St. Joseph Orphanage Employee Reviews

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Unsafe work environment with incompetent management
Treatment/Education Specialist (Current Employee) –  Cincinnati, OHDecember 22, 2015
Beginning August of 2015, the new management team of the Altercrest campus thought it prudent to remove consequences for the troubled youth, thinking only positive rewards would be sufficient to motivate the clients. This failed laughably. Clients there are mostly inner-city troubled youth with lengthy criminal records; the milieu quickly became unsafe as the clients became increasingly aggressive physically, attacking each other and staff on a nearly daily basis.

The new management team has been quick to blame everyone present except themselves for the mess, and has chewed out, written up, and demoted others when staff carried out their wishes to the letter. There are few staff there that aren't looking for other work; most of them are on this new management team, the rest are about to retire.
Pros
Free lunch
Cons
Violent, unsafe, management does not try to help
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Only apply if you're able to handle A LOT of physical and mental stress
TREATMENT EDUCATION SPECIALIST (Former Employee) –  Cincinnati, OHMarch 22, 2016
I worked at SJO for 5 months. In those 5 months it went downhill and it went downhill fast. A typical second shift starts at about 3pm right as the kids are getting out of classes. Snack time starts and the kids quickly grow bored of the milieu and beat on staff or other kids. Staffing was always short, as it was about 1:5 ratio of staff to children which was extremely dangerous as most times the kids took advantage of that. After dinner its always a battle with at least one to complete hygiene. They require overtime, and as a student still in college I was working almost 60 hours a week while attempting school due to Mandatory Overtime. With the staffing shortages, it was often hard to find someone to cover your shift if you were sick and sometimes hard to get vacation time approved. If you can handle a high stress environment, be my guest. It has its rewards for sure. Watching a child go home after being on unit for so long is one of the most rewarding experiences and I will remember it forever. But I will also carry the multiple scars from the violent children forever as well.
Pros
free lunch, free dinner, free breakfast, outings with kids
Cons
No breaks, mandatory overtime, stressful environment, physically and emotionally demanding
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Extreme defiant behaviors
Intervention Specialist (Current Employee) –  Cincinnati, OHFebruary 17, 2014
Managing extreme behaviors with multiple interventions everyday. The hardest part of the job is the emotional toll it takes out on you while dealing with the extreme behaviors.
Pros
good employee community, nice environment
Cons
no breaks, extreme behaviors, physical behaviors, no effective dicipline for students, poor management
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Unsafe environment for children as well as staff
Mental Health Specialist (Former Employee) –  Cincinnati, OHApril 13, 2016
I started working at SJO August of 2015, a typical day of work on the CSU is hectic. Though the job itself is hectic, management does nothing in return to help their staff maintain a healthy mentality or work environment. Staff are constantly left on units by themselves, staff acquire points for being five or more minutes late to work but are not relieved from shifts until almost an hour later, there are no consequences for the children's actions, supervisors would rather stay away from their staff when in need than to help them.
Staff at SJO are given very little instruction on how to do their job. Orientation and training is all combined into 3 days. Staff is then thrown onto a unit with children that they know nothing about before dealing with them. As a new staff (in your 30 day period) you are restricted from using any TCI (self defense/restraints) against the children. The clients are aware of this and many times will target new staff.
As a new staff working at SJO I did not feel welcomed. Management had their cliques with a few staff. The tension could be felt walking through the CSU.
The hardest part about the job was knowing that you were in an unsafe environment with children with severe behavioral and clinical issues and that you could be left by yourself at any moment, causing the ratio to be 1:6. In all actuality the staffing should be 3:6 in case of an emergency, however, it is usually 2:6. Clients will many times split staff causing power struggles that make it hard for staff to do their job effectively. Aggressive clients are constantly given toys and objects
  more... that they can seriously hurt themselves with and others. Small minded management does not care that their staff have a life outside of SJO and will rather see students fail classes, staff lose family members, parents lose benefits for their children before letting them off on time even when their shift is clearly over. Every staff member is required to do MOT on top of their 40 hours a week. Management is always in their office or On Call/ Off Grounds and then is upset when your only option to keep clients safe is to call police because it looks bad on the organization. Children are fed junk on a daily basis and are forced to share undergarments. The pay is poor even though some staff have a great deal of experience and a degree in a social science major. School for the clients is less important than anything the program has to offer. The clients go to school for 3 hours and are constantly pulled for therapy instead of being pulled during group. This is because SJO is paid for groups and it costs to have clients missing. Many of the children can not read or struggle tremendously to do so.
The most enjoyable part of the job is seeing the clients go back home to their families or adopted. It is rewarding to build healthy relationships with the clients as some have never had any. It is also enjoyable to see clients trying to work on their treatment plans.
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Pros
Free food
Cons
No breaks, Unsafe work environment, Poor Management
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Very positive culture.
Case Manager (Current Employee) –  Cincinnati, Ohio AltercrestJuly 16, 2012
A typical day for us could be incredibly boring or exciting. You're always stretching your interpersonal skills, but the job continues to build your character everyday. I probably work for an extremely unique team with wonderful management.
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I enjoy working at SJO
Operations Coordinator (Current Employee) –  Cincinnati, OHFebruary 20, 2013
Management at the Altercrest Campus has been supportive and open to suggestions, and have been open and supportive related to building on my skillset. My co-workers are enjoyable and supportive as well.
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Great entry-level work environment
Behavior Specialist (Former Employee) –  Cincinnati, OhioJuly 13, 2013
Entry-level as I recently graduated with BA in psychology and exploring my career interest
Pros
professional development
Cons
n/a
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Not staffed appropriately, financial crisis and management is hard to communicate with
Teaching Education/Mental Health Specialist (Current Employee) –  Cincinnati, OHOctober 9, 2014
A typical day at work involved being in a classroom and observing behaviors and social interactions and to intervene if the clients become disruptive or a danger to the classroom. My position is to help provide a therapeutic school environment for the at risk youth who struggle to succeed in a normal school setting.
Working with the kids and building relationships is a wonderful part of the job but at this facility our resources are limited and some would say the inner workings of the program are in need of an update. Also the shortage of staff definitely takes it toll on the direct care staff. This leads to poor work conditions and ultimately leads to our high turnover rates. When management is questioned about these concerns there aren't many answers given.
Also had I not had previous experience working with at risk youth the training this facility provides does not adequately prepare me for the situations I may face in the classroom on a daily basis.
Pros
free lunch and breakfast
Cons
poor communication between direct care and management, understaffed, outdated therapeutic techniques, poor training quality
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Overall rating

3.0
Based on 9 reviews
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Work/Life Balance
2.8
Compensation/Benefits
2.4
Job Security/Advancement
2.8
Management
2.6
Culture
2.8

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