Alternatives Unlimited (Massachusetts)

  www.alternativesnet.org
  www.alternativesnet.org
There are newer employer reviews for Alternatives Unlimited (Massachusetts)

 

A Great Place To Work

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

I have been working at Alternatives Unlimited (Massachusetts) full-time (more than an year)

Pros

Alternatives has an excellent training program. Management is very easy-going and accessible. We provide an invaluable service to the people we support. Great benefits package. Plenty of opportunity to grow within the company. The headquarters, located at the recently renovated, historic Whitin Mill is beautiful. An all around great place to work!

Cons

High turnover rate - typical of any Human Services organization. Pay is very low for the large amount of work that we do.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Do some additional fundraising or cut the pay of higher positions, i.e. CEO, Clinicians, Nurses, to pay the front line people (Counselors, Supervisors, Coordinators) a higher salary. Minimum salary for the amount of work I do as a Support Counselor should be at least $18/hour.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

8 Other Employee Reviews for Alternatives Unlimited (Massachusetts) (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    A great place to start in human services

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Counselor
    Current Employee - Counselor

    I have been working at Alternatives Unlimited (Massachusetts)

    Pros

    Alternatives just tripled in size so there are plenty of internal promotion opportunities. Training is Alternatives strength and there are numerous opportunities for paid training. The offer a small education credit as well as medical/dental/life insurance.

    Cons

    High turnover rate, High stress job. The hours are not conventional. There has been a decrease in communication since the expansion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve communication between regional components and increase standards for paper work and employee individual interactions. Offer training series more than 1 time every other month.

    Recommends
  2.  

    Not nearly as bad as the other reviews state. There are ups and downs like any other job.

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

    I worked at Alternatives Unlimited (Massachusetts) full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Alternatives Unlimited (Massachusetts)

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