If it appears to be too good to be true then it usually is...
Pros: when your check comes you can pay your bills
Cons: you have to use your personal cell phone for work, your cell phone reimbursement rate is a joke, unrealistic work load, no concern for ensuring proper tools are provided to complete your work, no training or support from management- it's nonexistent, isolated from other staff, hostile environment promoted by program coordinators, not able to use therapeutic interventions while kids are in classes, the company lacks a good reputation within the community, you are getting a dead-end job not a career
Recruiting- typically recruits younger, just out of school staff from all areas. This isn't to provide a diversified staff but to get employees that have no kids or obligations to relocate for the job and then make the job their life. A lot of this process is smoke and mirrors to get you hooked.
Pay- on paper it looks good. They tell you a year's salary upfront but don't tell you that you won't get FT hours due to school breaks, snow closings and teacher work days. You are required to work more than 8 hours a day you have school but don't get paid for more than 8 hours.
Daily- you work at a site by yourself. This job is very lonely as you only interact with your clients. You do not get to use therapeutic skills except on rare occasions or in small amounts throughout the day. You are going to classes with kids all day. You may have to be in 6 places at one time. You spend your days doing rounds in the hallway. You are supposed to have a maximum of 6 kids but often have over the billable amount allowed. You are still expected to complete all paperwork for all clients with no assistance, support, or flexibility given from management. After working all day you have to go home and do a good 3 hours of work without pay and take calls from parents at all hours.
Coworkers- they are great but you have very little interaction with them. They are always changing due to high turnover rate. Some leave voluntarily and others are let go for the most pointless things. You are required to pick up slack when others leave. Counselors are always being shifted around in order for the company to – more... make the most money without the program coordinators having to do any work.
I have learned- Virginia is an "at will" state, they can fire you at any time and don't have to have a reason. And that a when you take an approach of quantity over quality- you fail. That's the approach this company takes.
Management- generally less educated/experienced than those they are supervising. Create an environment of uneasiness, stress, confusion, and fear. It seems to be in an effort to keep everyone distracted and prevent anyone from figuring out what's behind the green curtain! You won't get any clinical supervision as boasted on the website. You won't even get any staff development training. You will be told changes in policy and new policy on a frequent basis, not given anything in writing, and be expected to read minds.
Hardest part- no clear guidelines, no motivation, no acknowledgement, no feeling of job security.
Easiest part- the job, working with the kids. How they get away with billing the high rate (for each kid per hour) to state paid insurance is beyond me. However, spending your days keeping up with the kids requires you to work may hours at home.
Advice- before you take a leap into this company do your research. Read the real reviews left by actual employees on this and other sites (it's pretty obvious the ones that have been completed by HR). Look up the position you're applying to and see how many times it's been listed in the past few years. Don't just trade your life for some magic beans. – less