Pros: free lunch if you like eating tasteless food.monday through friday work schedules, kid's with emotional issues that you easily get attached to. dedicated direct care staff.
Cons: constant shortage of staffing, high employee turnover, management who are punitive first and training oriented second.
The management is cut throat! They are barely seen on the floor unless they are looking to spy on someone using one of the many observation rooms that they have and they Rarely offer to assist you when clients become escalated or unruly unless they just happen to be standing there and have no other choice (which is Very Rare).
Training is VERY limited. – more... Don't be surprised if coming out of training your thrown directly into a problematic classroom with no further training right after you complete your very basic Crisis intervention class and CPR/First Aid coursework. Staffing is 2 staff per 11 clients. St Vincent claims that this is ODJFS compliant and this would be true if we were a day care facility! The client population is mental health though and you will typically have 3-4 Totally out of control clients in your classroom,so a staffing of 3 to 11 in those particular rooms is better suited for the conditions. Don't hold your breath though. The agency only cares about billing and the management mantra is doing less with Less!
Management instead of building you up as a direct care staff and creating trainings to improve your skills seek to destroy you. Their way of training you is to place you with a veteran staff (which is rare because of the high turnover) and that is how you learn to do the job.
The problem with this type of training model is that if your veteran staff is doing something wrong then you too will imitate what you've observed them doing whether it's correct protocol or not. YOU however will be the only person held accountable for that training though.
Management will document your short comings and as opposed to offering Real training solutions to help you improve yourself, they will instead put the burden of training back on you and document the incident and hold onto it in a personal file for months until they have enough infractions or accusations to pull you into a meeting with Human Resources and put some type of disciplinary or written warning in your personnel file. In the meantime you are CLUELESS that you've even committed any wrong.
A few of the clinicians are helpful but the lead clinician is devious and known for sabotaging direct care staff careers. She is quick to report any shortcomings that she may perceive of you but isn't so quick to self report when she makes a mistake of her own. All of the clinicians disrupt your classrooms by just arbitrarily dropping into your class to have a child scribble what is supposed to be their name on paperwork. They then leave the classroom and you have to regain control of 11 excitable kids. Most of our clients can't spell their name nor do they recognize it when they see it. These type of things can typically be done after group or at end of day!
The pay is really low. Most direct care staff with college degrees earn less than $25,000 per year unless they work overtime which you can only get on the residential side of the operation.
The Turnover is horrific ( 12 staff have either resigned or were terminated without Just cause in the last 3 months) Seven of those staff worked on the Pre-School side which is CONSTANTLY short staffed! If you like major bedlam, unsupportive management, low pay and unsanitary working conditions then SVFC is the place for you. I would beseech you to apply somewhere else if working with children is your passion. Hindsight is certainly 20/20. – less