New Alternatives Reviews

Updated March 19, 2015
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  1. I've enjoyed working with teens, they are resilient and humorous.

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

    I have been working at New Alternatives

    Pros

    Learning your craft and becoming insightful, as well as making a difference.

    Cons

    lack of support at times

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Development and application of interpersonal skills

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. A hostile environment for graduated college Dreamers and children

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Developmental Counselor in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Developmental Counselor in San Diego, CA

    I worked at New Alternatives

    Pros

    Once the overnight shif is over, you can feel the warming California sun rise cheering you up ;-)
    You get to know very few valuable people, who really care about the children and their personal problems.
    You learn that all the human resources and managemnt courses that you learned in the books do not work in the real world at all.
    For a recent college graduate , it could be the first and last opportunity to make a better world by changing the whole system........

    Cons

    Most of the administrative staff do not do much about issues regarding the arrogant, and authoritative behavior expressed by some supervisors and team leaders against staff and the children.
    The overnight shift is a living hell with the lunatics, hiperactives (by snorting coke), obsesive compulsive, and bipolar staff .
    I would say that the MONEY factor is the main reason why most people try to stay there, even though the income per hour is very low, if you want to live by fancy California standards.
    For a recent college graduate, certainly the is not the best place to work for the first time, because you get to see on first hand the nasty and meaner side of people at work. So all your good intentions and ideals to make a better society are pretty fast trashed down.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Monthly evaluations on behavior and management issues will be a good thing to do.

    Doesn't Recommend
  3. Waste of life. Keeping it real.

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

    I worked at New Alternatives

    Pros

    Kids will make it all worth it
    Coworkers
    holidays, oh wait nevermind

    Cons

    Management hires people with little people skills or training and overworks employees while CEO's reap the profits. You will love this job until you realize this non-profit means you'll live in poverty, get no holidays, and management has no accountability because there are no internal structures to protect you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management won't listen to a word you say. They like status quo. As long as their name isn't published anywhere they are free to do as they will, hurting foster kids in the process. High turnover will continue because working conditions are horrible.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Good entry job for social services.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Child Care Worker in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Child Care Worker in San Diego, CA

    I worked at New Alternatives full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits. Stable hours. Ok pay.

    Cons

    High stress environment. Troubled kids and many of the staff seem to have issues, as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tuition reimbursement program and more training.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6. Great Starting point, DO NOT GET STUCK

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Behavior Specialist in Chula Vista, CA
    Former Employee - Behavior Specialist in Chula Vista, CA

    I worked at New Alternatives full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There were a number of pros. for being a new grad and getting my feet wet in both social work and education, NA was a ripe opportunity to really learn if you like it. The people you work with are all great and can be some of your best friends. You also get at least 1 free meal with a shift, get to work with teenagers and actually feel like you change the world.

    The work/life balance was great, if you want to work 40 hrs a week, great, go for it kid. if you wanna work 56 hrs sure why not, we are always short staffed. OH, WORK YESTERDAY KILLED YOU? CALL IN AND TAKE A DAY OFF FOR "mental health day" ONCE A MONTH.

    Cons

    So this company hires 2 types of employees, recent grads, or therapists. All the managers have been there for 5+ years before they were promoted. The nature of the job is violent by nature and sometimes you may get hurt when a client really doesnt like you and may throw a brick at you or try and punch you etc. In my time i was bit, scratched, punched, kicked, spit on, and stabbed. You can easily get "stuck" in this job because it offers what a 21 year old new grad would love, hang out and supervise teenagers? why not? You get stuck with a low pay and no room to move up until someone above you leaves.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7. Thorough clinical experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Therapist in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Therapist in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at New Alternatives full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Supervision provided for social workers pursuing their licensure, trauma focused, incredible experience with youth and develop strong clinical boundaries

    Cons

    Politics and inconsistent management that impacts the staff and indirectly effects the work with the youth. Would benefit from increased incentives and rewards for very demanding job

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set firm limits between clinical and residential staff management

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Rivalry between departments aside from that focus on the kids is sincere and dedicated.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at New Alternatives full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    They hire the type of people who have an earnest desire to help those in need and do their best to get the job done.

    Cons

    Some of the directors of the facilities have been promoted from lower level positions from within but lack some formal education making it difficult for those who are being supervised by them (with higher education and professional training to do their jobs properly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to get information about day to day operations from employees at all levels thru surveys etc.,
    more transparency.

  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Very rewarding, but a very difficult company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Team Lead/Child Care Counselor in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Team Lead/Child Care Counselor in San Diego, CA

    I worked at New Alternatives full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Promoted very quickly, flexible with schedule and great co-workers. Very rewarding working with adolescents in San Diego foster system.

    Cons

    Many times shifts would be difficult and stressful, understaffed, underpaid, had to work holidays and many times under management did not care about the retention of employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not allow such are large and quick turn-over rate and make sure appropriate patient to staff ratio is kept.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  10. Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Behavior Specialist in El Cajon, CA
    Current Employee - Behavior Specialist in El Cajon, CA

    I have been working at New Alternatives full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Work with kids in a school setting

    Cons

    Difficult kids that can take a toll on you

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Up the pay

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11. Great place to learn and develop skills

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

    I have been working at New Alternatives

    Pros

    Opportunities for growth and experience

    Cons

    Pay is low for the workload

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