Mission: Maximizing potential to achieve the full promise of community living
I worked at NFI Massachusetts full-time (Less than a year)
I worked at the UMass branch in Worcester MA, on their adolescent mental health unit.
The pay is decent I felt for the position I was hired for as it averaged higher than other agencies with the same positions. The program is very structured & well supported by upper management. The programs for the kids are excellent. And I took note of how caring the upper management was towards their staff which is extremely nice and I find to be a rarity. The management and clinical teams are so creative, insightful and diverse. Lower level management (like supervisors) are in company promoted and can be over barring at times but they are also extremely supportive. The company appears to promote current employees rather than hire outside the agency which makes everyone able to move up and advance eventually. There's also many positions available if you find you do not like the current one you are working in within the company and no one from upper management holds this against you in any way, they would rather keep good employees and use them effectively rather than keep the employee where they don't want to be and lose them to being unhappy at their job.
The only reason I no longer work at this agency is because I could not do the commute, it was 90mins to drive and get into the building for me.
You must have a degree or many years of experience in human service field working with and taking care of people to be hired here (or both). This is not a job they will hire anyone for just to meet ratio requirements, this company is selective and looks for particular skills to be employed by them.
Any job within the agency is a career job opportunity.
On a locked unit, no breaks, parking is a nightmare on 3-11 shifts at the UMass Worcester branch.
You are expected to work at least 45hrs a wk minimum for full time. This is because the staff are expected on shift at 230 and to stay until 11 (8.5hr days 5 days a week) for shift change report. Also staff meetings are twice a month and they are 2hrs at a minimum added to that wks overtime, staff meetings are what make the entire place run effectively as a whole so they are extremely important. Part time is available and no overtime is needed because your not on a full schedule anyways. Relief is a nice option as you do not have to work set shifts or schedules and they always need help.
The actual job itself can be extremely overwhelming and burn out rates for staff are extremely high. The children you are working with have a wide range of mental health problems and that can be challenging.
Restraints are often and exhausting.
This job is not for everyone. You need to have a good balance of empathy and boundaries to succeed.
The paperwork is abundant and time consuming.
When you first start on the unit, the other regular staff make you feel like you will not make it here because so many staff quit on a regular basis and I found you have to prove yourself to the staff more than the kids that you are capable to do the job.
Advice to Management
Staff need scheduled breaks off unit meaning able to go outside for a few minutes, staff should not have to explain why they need a break or what they are doing outside on their break because the work itself is why the staff need breaks. If the company provided even 10mins 2x a shift for your staff to take a break your burn out rates would be significantly less than what it is now.
Reconsider the mandatory overtime that is required for full time.
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at NFI Massachusetts (Haverhill, MA).
Easy flow through interview. Very personable and staff seemed compassionate about the field. Answered all my questions about the organization and job requirements. Director said that they were still interviewing and would be in touch early the next week.
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