Youth Villages - Experience and Opportunity | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for Youth Villages
There are newer employer reviews for Youth Villages

See Most Recent

"Experience and Opportunity"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Manager in Memphis, TN
Current Employee - Manager in Memphis, TN
Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

I have been working at Youth Villages full-time (More than 10 years)

Pros

Excellent Experience. If you are going to work in the mental health field, from early on, you will get excellent front line experience that will stick with you for the rest of your career. The challenges and difficulties of the job help foster a team envrinment where everyone works together to get the job done. Since Youth Villages is leading the way nationally in child welfare services and innovation, you have the opportunity to gain a unique perspective and get it on what is being nationally recognized as a leading model and organization. Simply the excellent name Youth Villages has built for itself can be an asset in your future career if you find yourself needing to change organizations. Its hard work, from top to bottom, the nature of the work is hard. However, Youth Villages will afford you the opportunity and experience to make the most out of it. As you progress in your career in or outside of Youth Villages, you won't be basing your career off a bunch of stuff you read in a book in some class. Rather, you will be basing it off first hand experiences that you get working at Youth Villages. The company often promotes from within, so advancement opportunities abound, particularly with its expansion to other states. I started Youth Villages 12 years ago having no idea or intention that I would stay as they were just the first people that offered me a job when i graduated college. But I made the most of it and have had an excellent career as a result. People's experience could vary, but all I can do is testify to my experience and many of thsoe around me.

Cons

Again, its hard work and anyone who tells you otherwise is not painting the full picture. But so much of that is simply the field in which Youth Villages operates. The time can be demanding and how well you handle it can very greatly based off your personal work style. The nature of the work means that its hard to drastically change things at any given moment, because its not as if you can send the kids elsewhere while you fix the problem. The kids are always in our care and it requires people who can adapt on the go and think outside the box.

Advice to Management

Keep seekings ways to pour into staff's whole development. Leaders are often promoted young and dthey need the experience and support to learn as they go in the field of managing people. Youth Villages has a lots of programs to support this, but keep at it and keep innovating.

Other Employee Reviews for Youth Villages

  1. Helpful (12)

    "Unsupportive and ungrateful. (Knoxville and Johnson City, TN)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Family Intervention Specialist and Transitional Living Specialist in Knoxville, TN
    Former Employee - Family Intervention Specialist and Transitional Living Specialist in Knoxville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Youth Villages full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Honestly, I believe that there are only a few pros. First, they will hire almost anyone with a bachelor's degree in a social services field and about 6 months of some kind of experience. Secondly, it is nice to make your own schedule. Third, I would say that direct supervisors (clinical supervisors) are just as bitter as the counselors, so they can be pretty easy to talk to.
    The biggest pro would be the kids that you get to work with. Some of them absolutely stole my heart, and it honestly may be the most intrinsically rewarding thing I've done.

    Cons

    There are several things wrong with this organization.

    First, I would tell various supervisors that a client would have maybe met for 30 minutes. The majority of these supervisors would ask something along the lines of "Are you sure that it wasn't closer to 45?" WE WERE NEVER DIRECTLY TOLD TO COMMIT FRAUD. Many times, at least in the Johnson City location, we would be told to complete phone sessions if we couldn't meet in person, though upper management would take action if this was discovered. I entered a note once in our system, quoting the therapist of one of my clients. I was told I needed to change the note and upper management provided me with the direct wording, even though she was not there at the time of my session.

    Second, the organization is up front about their schedules, stating that the counselors are on call starting 8am Monday to 5pm Friday, and rotating weekends. Transitional Living has to see their clients once a week, unless otherwise stated by the clinical leadership and Family Intervention Specialists (IHS) sees their families 3 times per week. Also, on the website when looking to apply (at least in my case), it states that the case load for both of these positions are 7-9 clients and 4-6 clients, respectively. What they DON'T mention is the high intensity cases that have to be seen more than these allotted times. There were many times when I was carrying a case load of 8 in IHS, and 12-13 for TL, seeing many of them more than their once a week session. Supervisors did not offer to help see our clients and expected our paperwork to be in regardless of emergencies that happened. Not only this, but the number of times you get called out for "emergencies" since you are on call. A coworker of mine literally drove to a client's house every day of the week, sometimes twice a day, because of an emergency with a family. Supervisors are supposed to conduct face-to-face "leadership field visits" with a certain number of clients on their team, but this rarely happened even with emergencies.

    Clinical Leadership at Youth Villages is horrible. There are two, fairly redundant meetings that counselors have to attend each week. "Group" is where the supervisor and her team meet, review cases, and the supervisor provides direction. "Consult" is where the supervisor and her group meet with the clinical consultant (for many regions by phone as not every program has a consultant for their office) and the consultant provides additional feedback, if there is any. These meetings are typically held on two different days, at different times. Sometimes they are combined, with the consultant joining the first meeting and adding input. Also, the credibility of some of management is questionable. There was at one point a bachelor-level supervisor providing clinical direction to someone with a master's and licensure out of one of the offices. Also, while there are some aspects of counseling in what TL does, the majority of the work can be described as case management, yet some of the upper management that provides clinical direction is licensed with their LPC, not LCSW.

    As I said on the pro's list, direct supervisors are a good ear to complain to, but they never really help, mostly out of fear of retaliation from upper management. In fact, there were many times I questioned the direction provided by upper management, but was told I needed to be quiet because it would impact my chances at promotion. Many times when I had an emergency out of the Knoxville office, i would be with my supervisor. Protocol was that she needed to call her upper management for direction. There was a day when two members of upper management were talking in an office when I had an emergency. My supervisor called several times, twice we looked around the corner as we called and both times she picked up the phone to see who was calling, hit ignore, and put it back down on her desk. My supervisor felt totally helpless because she did not feel as if she could complain to another member of upper management; the person she needed to speak to was the other person visiting with her supervisor. She felt totally helpless and it was not the only time that it happened with these two members of upper management.

    Over the course of my employment, I had two members of my immediately family pass away. When my dad passed away, there was a lot of late paperwork on my end that was late.After returning from the annual YV conference and the funeral, I sat down with my supervisor, who told me that I would have been written up for my late paperwork but I would be excused because my dad died. When my gram was in hospice right before her passing, I drove up to Ohio on a Friday, and then finished the drive on Saturday. She passed after I arrived in Michigan. My supervisors were informed every step of the way, even when she died my supervisor was one of the first people I texted. I received a long text from my supervisor (this time a different one) on Monday, while I was at my gram's funeral, that told me I did not have an excuse for my late paperwork this time as it was due on Friday before my gram died. She told me that I needed to get it in that day or be written up.

    HR, in general, was decent. However, there were several employees in HR that could not respond to e-mails, which made problems with my insurance even more difficult. When I first started, I was hired on as "pilot," which meant I carried a partial case load until I got my feet on the ground. Pilot employees are not eligible for insurance, and at Youth Villages you have to sign up for insurance within your first 90 days. We e-mailed our HR contact several times and she never responded. When the Fall came around, there was an employee contest for the annual "Staying Fit and Loving It" challenge. Every year the first bonus is earned by completing a health assessment on the insurance website. Again I tried to e-mail my HR contact...my supervisor tried...but it was not until a coworker e-mailed her, asking what I should do to participate, that she wrote back. She told us that everyone should have insurance, whether it is through YV or a spouse. I replied to her, and explained my situation, and also explained to her that due to my affectional orientation, I was not allowed to marry. Upon asking for further direction, she never responded.

    This was not the only time that Youth Villages caused troubles with my insurance. When upper management in Knoxville filed the paperwork to have me "transferred" to the Johnson City office, I was instead terminated. I discovered this and was put back into the system, but it was not until a few months later that I discovered they had not reinstated my insurance. I wrote back, asking them to reimburse me, as I had been paying for insurance out of every paycheck. They refused to repay me, and instead back-dated my coverage, stating that this was in case I had any pre-existing conditions. I informed them that I did not, but they would not reimburse me for the 3 months I was not covered. When I left the organization at the beginning of February 2014, my supervisors informed me that my insurance would be good until the end of the month. The following week I tried to order contacts, but my insurance had been canceled. The office supervisor for Johnson City instructed me to write to our HR contact, so I did. But I did not hear anything back. So my insurance was cut off twice during my employment at Youth Villages, which led me to miss out on health and vision coverage that I needed, even though payments were taken out of my check. I also never received the COBRA information that was supposed to be sent.

    YV, at the time I left, was paying either $0.44 or $0.42 per mile. This is pretty far below the suggested rate of $0.55. Many of the employees have difficulties paying for gas up front each month, as the reimbursement is not distributed until the second paycheck of each month. They also (sometimes) reimburse you for food if you are paying for food for kids. It really depends. Knoxville staff were not typically reimbursed after paying for meals for clients, but Johnson City staff were. These clients I am talking about are minors, being transported across the state. Clients from Memphis told me numerous times that they were not allowed to have snacks, and that staff would not stop for food on trips from Memphis, sometimes all the way to Cookeville or Knoxville. Knoxville staff was allowed to buy food for these clients, but were not reimbursed for it.

    It takes a psychological toll. Any social services job does. A coworker had a client who was killed while on her caseload. She was given a day or two off and was offered counseling. A client of mine tried to commit suicide. I sat for 8 hours in the hospital with him...watched him intubated, watched the hospital staff put coal on the lips to induce vomiting. I had to be at the hospital at 11 the next morning when he woke up. The next day he was discharged and I did not find out until the following week. I was not offered a day off or any counseling.

    The last thing I can think of is the compensation. There is rarely a time where employees work less than 40 hours a week, but employees are salaried and do not receive over time. I started out at 26k and ended at 33k 3 years later. I did not think this was too bad, but for the weeks that I worked 60 hours or more, my compensation came out to be less than minimum wage per hour.

    One thing I have noticed about the positive reviews for YV on this site is that the majority of them come from management, and many of them come from employees that are still employed there. If considering a job at Youth Villages, please pay attention to who did the review.
    I hope this helps.

    Also, Youth Villages provides benefits to spouses of same-sex partners, but a coworker struggled for weeks to get her partner on under her coverage. She printed off the email chains and showed them to me, and expressed her dissatisfaction that many of her other heterosexual coworkers did not have to go through this struggle. She did eventually obtain insurance for her and her spouse. Also, being a gay man, I never felt at ease or comfortable. I wrote to HR at the beginning of my employment regarding my feelings of discrimination. When I left, I was the only openly gay male in any of the East TN offices, though there were many open lesbians in my office (one had been written up several times for the same accusations brought up against me once).

    Advice to Management

    Be supportive and notice the struggles your employees are going through. This is an organization that caters to mental health of the community, and it is glaringly obviously that it does not care for the mental health of it's employees. Change that.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Family Intervention Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Family Intervention Specialist in Tampa, FL
    Former Employee - Family Intervention Specialist in Tampa, FL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Youth Villages full-time

    Pros

    It is one of the most rewarding jobs one can ever have. There are excellent opportunities for growth if one is willing to relocate.

    Cons

    Long hours and unexpected emergencies related to the children running away. Working in dangerous areas.

    Advice to Management

    Create policies that ensure the safety of the counselors. Provide better pay.This job requires advance education and the current pay is less than desirable for College educated counselors.

There are newer employer reviews for Youth Villages
There are newer employer reviews for Youth Villages

See Most Recent

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