Oregon Department of Human Services

  www.oregon.gov
  www.oregon.gov
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Oregon Department of Human Services Reviews

Updated September 14, 2014
Updated September 14, 2014
14 Reviews
2.6
14 Reviews
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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Low pay with many rewards

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Human Services Specialist III  in  Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Human Services Specialist III in Portland, OR

    I have been working at Oregon Department of Human Services full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Many opportunities for training and internal hiring. The tools are provided for one to become proficient and knowledgeable in one or multiple program areas. Full service offices provide greater reward working with clients face-to-face. Call centers have higher caseloads with more flexible office environment.

    Cons

    It can take years for management to get rid of incompetent workers that cannot keep up with the pace required to stay on top of the demand. This only adds to the workload for other workers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to workers' suggestions and ideas. Be approachable. Offices with management that is unapproachable has higher morale issues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    Management incompetence and bad training

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

    I have been working at Oregon Department of Human Services

    Pros

    Descent salary, good benefits, great working hours, holidays and day off.

    Cons

    The evaluation of employee in trial services is no fair. An HSS3 they evaluate by accuracy, that means the HSS4, an other union coworker evaluate a supervise your job. Hello SEiU a union member can't supervise other Union Member. HSS4 is looking for management interests no for an Union Member.

    If you are HSS1 you will be evaluate by your capacity of be a great brown nose. You don't have preoccupation about accuracy of error. That means they verify your work and depend if you were trained in the area you will get an error.

    If you are smart and have new ideas, KEEP QUIET, management don't like new ideas, you will be a shadow and they start calling you trouble maker.

    In WCPC, management don't know nothing about how system works so they delegate to HSS4 all management responsibility. So, a union member will be your hangman.

    Now they are training new people all time, fired without compassion and humanity, discriminate with old employees, and ironic with Latin employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The problem with the government services are not the employees. Is management, they are not good leaders you have to take action about management like the NBA or NFL they don't fired the player, they change the coach when the team is loosing.

  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Avoid this company

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

    I worked at Oregon Department of Human Services full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Human services.

    Some workers can get education through state which can lead to better work elsewhere.

    Cons

    Unethical management practices.

    Conditions fluctuate widely. Strong economy, staff gets cut. Weak economy, workload increases without rehiring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think at this point only a major management sweep would be effective in solving issues. There may be a handful of decent managers there, but even they have to struggle with those higher up on the food chain. Unfortunately many of those in management are more interested in their own political potential than they are in accomplishing anything for the agency.

    Specifically:
    1. Management needs to be transparent to agency staff.
    2. Lower management needs to be able to deal effectively with both employee and client concerns.
    3. Some management need significant diversity training.
    4. Management needs to stop using union representatives (who aren't after all legal experts) to help them decide how far they can go to get rid of or discipline employees. And to know how to try every means necessary to help a struggling employee improve rather than orchestrate his or her dismissal. And not let their own personal feelings about a person determine whether or not that person is successful in employment.
    5. What seems to work best is when low level management is able to focus on their own individual employees and local office without pressure from above. The next level management needs to be aware of lower level manager concerns and provide periodic performance evaluation with referral to appropriate training if needed. In addition they should be able to liaise effectively between next higher management and lower management, passing on concerns and informing office personnel of changes in policy. Then the district manager would do the same between division managers and Salem. And finally Salem management would deal with the budget and the legislature and policy planning etc etc while both informing staff and being informed by staff.
    6. All management should have an open door policy whereas employees can feel safe to go over their supervisors without repercussion when they don't feel they are being treated fairly. Checks and balances.
    7. Management especially in a human services agency more than anything needs to be significantly experienced and knowledgeable not only in human resources, but in human services policy and procedures.
    8. Management should never be hired expediently (ie we need a manager and this person's the best of a sad lot.) If necessary the applicant pool needs to be continuously broadened until an appropriate person is found for a position. Hiring recommendations should be done by a committee given knowledge of but not necessarily involvement with the hiring location -- this would help get the best people for the job.

    Those in hiring need to be aware that it takes an exceptional kind of public servant to be a successful manager and that the bottom line for human services should not be a dollar sign.

    I'd send in an outside research agency from a state which is accomplishing goals to evaluate all management/management structure. Solicit anonymous opinion from line staff and clients. (unlikely to get honest opinion if not anonymous because repercussions are definite and can cause long term damage. While these repercussions are technically legal I would say only just barely. A formidable lawyer willing to take on the cause might do a lot of damage to the state finances based on these technically legal actions. Just something else to consider.) It may not be feasible however to do this. Another option might be to have workers and clients to rate individual managers and then target those managers for further training and -- if not successful -- dismissal.

    Set up an independent task force to both watchdog the agency and serve as a liaison between legislators and management. It is difficult for government agencies which have to comply with uneducated legislative directive and especially when management has to rely on the legislature for their very livelihood (ie they have to go along to keep their job even if going along is not what's best for the state or the agency). With appropriate management at the outset and outside audits, it works much better when the agency is able to manage its own internal affairs. In other words, leave the agency alone to do what it does best within the strictures of the budget and appropriate oversight.

    A transparent committee of labor/management staff to work on improving conditions between labor and management.

    At the same time the management that is now there has other priorities than that which serve the best interest of the state and its citizens, so I believe that a majority of them would need to be replaced. Although it's been awhile since I left employment, I have kept in touch and my understanding is that there hasn't been any significant change. It's sad because it used to be a decent place to work even given economic variables and the difficult situations of our clients.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Repetitive desk job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Services Specialist I  in  Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Human Services Specialist I in Portland, OR

    I worked at Oregon Department of Human Services full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Decent pay, good hours, holidays off, Secured building, one manager out of four is bound to be professional. Benefits are great and independent work is plentiful.

    Cons

    Employees can be disgruntled and unfriendly to new people, clients can be angry and use foul language at you, lots of paperwork, confusions about who is doing what, four managers in one building can be frustrating when they all have different ideas about what you should be doing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to scale down a bit. Four managers is too many when they argue about the procedures in the office. One does not always pay attention to what the other is doing and communication is lacking.

    Doesn't Recommend
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Stress, stress, stress!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Services Specialist III  in  Beaverton, OR
    Former Employee - Human Services Specialist III in Beaverton, OR

    I worked at Oregon Department of Human Services full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    ease of requesting time off, ease of using sick leave, stable pay and benefits.

    Cons

    constantly increasing work load with a shrinking budget, furloughs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop putting all of the hard work on those who are smarter and faster than the rest.
    You need to realize that brighter staff will not put up with this much pressure forever. If you want any smart, hardworking personel left working there, stop putting all of the workload on those few bright ones in the office, and start evenly spreading it between all staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Have an ever-growing list of Core Values that their management is allowed to break at-will.

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

    I have been working at Oregon Department of Human Services full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The reason I started working for the State of Oregon was their retirement program PERS was one of the best nationwide and the job benefits were great.

    Cons

    I knew going into a State job that the salaries were not great but, I was ready to accept that as an acceptable trade for good benefits now and good retirement later. Now, more than a decade later, with cost-of-living, I make less than when I started, I have endured 3 multi-year pay freezes, 4 years of furlough days, my PERS is shot, I pay healthcare premiums and am demonized in the press as an overpaid State worker.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Front line staff can't work for free forever and can't do the work you are expecting them to do just because you have decided it will work from afar in Salem. Even if all the economy problems are fixed within our State...DHS has some serious house-cleaning to do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fast paced workplace determining eligibility for Medicaid and Food Stamps. Highest highs, lowest lows.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Services Specialist III  in  Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Human Services Specialist III in Portland, OR

    I worked at Oregon Department of Human Services full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Able to help large volumes of people get the benefits each of them need, sometimes desperately. Huge sense of reward on a daily basis if Human Services inspires you.

    Cons

    Intense pressure to produce quick eligibility determinations from management, while leaving little time to service ongoing cases. Lack of communication to those at this level from upper and mid-management often proves debilitating to getting clients fully connected with benefits they need or even qualify for. Often communication came by the means of mass emails from managment, to which overwhelmed field staff would often ignore in order to meet 'production' demands.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    ok, budget makes it hard to get pay raises.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Economist  in  Salem, OR
    Current Employee - Economist in Salem, OR

    I have been working at Oregon Department of Human Services

    Pros

    plenty of vacation time and never have to work more than 40hrs per week.

    Cons

    Budget makes it tough to get pay raises.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    dont higher so many people

  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Oregon State Hospital

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Salem, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salem, OR

    I have been working at Oregon Department of Human Services

    Pros

    Working with the mentally ill is challenging and can be rewarding, although the State Hospital is a dangerous environment. The pay and benefit package is better than most jobs in the area.

    Cons

    Chronic understaffing results in employees working mandatory overtime and leads to exhaustion and low morale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We are top heavy with management; we need more line staff to run the State Hospital the way it should be run.

  11.  

    Very good entry level temp work... good luck trying to return!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Data Entry Operator  in  Salem, OR
    Former Employee - Data Entry Operator in Salem, OR

    I worked at Oregon Department of Human Services

    Pros

    This is an entry level position at Oregon Department of Human Services.

    Cons

    A troubling factor is an element of agency nepotism in the hiring of agency personnel.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please value temporary (or limited duration) employees, by offering them greater advancement to full time, permanent positions.

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