Employment Specialist, Case Manager (Current Employee) – Silver Spring, MD – July 14, 2013
Abilities Network is a non-profit agency that provides complete support of adults with disabilities. We are in the community with Consumers, assisting them with life skills, such as shopping, cooking, social activities and budgeting. My area of expertise is job developing, and/or providing job coaching for individuals who are already employed.
Based on the type of funding each Consumer has, we interact between 1.5 to 4 hours at least 1x per week, with them one on one. In my position as an Employment Specialist, Case Manager, I am able to schedule my appointments with clients at their convenience. I am also the liaison between the Agency and the Division of Rehabilitation Services - a source that provides us with individuals to serve. I monitor the hours of these clients and prepare monthly reports for the Service Coordinators at DORS.
The challenge on the job is sometimes having to meet with the clients and support staff (and guardians/parents), to discuss the barriers toward achieving previously set goals, and facilitating a new plan/agreement that may not have been the original hope of the family/individual. However, working with the team to set realistic goals with step by step instructions brings out the creativity in everyone concerned. It is a good and welcomed challenge.
The culture at Abilities Network is very accommodating and warm. My Supervisor and co-workers are professional and caring; very supportive of one another. There are times when we have to act as back-up for a co-worker - it is expected, and accomplished with minimal difficulties. The lines ofmore... communication are open, so that we are available to receive a text or call at any given time. This teamwork culture comes from the Head Office in Towson, MD. The CEO is extremely team-oriented and models it for all of the employees.
I enjoy the feeling of success I see in the individuals I serve when they have reached a milestone in their plan. Whether it is getting a job, going on a job interview, or successfully returning a phone call for a job interview, I am gratified to know that I had a part in that success.less
I honestly loved what I did, I just didn't love how I was forced to do it, Government funding can sometimes come with regulations that can be frustrating. Management pushed for funding increase with state government but ultimately expects too much from employees for what they can compensate. I also wished there was more nourishment for growth from management, I felt like I was praised a lot but given very little opportunity to actually move up. There is also a ridiculous amount of travel involved with the job, sometime up to 150 miles a day. overall a good job that lacks the proper funding to truly give employees reasonable pay. Staff is fantastic and hardworking. Learning how to multitask and memorize is crucial for success in this role.
Employment Specialist (Former Employee) – Townson – July 12, 2017
As a Employment Specialist, I was rushed while in the two week training. I was told by the current employee who was training me/ leaving at time, they are rushing you because there is no one else. I traveled over 80 miles daily to get to training. I was not paid for 20 miles of the 80 miles traveled. I was very overwhelmed with the orientation that was provided. Mean while during training I was harrased with emails/phones calls for up coming meetings and visits for clients, while trying to complete over 50 trainings on the computer. This job is fast paced and unorganized.I was written up while in the two week process for unknown mistakes made along the way while in training. I was fired and told I could not keep up. "Not the right fit". Although I was excited to exceeded the mission and vision statement. I was not given the chance to be Successful. The managers had no compassion about the employees only about the dollar. Things need to change for better. I feel for the clients in which they serve. You can't have your cake and eat it too.....
Poor management, poor pay, using public wifi, Rushed orientation
I really enjoyed my time working at Abilities Network. I learned a lot. Abilities is very supportive of staff gaining knowledge and excelling within the company. Very person oriented. The CEO could be more in touch with staff.
Nice company to work with, management is good and the clients are amazing. Open door policy. Documentation is minimal and mileage reimbursement is pretty high! The hardest part of working here is being on your feet for extended hours of time.
Off by 6 pm, rearely working on the weekends.
No breaks, wear and tear o your car from driving all day.
Provided overall administrative support to Executive Director, Board of Directors and other Directors as needed. Managed Towson office clerical staff and facilities management issues for 5 offices. Managed calendar, scheduled and attended executive level meetins, took and transcribe meetings, completed various licensing and grant proposals and all board communications. Provided assistance to human resources department relating to recruiting, benefit administration, performance appraisal process and increase cycle. Managed, supervised and performed a variety of administrative tasks to meet agency wide needs.
Excellent non-profit, very fulfilling work, liked the variety of functionality, Executive Director and Board of Directors were great to work with, I learned a lot while employed there.
Heavily depends on state funding, loss of substantial funding and restructured, my position was eliminated and the office manager and others absorbed my duties.
This job can be rewarding if you enjoy helping people and seeing them grow as they gain independence. You will be traveling around the community for the individual to participate in activities related to their goals, whether recreational or employment-related. You may work with someone who likes visiting the library, bowling, or visits the YMCA to exercise; or you may have someone who works but needs on-site job coaching to remain on task. You will help individuals seeking a job through updating resumes, completion/follow up of applications, practicing interview skills, even accompanying the individual to interviews.
There is a lot of texting, emailing, and phone calls. There is no face to face contact with your co-workers unless you have a position in the office, have team meetings, or need to come to the office for another reason. You will be driving your personal vehicle to do the job. Sometimes you will be able to get lunch and sit still to eat; most of the time, it's more like order from the drive through and eat on the way to your next person. One of the hardest parts of the job is working with an uncooperative individual. But you're dealing with adults so you can't make anyone do what you're suggesting. You can just explain the consequences and be firm.
Mileage/some expense reimbursement, paid on snow days, sometimes bonuses
No breaks sometimes, somewhat difficult to get promoted