Barber National Institute

  www.barberinstitute.org
  www.barberinstitute.org

Barber National Institute Reviews

Updated October 15, 2014
Updated October 15, 2014
11 Reviews
2.7
11 Reviews
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John Barber, J.D.
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    TSS work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Tss in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Tss in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at Barber National Institute part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    good work/life balance. Employees very committed to the mission and values of social work.

    Cons

    Low job security. Not very high pay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great Mission, Shaky organizational structure.

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

    I worked at Barber National Institute

    Pros

    The commitment to mission and the kids is fantastic, the people working with everyone truly care.

    Cons

    Budget constraints, a decrease in healthcare benefits are causing a decrease in the value of employment

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Alright job

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Barber National Institute

    Pros

    Very Easy work, very relaxed, have a great relationship with clients

    Cons

    Not really organized, could offer more full-time positions

    Recommends
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  5.  

    It has become all about the money management

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

    I worked at Barber National Institute (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Experience solving own case problems, working with different types of cases, increase development of time management skills, experience dealing with various crisis

    Cons

    Constant management changes, change in focus from all about the kids ability to function in their environment to lead fulfilling lives to all about the money, constant increase in number of case load hours to fulfill that is unethical for thereputic outcomes, micro managing increases with each new office staff & manager (which occurs every 6 months to a year), new program or clinical director on average every year- that continues to be cheaper for the company but offers no real clinical support, no value in therapists just seen as money makers, no support in learning valuable therapeutic interventions for new employees, no support in meeting expectations for case load perscribed hours since they assign you all over the region and expect you meet their level prescribed hours weekly not considering time it takes to get to one client to another & the hours that available (ex 10 clients all 4 hours each starting at 4pm-6pm- some certain days of the week like Mon & Wed or just Wed), in order to attempt to be ethical you would have to work atleast 50 hours and that's not including the time for ALL the paperwork that has to be done weekly, monthly, 6 months, etc for each client!! Focusing on what Insurance company wants instead of what is better for the clients.

    They expect more and pay less than other agencies. Super high turn around rate. Seasoned FT therapists have more responsibilities and requirements for even less pay than PT therapists!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show value in your staff, don't fake the valueing. Support your seasoned staff- obtain better clinical support for ALL therapists not just for one type of therapy focus. Stop thinking money and return back to valuing what the agency stood for and make it happen! Support your seasoned therapists and give them a raise! No raises in 10 years does not increase quality of work and moral. Listen to your clinicians regarding work load and hours! You want higher productivity? Work with each clinician and their case loads to make it ethical and higher productivity. Stop the insane amount of double paperwork!

    Use seasoned therapists to support MA level therapists!! Bring back mentor program! That would support MA therapists and increase quality of work to each of these kids. Make a change to really make a difference!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    It's just a job, a stepping stone to a real one

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

    I have been working at Barber National Institute full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    flexible schedules, free meals, good environment. Love the clients and most group home staff. Pay is in general what you'll find anywhere for the area for the same work at another agency

    Cons

    Management doesn't care about employees. They will tell you something is not allowed or against policy until it's convenient for them to make you do it. i.e. forced to stay for 18 hour shifts because of 'no-shows' and coming back into work 6 hours later. No seniority, no raises, no shift differential, forced to work every single weekend and holiday. Not allowed to take PTO when you want/need just because someone else at 1 of 10 other group-homes has it off. Management does not advocate for clients unless their family is a donor. Computer server is ALWAYS down making it impossible to do paperwork and then getting reprimanded when work isn't done on time. LOTS of 'busy work' paperwork that literally gets thrown away at the end of the month. Barely room for promotion but it's all in who you know. Day staff is rude to group-home staff, constant disagreements. Psych and nursing are dismissive and treat staff like idiots even though most of us hold BA/BS or MA degrees but can't find better paying jobs in Erie. Loads of staff do nothing all shift and are never reprimanded//no protocol for when this constantly happens. Part-time staff are unprepared when sent to a new group-home and usually sit around all night even when asked to help. Full time gets paid less than part time. That's right, you read that correctly. They can't come up with another 25 cents to at least meet the wage of part time aides (because we get a 'benefit package'). Instead of firing problem staff members they are just moved to another group home for someone else to deal with. Especially if they are a 3rd shift staff because their shifts are harder to fill. Staff are constantly told we 'can't call off' and are forced to work when we're sick or too tired to safely run a shift which shows that client health and safety is often disregarded.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    BNI is non-profit, Staff understand that. But there are so many staff that have sacrificed and bent over backwards for this company and are never rewarded. In fact, as time goes on it seems we are punished. More work responsibility without pay increase, PTO days taken away, high insurance premiums etc.. Part time staff get to pick their schedule but full time doesn't. We understand that's part of the responsibility but it's really unfair that an aide can walk in, say they don't want to work weekends or holidays ever, and still make more than full time!!! All they have to do is change their availability and they get what they want.

    Make an anonymous protocol for what staff should immediately do when other staff members aren't pulling their weight i.e. PS or OS come immediately to rectify the situation. I'd rather work alone than with someone that gets a paycheck for doing nothing. If you can't offer pay increases at least offer extra PTO days for seniority or bonuses for an amount of time without call-offs or tardiness (gift cards, coupons, non-monetary gifts).. Talk to area businesses to see if they would offer discounts with employee ID that staff would actually use. Offer in-group-home in service for mandatory training's because most staff have to have 2 jobs to meet a livable wage and often cannot go to the center during the day. Make it required that Part time aides have to work a certain number of weekends or holidays per fiscal year. Cut down on paperwork that no one even looks at (mileage sheets, water, fridge, and freezers temperatures, MAS, sleep charts) Streamline other paperwork and take out redundancies (having to write date multiple times on one form, sign, print, and initial on same form twice, delegate certain duties that part time staff are responsible for. Let staff pick date and time for staff to do appointments. Client appointments should work around our schedules if we are to take them. More contests and give-aways to keep staff interested as there is currently a huge divide between office staff and grouphome staff. Have staff email reports and paperwork instead of printing things out constantly and wasting paper, ink, and half the time the printer doesn't even work. STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS. Look into it. SO many people would work or stay an employee if this was offered. Even if it were a small percentage based on total hours work during the length of employment. Have more fundraisers, even small ones that staff could take part in such as bake sales, craft fairs, music, etc. Many staff are very talented and would be willing to volunteer work to benefit programs.

    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Loved the consumers, hate the administration.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Substitute Aide in Erie, PA
    Former Employee - Substitute Aide in Erie, PA

    I worked at Barber National Institute part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    What kept me going was that the consumers all wanted to be there and wanted to work with me. I loved my co-workers who were all helpful and supportive. Other departments, however have the reputation of trying to sabotage their staff.

    Cons

    The overwhelming sense in the corridors of BNI is one of paranoia, staff and even supervisors always looking over their shoulders to see what the administrators are doing. I have never seen an organization where HR is so generally hated and feared by nearly everyone. Consequently, if HR decides to hurt a staff person, and therefore a department, supervisors and other staff are too fearful to intervene or show loyalty and support.

    HR seems to have developed a "3 months and you're out policy" terminating you because "though your work is excellent, you don't quite fit." This happens after probation is satisfactorily over but before your staff review where you become full staff.

    You can be suspended pending an investigation on some charge of abuse or rule infraction, or even for an issue on the outside which has nothing to do with BNI at all; and when exonerated terminated anyway with no recourse because PA is an "at will state."

    Staff on my level are overworked and underpaid.

    The diversity statement in the hand book is a joke. They will respect aspects of other cultures and religions as long as it is BNI policy to do so. They do discriminate against minorities, but their defense is that they discriminate against other minorities in the same way, and therefore it is general policy and not discrimination.

    If the BNI administration treated the consumers the way that they treat at least some of their staff, they would be up on abuse charges.

    I kept hearing, over and over again "If Gertrude Barber were alive today, she would not allow the administration to conduct business this way!"

    I was let go over the objections of both consumers and staff, though they felt powerless to do anything about it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go back to Gertrude Barber's vision, treat staff with respect and loyalty, and give them a decent living wage.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    A great learning experience

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Barber National Institute

    Pros

    Working at Barber National Institute gave me my first experience in working with adults with developmental disabilities. There is room for growth, I was promoted within a year to a manager.

    Cons

    The cons working there is that at times you have to work double shifts if a fellow co-worker doesn't make it to relieve you of your shift, or at times you may have to cover more than one shift due to inclement weather when associates can't make it in.

  9.  

    Working for the Barber National Institute gave me exposure to individuals with both physical and mental health issues.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Rehabilitation Professional in Erie, PA
    Former Employee - Rehabilitation Professional in Erie, PA

    I worked at Barber National Institute part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The personal reward through helping others.

    Cons

    The challenging physical demands.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to demonstrate a greater appreciation for employees devotion to the clients.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Not for me.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Therapeutic Support Staff in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Therapeutic Support Staff in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at Barber National Institute part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Semi-flexible schedule that might work well if this is your only job or if you're a full-time student. Competitive hourly pay as far as TSS positions go. Company will reimburse mileage IF the mileage is accrued from one case to another case or from the office to a case. Again, this only works well if this is your only job and you actually have multiple cases scheduled back to back in the same day. They will not reimburse you for traveling to a case from your home, which is usually where you will be starting from.

    Cons

    -Full-time Status and Benefits: No opportunity for full-time status (no matter how many hours you actually work) and therefore, no benefits.
    -Training: I received minimal initial training at my generic 3 day orientation that was mainly targeted for new hires entering the residential arm of the organization. I was basically thrown into implementing a behavioral treatment plan in the client's home armed only with my Autism 101 Powerpoint print out and an unrefined arsenal of minimally restrictive holds. There was very little discussion of what a TSS actually DOES.
    -Safety: One of my client's homes was a potential safety risk. My BSC was required to sign a waiver stating that she was aware of the risk and agreed to go into the client's home anyway. I was never even informed of the situation before going to the home unaccompanied.
    -Commute: All of my cases were at LEAST 40 minutes from my home (I live within city limits and 10 minutes from the office, so I'm not sure how I was consistently assigned to the far reaches of the county) and since they were my only cases for the day, I did not receive reimbursement for my mileage.
    -Stability: If a client cancels an appointment, you do not get payed. Period. Even if you spend 40 minutes driving out to their house only to be met by mom in the driveway and be told your client came home from school and fell asleep and "Oh, gee! I'm sorry! I guess I forgot to call..." Or worse, you drive out and they pretend they aren't home because they've mistaken you for a Jehovah's Witness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I understand that some of my complaints, especially the one to do with benefits and part-time status, are related to the available public funding for TSS positions on PA (although there are some other companies that have at least looked into benefits offerings for part-time employees). However, there are some other things that Barber could do for their part-time staff to make a strictly part-time position a more positive experience. Barber could do more to match clients and therapists based on geographic location, so that employees with only one or two cases are not seeing their paycheck go straight to their gas tank.
    Barber also desperately needs to revamp their TSS training during orientation. There was no real discussion of what a TSS does in the home during the orientation. Following orientation, professional development focused largely on what a TSS is not supposed to do in the home. There was very little focus on what a TSS actually DOES. Shadowing experiences should become a standard component of the training period.

    Doesn't Recommend
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Dissatisfied!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Substitute Teacher's Aide in Erie, PA
    Former Employee - Substitute Teacher's Aide in Erie, PA

    I worked at Barber National Institute part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The clients are wonderful, of course. If you like working with children or adults with disabilities, then it's a great place to work. however....

    Cons

    If you like to have your employer use you as "part time" and therefore give you no benefits whatsoever, but still want to work 40 hours a week, this is a good place to go. Their pay is also terrible... especially for a substitute teacher's aid.... $9.14 is awful for how much work the job entails.... Just awful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go back to the original meaning behind Dr. Gertrude's message. Also, think about the clients and the workers a bit more than your paycheck. And... lastly... no one likes the art that has been contrived by adults that they're selling as artwork done by a child. No child does art that well.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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