Alternative Family Services Employee Reviews

3.8
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Based on 12 reviews
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55
41
35
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10
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4.0
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nice place to work
Office Assistant/ Case Aide (Former Employee) –  Sacramento, CAApril 27, 2018
I enjoyed being here. My coworkers were warm and friendly. The nature of the work itself can be stressful but nothing impossible to deal with. I wasn't there for long I don't know how helpful my review can really be.
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3.0
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You will learn a lot about the child welfare system
Social Worker (Former Employee) –  Oakland, CAFebruary 12, 2018
Good colleagues, you will learn a lot, develop skills working with foster parents, county workers, and the children in foster care we were hired to serve.
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3.0
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High stress position
Clinician (Former Employee) –  Oakland, CADecember 26, 2017
Worked collaboratively with DCFS- very high stress position, challenging for a newly post-grad who is beginning in the field. Provided a lot of supervision but management was stressed as well.
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2.0
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Good benefits overshadowed by bad managment
Mental Health Clinician (Former Employee) –  Oakland, CADecember 1, 2017
AFS is helping some of the most vulnerable children in our community and it is certainly meaningful and fulfilling work but also incredibly difficult, stressful and overwhelming. Unfortunately upper management at the Oakland office was completely unsupportive towards staff in managing these stressors, seeming to care more about numbers and productivity than ensuring staff were taken care of and able to provide high quality clinical work. To that end, in my one year there, I witnessed a turn around of three supervisory staff, two within a 5 month period, and six of the direct clinical staff (a significant amount given a team consisting of about 12 clinicians total).

There was a complete lack of training at the onset of the job, and multiple clinicians when I was there voiced having been suddenly thrown into the deep end- immediately being given caseloads of 10-13 clients before even being fully trained. Subsequent discussions about overwhelm with management were consistently shut down with remarks about "maybe this is not the right field for you" and half hearted trainings on self care, rather than genuine attempts to change the workplace culture to support staff. Additionally, the culture seemed to promote and encourage a lack of responsibility by management, with clinicians taking the blame, receiving disciplinary action, and being asked to stay later and put in more work to correct issues even when they were the direct result of oversight by supervisors and lack of training. (Ex: supervisors approving progress notes, treatment plans, and assessments without reading them
  more... or providing corrective feedback and clinicians being blamed and disciplined when those documents later failed to meet audit standards)

PROS: The medical benefits and time off offered by AFS as well as the flexible schedule are great, and group and individual supervision on site are incredibly helpful for clinicians still working on obtaining their licensure hours. In comparison to other agencies in the bay area, AFS also pays fairly well for MFT and social worker interns- 50,000 and upward annual, which is a rarity in a market all to keen to exploit mental health interns. AFS is also highly committed to demonstrable progress of their client and to that end their use of psychological assessment measures is noteworthy and provides good opportunity to learn some very valuable and marketable assessment skills. Later trainings on working with grief, play therapy, and even preparation for licensing exams were also highly valuable. While these qualities could make AFS a great site for new clinicians to learn and develop, these pros are unfortunately overshadowed by a culture that frequently overwhelms its clinicians with lack of training and support, and unmanageable expectations.
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Official response from Alternative Family Services
July 1, 2018

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We always appreciate candid feedback, and are constantly striving to improve every facet of the organization. Please know that we take all feedback seriously, and will be enacting steps to ensure the situations you describe never again happen here. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to discuss your experience further, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at info@afs4kids.org.

5.0
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Flexible and encouraging workforce
Support Counselor/Case Aid (Current Employee) –  Sacramento, CAAugust 21, 2017
Working at AFS, I've come to understand and relate to the field of fostering services. Not only have I been able to grow in this environment, but I have also been able to challenge myself within this field for the better.
Pros
Free food at meetings or trainings
Cons
Some communication issues
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5.0
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Flexible and supported team work
Caseworker (Former Employee) –  Vallejo, CAApril 2, 2017
AFS is flexible in schedule and usually the team is supported. The hard part of the job is to disconnected from the phone, sometimes people call you at all hours and days.
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5.0
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Great place to work with excellent management and coworkers
Case Aide (Former Employee) –  Oakland, CAJuly 9, 2016
I worked at Alternative Family Services for a good amount of time. I would pick up work part time or full-time work during my summers away from school and it was always a positive experience. Simply AFS is a great ran non-profit organization, in terms of how they provide to different communities, with a great staff.
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3.0
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Great place to learn about community based therapy
Mental Health Clinician (Current Employee) –  San Francisco, CAOctober 30, 2015
AFS is a great place to work if you enjoy having a flexible schedule, where each day is different. AFS provides a great opportunity to work in depth with vulnerable children and their families. Working in the community really allows clinicians to have a wider glimpse into the lives of these individuals and can help shape the lens for treatment.
Pros
flexible schedule
Cons
a lot of driving
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5.0
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friendly, homestyle yet security based job. it's for the kids!
case aid (Current Employee) –  Santa Rosa, CAApril 6, 2015
we work to help people who can't help themselves. the many foster children of sonoma county need a whole community's support to grow into productive adults.
Pros
everyone is so nice, even when i need gluten free food at meetings!
Cons
my beautiful car interior is doomed
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3.0
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Great Work Environment
MENTAL HEALTH REHABILITAION SPECIALIST (Former Employee) –  Vallejo, CAJanuary 21, 2015
This is a great work environment to be in. There is room for advancement in this expanding non-profit company.
Pros
Alot of team funcitions
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5.0
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great experience
Child Care Specialist (Current Employee) –  Santa Rosa, CASeptember 27, 2013
i enjoyed working there the company was awesome. a typical day was never typical i worked with children who had disabilities. my co workers were wonderful people. the hardest part about the job is leaving the child at the end of assignment.
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