- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Alternatives Unlimited (Massachusetts) full-time (More than a year)RecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEORecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEO
Staff becomes close-knit. I worked in a group home for over a year here, and my team got along very well. My supervisors did not play favorites, and my coordinator does an amazing job of keeping the whole house running smoothly. The individuals in my house had their good and bad days, however everyone is there to focus on recovery. Counselors have the ability to help shape the goals of their individuals to best suit their needs, and Dennis Rice et. al. advocates very hard for raises for his employees. The wage issues presented by other reviews appear to be a result of social work in general, as opposed to Alternatives specifically. Staffs are kept informed and trained, and there is generally the option of using a company van (at least in the group homes). The majority of staff is there solely for the purpose of bettering the lives of their individuals.
Alternatives will reimburse costs for employee wellness, such as gym membership or smoking cessation. They will provide free trainings and certifications. They will reimburse a portion of educational costs (I don't remember how much offhand, but it is significant). For many people this is an entry level job in the field, and I promise you will receive more than enough information and skill work to benefit you as you progress through this company or otherwise throughout the social work field. Finally, your first three months you do not receive your full salary as this is a probation period ~however~ this is reimbursed retroactively at the completion of this period.
This is human service. Some of the individuals will smell or act irrational. This is a product of mental illness (I worked in mental health as opposed to developmental). Like any other job, there is the proclivity for gossip. There is a lot of chore-based work for staff when individuals are unable to support themselves, however when done correctly these chores are done in order to teach the individuals rather than provide them a crutch. The main con of this job is that there are counselors (none that I have met, but I have heard stories and read reviews on here) that don't care to work in this field.
Mileage on your car could be an issue, even in the group homes. Alternatives does reimburse a portion of mileage, but sometimes coordinators/supervisors forget to submit mileage sheets. The most difficult part of this job is that it does wear you out. Fortunately, Alternatives provides earned leave that is beyond adequate.
One horrifying thought, however, is that DMH bills Alternatives through their service notes. If a house cannot complete their required amount of notes for the fiscal year, their house may be shut down or sold to other services. I have not seen this happen, however it brought me some stress in my first few months.
Advice to Management
Some trainings could absolutely use evaluation. Most were great and filled with applicable information, however there were several that involved driving to worcester or whitinsville where they stretched three hours of information into a six hour seminar. Also, whereas a town's housing authority generally covers landscaping/snow removal, etc., it may be worth employing individuals to perform these tasks, specifically those with employment goals that are not being fulfilled.
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceEasy InterviewAccepted OfferPositive ExperienceEasy Interview
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Alternatives Unlimited (Massachusetts) (Whitinsville, MA).
I went through two rounds of interviews they weren't very stressful. The first interviewer was very rude on the phone but ended up being a lot nicer in person.
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