Pros: free lunch. free dinners. paid vacation.
Cons: sundays, you have to make dinners. 16 hour shifts, troubled teens
A typical day at work involves being cussed out by at least one student. As a houseparent you are in charge of between 8-14 kids that do not want to be in placement, but have been placed there because upon exiting DOC or DCS there is no where for the child to go. Houseparents work 16 hour shifts at least three times a week sometimes up to five. The – more... same goes for assistant houseparents. DO NOT TAKE THIS JOB IF YOU CAN'T LIVE ON CAMPUS! Commuting at 5 o'clock in the morning sucks and if you can't leave you have to stay over night in the sub room. Imagine working three shifts in a row. . . You are literally at work for 70 something hours. I usually work between 50-60 hours a week, which doesn't sound that bad, but when kids are cussing you out over an dover throughout the day. . . it sucks.
The management doesn't really help you out as much as they should, but if an emergency arises and someone is flipping out, they are sometimes there to take over. You also have to go through extensive background checks and training. You have to give out meds sometimes up to four times a day, which can sometimes be confusing. You have to make sure all of the kids in your cottage get everything done, laundry, chores and then get them off to school in the morning. You do get a break while the kids are in school. You take them to lunch though. And weekends are the worst, you are with them the entire time. Don't take this job if you don't like babysitting. That is what it is.
The coworkers are hit and miss. Sometimes you get someone who really helps you out and knows what they are doing and sometimes you don't. It's really luck of the draw. But usually everyone is pretty nice.
The hardest part of the job is knowing that the kids don't care and aren't going to change. Your job is simply a job. You go into the job thinking you are going to make a difference. . . you come out of it, knowing you probably didn't. Story after story come in about kids going right back to what they were doing before, they just get smarter and hide it from the law.
The most enjoyable part of the job is leaving at the end of the day/shift. – less