Youth Villages

  www.youthvillages.org
  www.youthvillages.org

Youth Villages Reviews

Updated November 21, 2014
Updated November 21, 2014
144 Reviews
2.8
144 Reviews
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Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler
Patrick Lawler
103 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Youth Villages always works in the best interest of the children and families they serve (in 10 reviews)

  • Our frontline staff and top leadership work extra hard to make a difference every day (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is non-existent and they blame you if you cannot make it better (in 18 reviews)

  • Long hours and unexpected emergencies related to the children running away (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

82 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    I believe in Youth Villages strong mission to help children and families succeed. I love the company culture!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - MST Family Counselor in Asheville, NC
    Current Employee - MST Family Counselor in Asheville, NC

    I have been working at Youth Villages full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    amazing support, great resources, the company cares about their employees, good benefits, great growth experiences.

    Cons

    tons of paperwork, can be difficult to manage home-work balance, incredibly emotionally tolling at times, not great pay

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not a *Smart* (long-term) Company, but a clever (use us, we will use you) company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Family Counselor in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Family Counselor in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Youth Villages full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Clever Company, but not a smart company. Obama cites the problem: "Youth Villages has promising ideas..." but ideas are abstract and unless reflected in the day-to-day concrete, experienced world, they are dismissed. Using the multi-systemic therapy allows in home experience at the source of the problem and cuts company costs. We feel better used as social workers, but then overall wind up feeling plain old used: tired, wanting more money.

    Cons

    The problem is that no one wants to get to the problems. Working with at-risk kids, and yet no one wants to risk their jobs. So, I will. Anonymously, the old fashioned scapegoat way, and now renewed internet way. When a company creates a game board of: we will use your Christian/Catholic identities and time-energy in social work to see if you will then work on call hours 24 hrs for 5 days straight, this becomes a game to play for the brain. The brain knows the hours are 24 hrs on call and the first complaint become "I am not paid for 24 hrs on call." Because most employees are "straight" out of college, they have the resources to see 35k as enough and the experiences gained as solid concrete for their resumes and fresh experiences to build on. A recent college grad does not have kids and family to tell itself 'turn the phone off during off-call hours' and therefore people without kids, including lesbians and bisexuals, alongside other minorities (their words), are then in a big game of being in a company whose CEO Patrick Lawler is a family man, and heterosexual promoting his values and having those values trickle down the pyramid. When employees say "I want more money and see how Youth Villages saves money by having us do in-home work, but do not see the money saved reflected in my salary, and I also do not see where my "social life" is, but do see a willingness to stay in the closet and/or be an African-American in a female centered business, that welfare is and always has been, and am now inside a culture that has a male, Caucasian, Catholic, heterosexual male as the CEO, this is when the brain again has an issue, because here we all are not being reflected in all our various identities, as women, gay or bisexual, and/or African-American in a business that looks a bit master oriented. When people say 'I am not making enough money in social work,' the problem is almost never about money. It is about being inside a company that is setting up a "use us/ we will use you" work life, that again goes without speaking of. If you are gay or bisexual, I ask that you consider whether 'playing the game, to climb the ladder' is worth staying in the closet for, as I did and do for years since i have been here seeing it as a game to play which allowed me to think I was valuing my professionalism and in turn was allowed to work endless hours and speak about my home life with friends and roommates without ever having to face the prospect of having an equal in a partner at home to have a life with and build on. I "use" the company to hide from a personal life and then complain about salary and lack of time off to build on to have such a person at home. I see the paradox. The complaint shows what I am really unhappy about: I don't have someone at home to use with my boss to say 'I demand a work-life home balabnce,' and they know I don't have kids so there again it doesn't have a weight. I love my co-workers, but they also became a way to use people and be used. My strong identity as a Christian is a valued part of our conversations, but not my partner. So, I lie about this, too. I say it's for them, but really it's me 'playing the game' for my professional commitment to outdo any other human need I have and lacks a maturity to think my co-workers would value this part of me and nourish me in it, as much as discussions of church do.

    Youth Villages uses us for our 'do good' identities as Christians and Catholics, but the other ethnic identities go unspoken. I used them to be in an in-home environ and to test the limits of my commitment to children and families in need, but found myself lately complaining about money and my welfare, as opposed to citing that this is the issue completely. It's welfare (for others) and not my social life that needs to be tended to. Because I am not out of the closet, so what do I mean when I say "work-life balance needs to be changed so I have time off." The company, in turn, leverages my desire to 'feel good, doing social work' against me by asking me 'how can you ask for time to your life, when your life is not as important as a heterosexual, married, white male?," or "how can you ask for a work-life balance when you are a good Christian/Catholic who is here to serve others through you and your sacrifice?" They ask this silently, of course. My love for for a social environ at work confuses the issues, too. We should return to the idea of welfare and find companies who serve all of our identities properly, as women, as those with ethnic diversities that require care, and as those who are Christians/Catholics (etc) inside careers in welfare and not *use* these companies to further holes we have inside from a lack therein.

    The loss of having a smart company behind me (or alongside me) is great. I learned the lesson the hard way: mutual respect and a non "use me/I'll use you" experience serves short-terms gains only and causes avoidance, stress, and lost resources for myself and clients. When companies put the abstract principles before the need to have them realized in experience and concrete contracts of mutuality, these losses to our clients and ourselves build to erode the company itself. The reviews of Youth Villages show it to be "average" because the company wants to stay "average." Which means to keep an eye on myself for how "average" I am or want to be. Our work and experience with each other - even virtually - is contracted. These contracts serve who we are and how we become. But, as soon as an imbalance is noted, the brain knows and tries to rebalance it. In my case, a smart company removed the choice for me. So I am stuck at a clever company that takes cheap ways that have short-term gains and not long-term and mutual investments.

    I wish I had gone for the Smart Company which asked the most of me fairly, but I wasn't ready to trust people or myself and put the cheap game away. Too little, too late. Godspeed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Confront the issues and expect your employees to as well. Be honest about whether you want the cheap way or the way welfare was intended to be: to better ourselves and others fairly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Will achieve a lot of counseling and case management experience. Work-life balance extremely difficult to achieve.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - MST Family Counselor in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - MST Family Counselor in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Youth Villages full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The experience you gain in family counseling and multi-systemic therapy. High level of supervision and training. Ability to work from home. Mileage reimbursement. Ability to obtain supervision for licensure. Team-oriented work atmosphere in the office. Staff make every effort to make new employees feel welcome. Recognition given for hard work. Encouraged to use free Dragon Software to reduce time it takes to document your sessions by using voice recorder.

    Cons

    Mounds of paperwork with strict deadlines and constant reminders from supervisor. If you like routine, you will not enjoy this position. Very stressful, many demands and not enough time to complete it all. On-call to your cases 24 hours per day/5 day work week for crisis management. On-call weekend rotation to all family counselors' cases starting 5pm on Friday to 8am on Monday. Must stay with company for every year you received supervision for licensure or wind up paying them back for supervision hours. Little pay for high volume of work. High employee turnover. Difficult to take vacation days around the holidays. Often driving long distances to see families and go to trainings. Lack of work-life boundaries. Most people who stay have no time for a life outside of work (these people are usually single, living alone in Durham/Raleigh, don't have kids, straight out of college).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire standby family counselors to cover cases after normal business hours to encourage self-care and boundary setting for more work-life balance. Reduce needless and redundant paperwork or at least extend deadlines so workers don't fall behind. Be upfront in interview process about time demands, work related stress, and opportunities for supervision regarding licensure.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Wonderful organization and opportunity for growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Memphis, TN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Memphis, TN

    I have been working at Youth Villages full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Youth Villages stays ahead of most organizations regarding clinical treatment and staff training. The agency offers flexible hours, tuition assistance and other perks that non profit companies don't offer.

    Cons

    Most entery level postions are less flexible.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Be passionate about the clients

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Independent Skills Trainer in Oregon City, OR
    Current Employee - Independent Skills Trainer in Oregon City, OR

    I have been working at Youth Villages full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Working in this field is my education background and I love the work

    Cons

    Management has poor communication, scheduling, and there is a high rate of turn over and alot of overtime

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    better work-life balance, giving people requested time off, so that they are not forced to just call in sick, less holds and seclusions & bring CPS to all residential facilities, and use CPS with manager and staff.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Enjoyed working at YV

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Youth Villages full-time

    Pros

    -helped kids overcome issues
    -positive work environment

    Cons

    -work/life balance
    - unrealistic paperwork goals

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Long lasting career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Youth Villages full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Excellent match of personal values and company values, great opportunities for promotions

    Cons

    work schedule and salary advances

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    different

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Youth Villages

    Pros

    Great Place to work, challenge, room for advancement, friendly work environment

    Cons

    Pay, Salaries, less money ,not enough money,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/a

  10.  

    Good Company... but sometimes you feel overworked and underpaid

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Clinical Supervisor in Miami, FL
    Current Employee - Clinical Supervisor in Miami, FL

    I have been working at Youth Villages full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Some of the families that you get to work with make you smile when you are able to see the progress that they have made. Lots and Lots of training. This company wants to make sure that you know what your doing while your out in the community working with families. Company also pays for your licensure, and school if your willing to stay with them for a minimum of 2 years after completion. Supervisors go above and beyond to help out when they can and they are not being overworked.

    Cons

    Leadership seems cliquey, and often states that they want to be transparent, but display the exact opposite. Although there are step increases offered depending on which location your work at, office politics sometimes makes them not even seem worth it. You are at times expected to perform at a level that you cannot manage or maintain long term due to the amount of paperwork and the long drive times. Doesn't seem like the Supervisors get much support from upper management. Things happen often in a disorganized manner which adds to the high turn-over. Seems like at least 2-4 people are leaving a month out of a significantly small office, which causes the case loads of those left to increase.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You should consistently check in with your lower level staff (ie. Specialists, Clinical Liaisons, and Clinical Supervisors) anonymously so that they can share what is "really" going on in some of the offices where there is not as much visible upper management, without feeling as if they will be punished.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Youth Villages: where every day is a new, fresh hell

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Youth Villages full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The children are delightful and deserve excellent staff to serve them.
    Excellent chance for promotion due to high turn over.
    Despite corrupt upper management, frontline staff are close knit and quality
    Parents have a high level of support from staff.

    Cons

    You are on call literally 24 hours per day. When the job is presented to you, they tell you that you will receive adequate training and a manageable caseload, but this is a myth. You will be overworked. There is no sacred time. I attempted to call in sick one day and was asked to continue to take phone calls despite having a violent stomach virus. Boundaries are nonexistent.
    Management is physically incapable of telling the truth. One supervisor was honest with an employee once around job expectations and immediately turned into a pillar of dust. Upon promotion, regionals are asked to surrender the last vestiges of their humanity. Your family and friends need to host a farewell dinner because they will never see you again due to the brutal work hours, and when you eventually find the strength to quit, the PTSD and bitterness has seeped so far into your soul that you are left forever changed. They company has made it impossible to succeed. Therapy suffers at the hands of case management. The majority of counselors with the company over six months need anxiety medication to cope. Employees are asked to make unethical decisions in order to boost success percentages, often at the detriment of the children. I have had full team turnovers every six months since I began working for the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Aid staff with work life balance.

    "We do what we say we do" should extend to fair employee caseloads and expectations.

    Separate case management and therapy duties.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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