Children at Risk

  www.childrenatrisk.org
  www.childrenatrisk.org

Children at Risk Reviews

Updated October 24, 2014
Updated October 24, 2014
10 Reviews
2.5
10 Reviews
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Children at Risk President & CEO Robert Sanborn
Robert Sanborn
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Smart and Motivated Staff

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

    I worked at Children at Risk

    Pros

    -Intelligent, driven, and well-educated employees
    -Flexible work schedules
    -Close-knit work environment fosters strong connection and dedication to organization's mission
    -Supportive and friendly staff

    Cons

    -Numerous job titles and functions can make organization seem disorganized

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to develop infrastructure, policies, and procedures to legitimize organization and allow for professional development of staff members.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Staff Burns Out, Unethical Practices, and Constant Survival Mode

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

    I worked at Children at Risk full-time

    Pros

    Lots of exposure to various nonprofits and other institutions within Houston, Austin, and Dallas. Valuable stepping-stone position.

    Cons

    Junior Staff is underpaid and given unrealistic expectations; Senior Staff is adequately paid and given unrealistic expectations. Even for a typical nonprofit environment. Health benefits are also low-quality, with staff paying a significant portion. (Maternity leave is 6 weeks at 30% pay, which is a joke for a nonprofit with Parenting/Family Center.)

    Check the staff page. Everyone, minus CEO and 1 other, have been there for 2,3 years or less (this includes both offices, ~30 people). Most staff are/were passionate and enjoyed their work. However, C@R constantly operates in survival mode and it affects quality (ex: 2014 School Rankings Mistake). CEO has particularly unrealistic expectations for Development and has been trigger-happy to fire Director of Development (which makes funding even more difficult; there's been about 5 different directors over the past 3 years).

    There is also significant abuse of grants. Completely unethical practices.

    Note: All struggles are purposefully hidden from interns. Interns are unpaid and thus, C@R does try to make it an enjoyable experience. Staff also has more control over internship responsibilities, thus changing the game.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Board needs to hold CEO accountable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Excellent learning experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Intern in Houston, TX

    I worked at Children at Risk as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    You get hands on experience researching relevant health, education and family topics so you can prepare for the upcoming legislation session. You get experience writing one pagers, op eds, policy briefs, and even being on a radio show if you want to answer questions from the public. As an intern, we were taken on site visits to relevant places near Houston such as juvenile penitentiaries, the Food Bank, SEARCH, and charter schools to get tours and all of your policy questions answered. Some interns where taken to Austin with policy advocates to see what the system is like as it prepared for the next session. We also got to work with partner groups such as Doctors for Change to impact real policy changes in access to care for children. Office culture is great, and they make sure you have plenty of feedback on your work so you know you are constantly improving. We even got to watch the world cup during lunch in the conference room!

    Cons

    Honestly I did not see any of the cons that other people have posted, they must have been exaggerating. The only con I had was that I could never tell how old the coffee in the coffee pot was.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Exciting projects, overworked staff, no true middle management, a sprawling mission

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

    I worked at Children at Risk full-time

    Pros

    -Since the organization is small, most employees get the chance work real, high level policymakers.
    -The projects that come through the pipeline are exciting and full of potential.
    -Some of their best events bring in big thinkers with great ideas.

    Cons

    -The CEO dislikes "negative" influences among senior staff, so strong-willed independent employees are more likely to toil in middling positions.
    -Employees are expected to accept whatever workloads are offered and make it work. That may not seem like a big issue, but a) this organization hires mostly very young employees who do not know themselves well enough to say "no" or "I need help" on a project b) a sprawling mission leaves staff spread thinly on many surface-level projects. A lot of talented staff left because they didn't feel like they were being used well, or that they had no opportunity to add value.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Hire a human capital manager who manages staff day to day, let the CEO focus outward and upward where he excels.

    -Support your strong self-starters, especially those who are willing to push back. They are the backbone of your organization. They care enough to push back, and will have great ideas if you truly bring them into the strategy process.
    -Bring your less experienced staff on slowly and temper expectations. Otherwise they will burn out, losing interest and confidence.

    Much of the 85% turnover can be directly linked to either of these management issues.

    -Reduce the size of the board and focus on fewer issue areas. The talent is there to create real change, but right now the best they can do is get in the news.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Interesting projects, terrible organization

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

    I worked at Children at Risk full-time

    Pros

    Interesting projects, amazing coworkers, decent access and exposure to statewide advocacy organizations.

    Cons

    CEO- has made sexist (from all angles- misogynistic and anti-male, MRA folks have a field day with that one) and wildly inappropriate comments to line staff. Has no boundaries and is driven by ego. To his credit, he generally hires well but has a type (white and branded university credentials).

    Yes-men upper management, disengaged board allows for zero CEO accountability, most of the staff is underpaid, and minimal staff diversity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. Nothing will change until there is a new CEO.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Excellent

    Former Employee - Intern in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Intern in Houston, TX

    I worked at Children at Risk as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    This internship was an eye-opening experience. The subject matter that they deal with is very important to the community and there are many opportunities to leave the office and see how the community is being affected.

    Cons

    The only con I could offer is that they need additional office space. I shared an office with three other interns.

  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Children at Risk's senior management is problematic

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

    I worked at Children at Risk full-time

    Pros

    Friendly and dedicated co-workers. Grant funding ensures the opportunity to work with different projects, learn new things, and work with different people internally and externally.

    Cons

    Extremely high staff turnover (85% per year) highlights the organization's high-stress and low-support work environment. Upper management takes a thinly-veiled authoritarian approach to decision making and daily office interactions. Organizational climate is disengaging and lacking in trust. Staff are mostly frustrated and unhappy with the work environment. Professional development opportunities are mostly lip-service and there's little opportunity for internal promotion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior management style is not conducive to building an engaged, innovative, or efficient workforce. Management is in dire need of training in cultural sensitivity and effective leadership. The organization needs to create HR process for employees to move in the direction of staff retention and success.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    CEO is toxic, sexist and incompetent

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

    I have been working at Children at Risk full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    staff, opportunities, mission and opportunities to make real change

    Cons

    No HR, false promises made during interview process, CEO Bob Sanborn and Board of DIrectors

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create an HR department that actually listens to employees, board of directors should meet with staff without the CEO to determine how to fix high turn over, budget is inflated. CEO Bob Sanborn should step down because of his unethical behavior, sexual comments, homophobic commentary and treatment of employees. Your 80%+ turnover rate should be a sign of internal conflict and disarray.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    management creates toxic work environment

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

    I worked at Children at Risk

    Pros

    great co-workers, good opportunities for collaboration internally and externally

    Cons

    Over the last year, staff turnover has been around 80%, with many staff members leaving after less than six months. While management sites a number of factors (graduate school, higher salary), staff leave because they are incredibly unhappy in this work environment. In the interview, management claims that this is an intellectually curious place that plays to people's strengths where you will never be micromanaged. I found the exact opposite to be true. There is no upward mobility. It is an unusually inflexible work environment for a nonprofit. Do not work here if you value a work/life balance. The organization is also financially unstable and a staff member was hired and laid off two months later earlier this year. The board is bloated and unaware of staff needs. The organization also underpays staff compared to under Houston nonprofits. Annual raises are not standard, even if a staff member receives excellent mid-year or end-of-year reviews. There are a lot of promises made during the interview process, but do not be fooled. Management does not value staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    reconsider hiring criteria. have a constant resource (an HR person) for staff

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    dedicated, hardworking co-workers but ridiculous management and CEO

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

    I worked at Children at Risk full-time

    Pros

    the work is rewarding, and everyone working there is dedicated to the work they do.

    Cons

    there is no HR or training. the management does not make sense. the CEO picks favorites and does not know how to manage, throws around insane ideas and is extremely childish when things don't go as planned. there is no financial management or oversight on his part when it comes to grants and development.

    typical non profit, much to do, very short on staff.

    not much room to move up, transition job

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get someone to manage communication between employees and the CEO and strengthen internal relationships.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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