staff are kept just as safe (physically and mentally) as the clients. A typical day for me at work is clocking in to the kids having room or free time, playing games with the kids, making sure they follow directions, participate in check-ins, supervise meals, go outside with the kids to get exercise, keeping the kids on-task for group, homework, chores, and basic routine, making sure every youth gets the chance to take care of their hygiene, and help them get to bed on time. Most of my co-workers are full-time staff, so they spend about 24/5 with the kids. They all work hard to keep everyone safe, to solve problems, and to teach the kids important life and coping skills. The hardest part of the job is when one (or, heaven forbid, several) kid starts becoming violent. The most enjoyable part of the job is when I have kids and fellow staff compliment me on the work I do, and how they wish I could work with them more often.
Pros
Free meals, cheap vending machines, sitting and playing a lot of the time, helping youths become successful, working with like-minded individuals, compensation for traveling to distant locations, cheap gym memberships with automatic paycheck withdraw, flexible hours for part-time
Cons
Healthcare and 401K for full-time only, risk of injury, you get cursed at a lot, very high stress situations, not very flexible hours for full-time, sometimes literal full-day shifts
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Very rewarding but struggles to compensate employees
Supervisor I (Former Employee) –  Bertram, IASeptember 13, 2016
Very rewarding working with troubled adolescents. Biggest negative is that employees are paid very little and expected to go above and beyond without reward.
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Top heavy
Youth Worker (Former Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAJuly 30, 2016
Four Oaks is top heavy with too much money going to multiple layers of management while short handed on front line staff. There are a lot of layers of mgrs between me and the ceo, three of who I've never met or seen. There's no money for activities at the boys residential place and the clients get crazy bored being stuck there with nothing to look forward to - it's really prison for teens. They accept clients we can't really help, keep them for six months and then send them to another place. Big turnover at this site because of violent kids, weird work schedule, short handed, low pay, no respect.
Pros
Coworkers are friendly
Cons
No respect, weird schedule, low pay, violence
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Not client centered
Suoervisor (Former Employee) –  Iowa, IowaJuly 15, 2016
This agency is more about acquiring the most amount of services rather than the quality of the services they offer. The culture is one of fear and not open communication. They do not work from their mission or vision and show preferential treatment to "yes men" staff rather then value experience, ingenuity, and open thinking. Management does not look out for the staff that provide the service or the clients and safety of
Both the client and staff is not a priority for this agency. It is more a corporation than a no -profit.
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fast paced
SHIFT LEADER 2 (Former Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAJuly 15, 2016
team oriented and driven to be like a family. fast paced and hands on when necessary with clients. provide them with learning techniques to better themselves
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Fun and rewarding job
Youth (Former Employee) –  Cedar, KSJuly 13, 2016
A typical day at work would be to get the children ready for the day and help guide them through whatever exercises they need, whether it be individual therapy or group therapy or just a quick run down of how they feel. You help guide them through their day and help get them ready for bed. The hardest part of the job is making every single child happy and content all at the same time. The most enjoyable part is knowing you made a child's day better and brighter. It's a very rewarding job.
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Community Engagement
Community Engagement Intern (Former Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAJune 24, 2016
Was a great place to work. I was able to work on projects independently and enjoyed the people who I worked with. Worked with Salesforce entering in donations, sending out Thank You letters to those who donate. Helped prep for annual golf event. Enjoyed working there and getting to know people, who make this Non Profit run. Especially like the tag line, Expect Success.
Pros
Flex Schedule
Cons
only part time position in department was available at that time
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It was professional
Facilities Groundskeeper/Maintenance (Former Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAJune 14, 2016
Great lawn crew to work for but I needed a change in my life. I quit in February of 2016. Long winters and long summer days gave you a great job security
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Great opportunity to serve others
Youth Counselor II (Current Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAJune 6, 2016
Great human service experience, but high energy and stress level. I enjoy one on one opportunities with my clients, teaching anger management and leading group activities.
Pros
The service the agency provides.
Cons
High potential for conflict and violence, and micro mangement.
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Rewarding workplace
Night Worker (Current Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAMay 29, 2016
I am a night shift worker so the majority of the time the kids are already asleep when I start my shift. My normal shift is 10 hour nights 4 nights out of the week but I normally work some over time. In the facility that I'm stationed fits 12 live-in teenage boys who have behavior problems and some run in's with the law. So I would say the most difficult part of the job dealing with there personalities trying to teach them to be more mature and independent so when they do get out of the program they will have a better chance as an adult with society. The most rewarding part is being able to help the kids do that very same thing, and the relationship I build with the kids helps them out a lot and in a since helps me as well.
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i love working with the kids and the staff members.
youth counselor (Current Employee) –  Iowa City, IAFebruary 27, 2016
overall, four oaks in an awesome job to have if you like working with the youth, and helping people. you get to meet people of all backgrounds with different circumstances, and being able to make just a small difference in one of their lives is amazing.
Pros
making a difference in kids lives.
Cons
the pay is not what i expected.
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Fun Work enviornment
Youth Counselor (Current Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAOctober 6, 2015
Fun place to work with a lot of potential. Teaching and interacting with the clients is a truly great experience. The management outside of the building seems to only care about money and not so much about the kids. The co-workers are all fun and energetic to work with.
Pros
benifits
Cons
no breaks
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Family oriented on every level.
Functional Family Therapist (Current Employee) –  Waterloo, IASeptember 15, 2015
It was a rewarding job working with troubled youth. I had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and it didn't go unnoticed.
Pros
Great co-workers and clients.
Cons
Schedule
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Very rewarding job
Therapist/Clinician (Current Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IASeptember 14, 2015
Very supportive work environment. A lot of choice in changing positions. Very rewarding job. The most enjoyable is watchilg children grow and move past their trauma. The worse is hearing to horrific stories kid's have went through.
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Not in my field of study
Youth Counselor (Current Employee) –  Mason City, IowaSeptember 11, 2015
Took the job for work history. Simply just not in my field of study. However, this employment has shown me more in depth view of the foster care system, and shelter life of children.
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Professional
night worker (Current Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAAugust 20, 2015
While at my job here at Four Oaks they were a professional company. They have plenty of room for advancement but it left up to your supervisor on whether or not THEY believe you are ready or able to. I have tried to move forward multiple times and always get shot down, but at the same time I would get told that I am an asset to the company and what I do.

A typical day on my job is to do safety checks and make sure that the kids are in bed and staying safe. I work in the psychiatric unit of my job so I need to make sure that they are not trying to self harm, commit suicide, and/or attempting to go AWOL. I do 15 minute checks to make this happen. I also do paper filling, making of forms, and do documentation on the computer as well. I end up doing more then what is in my job description to help out others on my unit and to make there day easier even what I have no need to or I'm not asked to.

The most enjoyable part of my job would be the kids. I enjoy that I get to help them and teach them life lessons. I think the hardest part of my job would be the "hands-on". What I mean by this is restraining a kid because as this is happening you can get hurt in the process. I have had my glasses broken, been hit, kicked, hair pulled etc. That to me is the hardest part; I do it to keep them safe but I don't like having to do that to make them feel safe. I would rather talk to them instead, otherwise watching them grow is very rewarding.
Pros
benefits
Cons
Some coworkers
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Four Oaks Youth Worker
Youth Care Worker (Current Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAJuly 2, 2015
You spend the majority of your time interacting with the clients. There are a wide range of clients and residental treatment and PMIC units. You will be assigned 2-3 advocates if full time. As an advocate you will work with that client , care manager, therapy team and family members to help the client achieve success. You will do daily documentation on each client in the unit. You will do weekly reports on advocates only to family members and document the contact. You will if you have a bachelors degree do skills group and do notes on the group with no more then 10 clients in a group. You may be able to teach life skills if you do not have a bachelors degree. You will do a lot of document writting on clients, you will have trainings to teach you about trama inform care and different ways to meet clients needs. You do work long shifts, not the best pay, good co-worker, holidays you will work. THe facility does not close
Pros
free meals ( sometimes) great for resume builder
Cons
work holidays
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Rehabilitaion of minors
Counselor 1 (Former Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAJune 15, 2015
This is a fantastic company. It is a residential facility that focuses on the rehabilitation of minors. Helps children to learn to live in society.
Amazing people and place to work!
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I loved it
Residential Night Facility Manager (Former Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAJune 3, 2015
I liked working for the company, it was a nice experience to work with children and families and assisting them in the barriers that come in the way of the clients. I loved helping people and giving them the resources that they need to be sucessful.
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Need more training in the meaning of Trauma informed care
Night Worker (Former Employee) –  Cedar Rapids, IAJune 2, 2015
A lot of the workers would try to get the kids to act out instead of trying to help them.

There was a lot of teenage drama amongst staff members.

Not very welcoming and the job culture was very a click. There were some really good people though who tried hard to change things there but they were also pushed out because most have not wanted to change from a behavioral institution to trauma informed care.
Pros
Kids were awesome
Cons
Staff caused more trouble for other staff then the kids did
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Overall rating

3.6
Based on 47 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
3.3
Compensation/Benefits
3.0
Job Security/Advancement
3.0
Management
2.9
Culture
3.3