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Alternative Family Services

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Alternative Family Services Reviews

Updated Oct 1, 2021

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Found 17 of over 17 reviews

3.6
79%
Recommend to a Friend
92%
Approve of CEO
Alternative Family Services CEO Jay A. Berlin (no image)
Jay A. Berlin
10 Ratings
  1. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Outstanding place to work!

    Oct 1, 2021 - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    At AFS I work with people who really care- about the children and families, and about employees. The environment is flexible and supportive, which makes it possible to do this hard work every day!

    Cons

    Working with children and trauma will never be easy, but everything about AFS makes it easier.

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  2. 2.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    A lot of demand on clinicians as the “boots on the ground.”

    May 18, 2021 - Mental Health Clinician in Oakland, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Some core people really do care about children. The front desk vibe on the Foster Care side seems dedicated to community uplifting

    Cons

    Back room meetings and hierarchy of members who’ve been there for many years. Therapists supervision time can often be turned into a dumping of projects/tasks that management needs help with. I wish there was more care for actually helping the clinicians feel comfortable, accepted, and welcomed there.

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    Alternative Family Services Response

    Human Resources Generalist

    Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We always appreciate honest feedback, as it allows us the opportunity to improve both our services to our clients and our support to our staff. We take your input to heart and will be taking concrete steps to ensure all staff feel fully supported and integrated into the team. At AFS we strive to create a supportive work environment characterized by transparency, compassion and good team spirit. When we fall short in this goal, we take it extremely seriously. Your feedback will help us in our constant process of program improvement. If you would like to speak to us directly about your experiences, feedback and suggestions, we would love to speak with you directly. Please feel free to email us at info@afs4kids.org at any time. Thank you, Tricca Leverenz, LCSW Mental Health Director Alternative Family Services

  3. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Flexible

    Sep 28, 2020 - Family Service Counselor in Oakland, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Making a difference, flexibility, work culture

    Cons

    Lower pay, stories can be sad

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  4. 3.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Good place to learn about the foster care system

    Sep 14, 2020 - Family Support Counselor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Coworkers are great, very supportive of each other.

    Cons

    Very hard work emotionally, can be too much. Hard to balance with home life.

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    Alternative Family Services Response

    Human Resources Generalist

    AFS honors this feedback because the work truly is emotionally difficult. At the same time the work is deeply important and critical for our communities. We strive to support all employees throughout all aspects of the work, and see this support as a mandate. We are clear that giving the best possible service to our clients depends on members of our AFS community being able to find balance between work and personal/emotional needs. We hope to help employees in multiple ways, including supportive teams and an intensive training and supervision environment that anticipates stress and supports staff resiliency. Many of our social work and mental health clinician staff feel this is the hardest job they ever loved.

  5. 4.0
    Former Employee

    Supportive Environment

    Jun 16, 2020 - Support Counselor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Constantly being trained, reimbursed for mileage

    Cons

    Had to use personal vehicles

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  6. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Working to change the lives of foster youth

    Nov 8, 2019 - Director in San Francisco, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The AFS staff works passionately to have a positive impact on the lives of foster youth and their families. Positive work-life balance. Supportive teams.

    Cons

    Foster care is a challenging environment to work in.

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  7. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    AFS is a Great Company!

    Sep 19, 2019 - Accountant in Santa Rosa, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Pros are a good salary, generous benefits package, schedule flexibility, helping kids in need and feeling valued as an employee.

    Cons

    There are no cons to my job.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    Alternative Family Services Response

    Human Resources Generalist

    Thank you for your contribution to AFS!

  8. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Not great for part time non-administrative employees

    Jul 11, 2019 - Family Support Counselor in Oakland, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    There is always food and a sense of community among employees. My fellow counselors were so very supportive of each other. As a counselor, you have the rare opportunity to improve and change a child's life and a parent's or parents' lives. I gained so much experience and built lifelong connections with many coworkers and supervisors.

    Cons

    Compensation and raises were sub-par for the work I was expected to do. Bilingual pay was hard to come by. The "open door" policy didn't seem to work very well and I often felt as if the procedural issues I brought to the attention to the office manager, were swept under the rug, so to speak or completely ignored until a disaster happened. Seemed to be a theme, if you brought up concerns about the poor work environment, you would have your hours reduced. I feel that mid-level management needs a serious overhaul. Some supervisors had no background in the field, which made it hard to find solutions at times. They also hired some counselors who had little to no experience or educational background in the field as well which created inconsistencies with the quality of counseling that families were receiving across the board

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    Alternative Family Services Response

    Human Resources Generalist

    Thank you for taking the time to express your honest assessment. While we are happy to hear that you found many positives about your job, your notes about your supervisors, available support internally and compensation are well received. We have recently invested in increasing our supervisory trainings and have made a commitment to improve our new hire orientation process within each program. Compensation within the Non Profit social services sector is a challenge, but we continue to do all we can at the local, state and federal level to fight for fair reimbursement for the work we do to serve children and families in our communities. Jim Gold, LCSW Chief Program Officer

  9. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Mostly driving, traffic and lack of support

    Sep 10, 2019 - Mental Health Clinician in San Francisco, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Working with children, youth and families in Foster system and adoption process.

    Cons

    1. The amount of driving across 5 county 2. Lack of proper reimbursement for all expenses 3. Lack of support in working with clients 4. Lack of actual therapy work due to discharge clients very quickly 5. No stability 6. Very low pay

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    Alternative Family Services Response

    Human Resources Generalist

    Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We value your honest feedback. We acknowledge that bringing services to the community, as opposed to an office or clinic based model, requires significant driving. We believe that more actual healing will be achieved in the home and neighborhood than in our offices, and that client participation is maximized. Driving in the Bay Area can be stressful, but the practice is a function of our commitment to community based care. We appreciate you may have been with AFS prior to, but we have increased our compensation package for Mental Health Clinicians and believe we are very competitive for community based agencies in the Bay Area. Our starting salary for unlicensed Masters Level Clinicians is now $58,000. If you have any interest in speaking with us directly regarding your thoughts around the other issues you mentioned in your review regarding support, reimbursement and discharge, your specific feedback will be very appreciated. Please feel free to send us an email anytime at info@afs4kids.org. Tricca Leverenz, LCSW Mental Health Director

  10. 2.0
    Former Employee

    Foster Parent

    May 28, 2017 -  
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Potential to provide superb support to the clients and families enrolled in the program.

    Cons

    Fail to provide adequate support based on ethnicity of the foster parents. Meetings are segregated. Although not purposefully based on ethnicity but other factors yield the same results. Also, excessive workshops create childcare issues for foster parents with children in the teen category due to onsite care only provided for infant/toddlers. In addition, rules are most intrusive and does not foster the family structure by which the placement is designed. Therefore, the environment becomes a youth-group-home perspective from a family-live-in situation. This is not a way to help the client acclimate to a family oriented. Lastly, if a foster parent becomes too involved inquiring and questioning comparison of support with different AFS locations that parent is viewed negatively then privately reprimanded and asked to refrain from participating.

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    Alternative Family Services Response

    Human Resource Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We always strive to be as thoughtful and as accommodating as possible in all situations, especially when children are involved. We're sorry your experience with us was less than ideal. Your comments regarding foster parent assistance, on-site childcare assistance, age-appropriate trainings/support, and accommodating the unique needs of those who speak different languages and/or come from different cultural backgrounds are all well taken. Please know that we will be taking your feedback to heart and enacting change to better serve our community. If you have any additional questions, concerns or comments you'd like to share with us, please feel free to reach out directly at info@afs4kids.org.

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