Youth Development Institute
2.8 out of 5 stars.
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Youth Development Institute Employee Reviews

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Management doesn't appreciate direct care staff and acts as though everyone is disposable. The communication is very poor from the top down. The pay is low for the job, however there is a ton of overtime opportunities.
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The program cradles negative behavior all they do is bribe the kids and it’s a lot of drama between staff. There is no Covid procedures to protect the workers people that work on quarantine units are pushed to unquarentined units the next day and the barely test staff.
Pros
Bonds with kids
Cons
No breaks, favoritism in staff and management, gossip, no pay raises, no protection against covid
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I worked at YDI for approximately one year. The BHT staff are ridiculously underpaid despite the amount of work expected (and as many said, zero breaks unless you ask to step off for 10 minutes) and based on the very little support you receive from the administrative staff. The MCs were always more redeeming and helpful than most of the administration. The schedule is okay, it’s a rotation of 4 days on / 2 days off, which sometimes resulted in being under in hours some weeks, then upwards of 50-60 hours with the required meetings / overtime.The management is cliquish and you will know when you are not welcomed. They market themselves as “restraint free” but it is not uncommon to see staff (who granted, are either inadequately trained or poorly supported by admin) engage in unofficial restraints because they feel like there is no other way to protect themselves, the other clients, or another staff. At least you get free food, albeit not particularly good. You’re better off working as a BHT at another hospital or behavioral health facility.
Pros
Free food, opportunity for overtime, benefits are okay
Cons
Admin unsupportive and not present, misrepresents themselves, lack integrity.
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I worked at YDI for almost 7 months. As an employee with a bachelor's degree, I felt as if the pay could have been better, especially for the amount of work Youth Care Workers had to do. Being a YWC was both rewarding and challenging. I loved watching the clients improve their behaviors and work on their goals. The challenges came when we were understaffed and overworked. Also, we did not receive hazardous pay while being "essential workers" due to the ongoing pandemic. Also, the higher-ups did not always keep their promises which creates a lack of trust. I will say there were two admins that were amazing and attentive and YDI is super blessed to have them as well as the Chaplin! I really do miss the kids and hope they are well!
Pros
Free meals, great overtime Opportunity
Cons
Hardly no breaks, stressful work environment, low pay for those with high education credentials
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Management constantly demeans employees. Employees constantly get abused by the staff and kids. Kids have control over everything. Kids attack, humiliate, and sexually abuse each other and staff. There are zero consequences. The work place culture is absolutely pathetic. Women constantly fighting with each other over the same dudes. The management doesn't provide breaks, or nearly enough staff. The program as a whole doesn't help the kids they aren't to. Most of the time kids graduate and you know that they are not prepared to leave.
Pros
Nothing
Cons
No breaks, no lunches, no consequences, no support, no work life balance, caddy staff, management plays favorites
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The people who work there were a really good group and the place really cares about he kids. The staff work well together and try to make it an enjoyable place. Unfortunately the pay is low so the turnover is pretty high. This is a good place for someone who is thinking about behavioral health or teaching you will discover if you can work with this population.
Pros
worked with great people
Cons
low pay, few raises, no lunch breaks, few opportunities for advancements.
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YDI is one of my near and dear places to have had the pleasure to work for, it was just like home away from home. From job satisfaction from caring and nurturing adolescents and a great company with a beautiful mission in mind to meeting new people that would be your forever friends. YDI is the "A-team" of the Southwest to be a part of for a lifetime!
Pros
Free meals, flexible hours if needed, great peers.. etc.
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From the time I started YDI until the time I quit, it went completely downhill. It’s a horrible place to work now with the main purpose being to give kids whatever they want just to get them to shut up and do what you want. Administration walks all over staff to give kids what they want. Staff get punched, hit, kicked, and spat on by kids but there are never consequences for the kids. God for bid the staff react in a natural way they are fired right away instead of the company practicing what they preach and having a staff and the kids repair and learn. Also, if it’s ever a staffs word against a kid, they will most likely always listen to the kid. A lot of the newer staff that came in seemed to be extremely incompetent and can’t think for themselves and are easily manipulated. They come in high and bring their personal lives into work. It’s even been rumored staff having “weird relationships” with some clients. Staff are on the phone most of the day but I can’t really blame them because admin basically tells us to give the kids whatever they want and let them do whatever they want to do so why should we even care enough To put energy into any of these kids who will probably end up reoffending anyways. The place is disgusting, it has roaches and rats. The kids are supposed to be cleaning their rooms on a deep clean once or twice a week but it’s the staff who get in trouble if the kid refuses. All in all YDI is a joke, the overtime isn’t even worth it. If you do work here prepare to be a punching bag physically and emotionally. Good luck.
Pros
None
Cons
Everything
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My first paycheck was given in cash. The company was shaving money off employees transportation reimbursement, very dishonest, and very unorganized...
Pros
Independent work
Cons
Dishonesty and Lack of Professionalism
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Would be allowed to triage my work according to the clients' and Departmental needs. I had a great deal of autonomy along with my responsibilities. Good benefits.
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They commit fraud regularly. If you want to remain licensed don’t waist your time applying. The owners are unethical, the wife is evil, and have poor boundaries with the staff and clients. They have a large history of employees committing unprofessional acts with other employees spouses. The wife interferes in treatment and undermines the Clinicians. She has no problem firing you if she gets upset with you. The whole place is one big JOKE.
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Management is rude and could care less about the ycws. Employees be on drugs and nothing happens. It was literally a guy that worked overnights that’s would fall asleep standing up like a dope fiend and nothing happens. The kids do whatever and no consequences. It’s a joke because I’m the real would actions have consequences. They require a degree then still pay people 13.25
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Worked there as agency for a couple of months. Pay was substantially lower than usual, but there wasn't much to do overnight after 10 p.m., so it was a moot point. It had been years since I had to do everything on paper, including MARs, and I hadn't given meds from blister packs in at least a decade to over eight patients. The lack of use of complete personal identifiers (i.e., no wristbands on patients, some med cups with pictures of patient, others without) for medication administration helped cause me to make a med error on what turned into my last shift there. I thought I'd help things move along because the LPN (med nurse) was sent out to one of the group homes, delaying the med pass. The YCW for one section was asking me to pass the meds, as the kids were getting antsy and we were behind schedule. I had passed meds before and didn't like sitting doing nothing and getting paid for it, so I started passing meds. Ultimately nothing untoward happened to the patient who got one extra med. I was 86'd after the end of the shift, though all the staff said it was an "honest mistake" and didn't blame me. (Long side note: I've never heard of a nurse being canned over a single med error, anywhere, especially when it resulted in no harm to the patient. The agency told me after the shift that YDI said I had had "discrepancies," but wouldn't elaborate. No one had brought up any issues prior to that time. You can throw me under the bus for something I actually did—fine. Inventing bogus issues borders could be considered damage to reputation, and that can land a company in legal - more...
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During my time at YDI, I was privileged to experience multiple positions within the organization. This job definitely requires confidence, but not arrogance and more compassion than you ever thought you were capable of possessing. If you approach any position within this organization with humility and kindness, you will find yourself enmeshed in support and guidance from your fellow team members. The ability to function as a team member is extremely critical in any position at YDI. Once the team is infiltrated by more than one negative mindset, the entire team suffers and the tide begins to shift. The children and our communities are worth the normal stressors associated with working with struggling youth, whether the children are accepting of the help or not. Any positive contributions you are able to make in their lives is something you will always be proud of. Overtime is almost always available and the job has the ability to be as fun and enjoyable as you choose to make it! I am grateful for the people, trainings, and experiences at YDI that have positively impacted my life.
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This job is all over the place don’t know where to start. The pay is horrible I was Here for 3+ years and didn’t receive a Raise at all. College Grad Starting Salary was $13.50. People still currently working here now Haven't seen a raise in years. The cost of living is going up and the only way to pay the bills is slaving picking up OT. The kids bully you 24/7 you get hit cursed at and nothing happens to the kids. They may go to jail but back the next day. Administration doesn’t care about staff and some of the Admin staff brag about there pay to others which is frustrating. You do so much for the kids but what you do hardly gets recognized. Some units are hard to structure because of the types of kids they bring in. I wish staff could help the interview process of the kids they bring in so we can get an input but that would never happen. Admin goes home and live there normal 9 to 5 life while YCWs are still at work working 16 hours shifts just to put food on the table and feed there family. This was a great place to work Restraint Free Friendly Staff To Work With. But the lack of support and pay from Admin really shows you how they actually feel about you they could honestly care less about how much you bring home just as long as you Follow there Program. If you wanted too you could make $50,000 a year at this job with OT but you will never be home with your family. Without the OT you’re looking at $30,000. If you’re a college grad starting off here don’t come you will get low balled with the pay like me.
Pros
CoWorkers, Overtime
Cons
Poor Management, Pay
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Overall great place to work. It takes a special person to work here. Clients sometimes can be stressful but sometimes they can love you overall as a person.
Pros
Unlimited OT Great Staff
Cons
Stressful Enviornment at times
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I have really enjoyed working here. I love the people and what they do. The Directors are fair and family ordinated. The work they do with kids is awesome.
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The management is very unprofessional and unethical. They play favorites and violate state and federal laws. Very poor senior management and administration also bullies the staff from day one. It is a management "clan" , if you are not click with them you are in trouble.
Pros
free food
Cons
No annual raises, favoritism, very political
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I have taught at several 5 schools in my career in teaching and worked with a dozen other, YDI is the only school where politics are put on a backburner and the needs of the children actually do come first. Yes, as with all jobs dealing with teenagers there is a lot of stress, but here it is actually because the needs of children are dealt with. The administration is willing to work with you on any issues that come up and there is the possibility of advancement in the company.
Pros
Free food, benefits, also have adult support
Cons
Stress of dealing with adolescents
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It is a great place. It gets hard when the clients are a little out of control but once you realize they are not your kids to raise you are there to keep them safe and create positive healthy relationships it makes it easier. The floor supervisors (one more than the other 3) believe that is their way or the highway which makes it hard at times when you need to be flexible and work with humans. They will come and step on your toes to get the child to stop the BX. It's amazing when you get a great team and you really work well together. My staff standing next to me helps me come in every day. Some co-workers become real life friends. The benefit of seeing the most damaged kids come out on top is truely rewarding.
Pros
Free food, great co-workers, benefits, unlimited over time
Cons
Work/life balance, high turn over, pay
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Challenging and rewarding place to work. 25 plus years helping children reach their potential. 24 hour a day business, many opportunities to work and grow personally and professionally. Many staff have been with the company for over 5 years. A place of healing and hope.
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