I worked at SAFY full-time for more than 3 years
Pros – Flexibility to create your own schedule (though this is true of most child welfare or mental health jobs), caring co-workers, and ability to build positive relationships with a few, competent and compassionate foster parents as well as the foster children, agency provides laptops for employees and allows high-functioning staff to work from home on occasion, yearly merit reviews provide modest compensation for exceptional staff
Cons – Poor training program - especially initially and then throughout for employees, mileage reimbursement is far below federal standard, movement toward hiring less-qualified bachelor's level clinicians to compensate them less for a non-entry-level position, monitoring and evaluation process appears punitive and only intended to provide justification to avoid paying incentives to employees, employees are mandated to attend weekend trainings for foster parents or foster parent events as part of their salary when a typical work week is around 50+ hours already, agency appears to cater - sometimes when it is not warranted - to foster parents who barely meet a minimum standard to maintain a license, agency not only encourages clinicians to continually operate in a "dual role" but it is mandatory to perform the functions of the position (ex. Providing CPST services for clients placed in the foster home while also holding their foster parent accountable for failure to adhere to expectations of being licensed), emphasis appears to be upon placing as many children as possible without much regard for whether the foster parent(s) are capable of meeting special needs rather than just a child's basic needs - thus, some foster parents/clients appear to be set-up for failure from the beginning of the placement due to the agency appearing to exploit foster parent(s) willingness to immediately assume care (ex. Placing large, complicated-needs, sibling groups in an inexperienced or newly-licensed home), clinicians are routinely forced to spend their own funds on client meals since no reimbursement program exists for this when emergency circumstances dictate need, employees are occasionally required to share offices or the offices themselves do no reflect the competency of the staff/agency due to broken or outdated furniture/equipment, paperwork and documentation are extremely repetitive and generally serve no purpose other than enabling the agency to avoid paying incentives to staff if something is overlooked, etc.
Advice to Senior Management – Take a page from other successful agencies (ex. The Buckeye Ranch) who invest money in portraying a professional, competent image right down to how the lobby presents to incoming staff, foster parents, visitors, etc., eliminate the current monitoring and evaluation process and compensate staff to perform peer reviews which are likely to be more objective than an assessor attempting to locate "mistakes" to prove they are worth their paycheck, reexamine reimbursement for mileage and other monetary compensation if you are truly interested in attracting the best talent, all foster parents need to held the the same standards - and, if unwilling/unable to conform after one or two written reprimands - these foster parents need to be immediately removed from receiving further placements, streamline your paperwork processes to avoid having staff repetitiously document the same information in several different places.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company
2013-06-30 04:39 PDT
I have been working at SAFY
Pros – Having an opportunity, though it may be brief, to equip the children with the necessary tools in assessing their past and giving them the hope that their tomorrow can be better.
Cons – Though therapeutic in practice, not enough time is given to each child; leaving them for longer periods of time in a traumatic state of mind.
The majority of their foster care parents lack a sincere interest in helping these children. SAFY must do a better job in screening...these children are only warehoused.
Advice to Senior Management – Creating a SAFY group home where the social workers and professional counselors have many more hours of contact with these children would be in the best interest to these children who have been exposed to a whole host of traumatic situations. At the very least there would be continuity in their care and stay.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
2012-09-04 05:32 PDT
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