New Alternatives for Children Reviews | Glassdoor

New Alternatives for Children Reviews

Updated Jun 11, 2019

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3.0
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
39%
Recommend to a Friend
42%
Approve of CEO
New Alternatives for Children CEO Arlene Goldsmith
Arlene Goldsmith
24 Ratings
Pros
  • "NAC was a great place to learn a lot of the important foundation skills of the field(in 5 reviews)

  • "You gain a lot of social work experience(in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • "Many of the social workers were cynical and were derisive of their clients(in 8 reviews)

  • "I ended up leaving NAC due to an unfortunately difficult experience with my supervisor that I did not feel was appropriately handled(in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Assistant Program Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends

    I worked at New Alternatives for Children full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I worked at NAC for over 6 years and I thought it was a terrific place to work. Their are high expectations of staff on all levels and the administration truly cares about both the families and staff. Compared to similar agencies NAC provides higher quality services and a more positive work culture.

    Cons

    Pay should be higher and more equitable.

    Advice to Management

    Offer higher pay and more equal pay across programs.

    New Alternatives for Children2018-12-19

    New Alternatives for Children Response

    January 4, 2019Human Resources Specialist

    Thank you for the lovely feedback and for your wonderful service to our clients for over 6 years. NAC has achieved tremendous growth in size and scope while remaining true to its original mission and it has all been possible because of our team of expert, dedicated and compassionate staff members who ensure that our families receive the best possible care, and that lives are changed.

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  2. "Find your coping skills"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mental Health Worker 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at New Alternatives for Children full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The kids can really make an impact makes the job worth it. Free Meals

    Cons

    Low Pay NO Admin support High Stress Levels potential of being hit

    Advice to Management

    Better Pay

    New Alternatives for Children2019-06-11
  3. "Great Office, Great learning environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at New Alternatives for Children

    Pros

    Great supervision. Wonderful place to gain experience and expand you skills.

    Cons

    Highly qualified staff are often highly underpaid. This is a great place to start Your career but it may not suit everyone to stay on if you are looking for a better salary.

    New Alternatives for Children2018-10-25

    New Alternatives for Children Response

    January 7, 2019Human Resources Specialist

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts! We are currently in the process of revising the starting salaries for various positions to reward our employees for their valuable work and efforts. We are very proud of our senior leadership and the knowledge and expertise they lend to the mission of NAC. Thank you for contributing to the success of our agency.

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  4. "Great experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at New Alternatives for Children part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    staff culture, flexibility, supervision, PTO days

    Cons

    Hard, challenging and intensive work

    New Alternatives for Children2018-10-08

    New Alternatives for Children Response

    January 4, 2019Human Resources Specialist

    Thank you for your valuable feedback! We truly appreciate the positive words. At NAC, we aim to improve the work-life balance for each one of us and have been making continuous good-faith efforts in that direction. We are always looking for ways to improve employee morale and creating a supportive and collaborative environment for all our staff. Our Sunshine Committee makes an active effort to encourage employee morale and interaction by way of celebrating work anniversaries and organizing staying-in parties to honor each staff member for their service. Given the challenging nature of our jobs, we hope to continue to provide you the best learning experience and come up with more unique ideas to help you unplug and recharge. Any suggestions are more than welcome!

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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Invest in employees or lose them"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Registered Nurse 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at New Alternatives for Children full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Vacation days, 20 days is very generous; Flexible schedule as a nurse; required to make home visits so can at times be demanding with scheduling and coordinating with clients. The ability to work with families in the community is an invaluable experience

    Cons

    Although the work should be interdisciplinary, it’s not. Social work staff should be given better training on medical basics and scope of practice of nursing staff. There were times that I felt like social work would volunteer nursing to do something for a client that was outside of our scope of practice. Additionally, the communication between different disciplines wasn’t great…when dealing with client’s real life... problems this is not okay! Benefits and pay: terrible. For a company dedicated to working with children and creating family permanency, the benefits and pay offered to their staff basically say “good luck taking care of your family!” I personally don’t have children and working at NAC could not begin to even think about starting a family because of the pay. Demographics: administration has a “white savior” complex related to their mission and the inability to see that some of the interventions being suggested are not realistic.

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    Advice to Management

    PAY STAFF MORE MONEY, OFFER BETTER BENEFITS! Be open to change, speak with staff working directly with clients about what can make NAC better!

    New Alternatives for Children2018-09-22

    New Alternatives for Children Response

    January 4, 2019Human Resources Specialist

    Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate your service to NAC and the children of New York City. We are very proud of our sincere and dedicated team of social workers and nurses who work relentlessly to give the children the best and most compassionate care possible. Our senior leadership is constantly working to provide the staff with training opportunities that not only help them in their current role but also help them earn credits for continuing education as well. We have increased our focus on providing our social work staff on-site trainings to help them perform better. Not sure when you left NAC, but we are currently in the process of revising the starting salaries for various positions to reward our employees for their valuable work and efforts. Year after year, NAC strives to offer/maintain quality company benefits at a reasonable prices to its staff members and their families including health insurance, dental insurance, vision care, life insurance, retirement plan, paid vacation leave, personal leave, sick leave and other optional benefits. We would have liked to hear your thoughts on improving benefits while you were here. NAC is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to having a diverse and respectful workplace. The CEO and management support specific goals for the agency’s diversity program and periodically assess progress, our recruitment and hiring practices to reach out to a more diverse talent pool. We also offer inclusion and diversity trainings to help create awareness and increase employee knowledge and sensitivity to diversity issues. We, at NAC, sincerely believe in creating an inclusive and supportive environment for our staff and clients.

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  6. Helpful (2)

    "Treat Staff Better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at New Alternatives for Children full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    The only pros are you get plenty of sick days, it's good because you will need them. You get good vacation time, but good luck in getting a consecutive vacation.

    Cons

    The continual micromanaging of so-called leadership is comical, at best. All these executives are so out of touch. They really have no idea how their cultural ignorance affects the families they purport to serve, as well as their own staff.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your staff better. You know you can. You have incompetent associate executive directors who are paid 6-figure salaries, while staff who actually do the work are one step from collecting food stamps. Open your eyes!!!

    New Alternatives for Children2018-10-16

    New Alternatives for Children Response

    January 4, 2019Human Resources Specialist

    Thank you for your feedback. We would like to reassure you that NAC values each and every employee’s contribution and experience. We are working constantly to set employee compensation at a competitive level by providing regular merit increases and updating salary structures aligned with the agency’s needs and the labor market. We, at NAC, sincerely believe in creating an inclusive and supportive environment for our staff and clients. Our program directors make an extra effort to organize as many workshops, discussion forums and training sessions possible to allow our employees to explore and discuss different cultural backgrounds, develop cultural competency. These sessions also help our staff build skills in engaging and planning with our children and families from diverse cultures. I see you are a current employee; we will be happy to discuss and understand more about any issues you are facing in carrying out your daily work. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

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  7. Helpful (1)

    "HCI"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Current Employee - Health Care Integrator in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at New Alternatives for Children full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Flexible hours, supportive staff, you grow quickly in the agency if you have an interest of becoming a supervisor, staff appreciation, they do small gatherings and email shout out. Weekly Supervision, lots of vacation time.

    Cons

    Space. I work in an open space and I have difficulties concentrating but I put on head phones and listen to music while working to focus. Need an upgrade with the system as we are still dealing with paper and filing.

    New Alternatives for Children2018-08-03

    New Alternatives for Children Response

    August 9, 2018Human Resources Specialist

    Thank you for taking the time to give us your valuable feedback! We love hearing about how our employees are enjoying the fun activities and useful benefits offered at NAC. We are continuously looking for ways to improve employee morale and creating a supportive and collaborative environment for all our staff. As the agency is growing, we are working to update our systems wherever we can. However, maintaining paperwork is a fundamental part of regulations placed on the agency by regulatory bodies and it is not within our control. It sets guidelines, establishes transparency and ensures compliance. We truly appreciate your dedication and ongoing contribution to the agency and New York City’s vulnerable children and families.

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  8. Helpful (3)

    "Health Care Integrator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Health Care Integrator in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at New Alternatives for Children full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I loved my coworkers. We were really able to support each other through difficult and stressful times throughout our experience. I lasted as long as I did because of them. 20 vacation days, 12 sick, 5 personal. Comp/flex time. Good supervision from my direct supervisor. Ability to attend an LCSW group to get my clinical hours/supervision needs met.

    Cons

    I enjoyed my job when I started, caseload was six. Caseload went up to 10/11 (by a year & a half later)- which seems low, however is unmanageable when you have to visit each family twice a month & are typically scattered all over the 5 boroughs. This also calculates to about 20/22 visits a month (there’s only 29-31 days in a month). This caseload increase effected the ability to really address client issues. The... paperwork became impossible to complete (Medicaid mandates). Within my first sixth months of employment & every month after, there were many changes that made the adjustment tough. We were expected to be “okay” with things & subjected to criticism for speaking up for ourselves. Every time we had a monthly staff meeting, the director would make the staff feel alienated and singled out - by making comments that were unacceptable and hurtful. Some of these changes were change in pay, although it was a generous increase, there were other pay increases that Some of us had prior, that took 6 months to be added back our salary. When we tried to speak up and ask we were given the run around until we directly confronted someone as a group. The pay was switched to semi monthly, which was very difficult to adjust too and was one of the top 3 reasons for leaving. The agency also had funding issues for a brief period of time, which caused us to have one less paycheck for a month where we would typically have 3. We were given this information only a week prior, causing a lot of coworkers to be struggling with paying personal bills and other responsibilities at that point in time. I also worked on vacation days, which is unacceptable, in order to meet program mandates and requirements. Supervisors and directors weren’t as sensitive to staff issues or concerns and began to view front line staff as “difficult, mouthy, and/or troublesome”. One coworker was even called aggressive for expressing her concerns in a appropriate manner. (Believe me it was appropriate!) when I resigned, I was expected to complete all my visits in a short amount of time, which caused me to be stressed out, burnt out, and physically ill. No one suggested anything to help or agree that the amount of visits I had to complete in that time was unethical for myself and clients. All to get billing done because no one else could do if. I could go on but this is all I have time for to write.

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    Advice to Management

    I read some of the repeated and generated answers by HR on these reviews. The responses come off as defensive. You are trying to state facts in order to oppose the views of previous and/or current employees. That’s the main problem! The lack of ability to REALLY empathize with staff and admit that admin should have and SHOULD do a better job. We are told to be accountable and so should admin and the agency as a... whole. It’s not about your stats, it’s about what’s actually happening. You can say you have 60% minorities but I BARELY saw people that look like me, especially in admin positions. More active listening.

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    New Alternatives for Children2018-05-18

    New Alternatives for Children Response

    July 3, 2018Human Resources Specialist

    Thank you for your feedback! We are glad that you were able to make full use of the employee-friendly policies at NAC. We understand that the emotionally and physically demanding work our staff does is sometimes difficult to fit into a 35-hours-a-week schedule. We try to be very clear about the need for home visits when candidates are interviewing for these positions with us. We also place borough-specific job postings and pick candidates from various locations for the convenience of both the employee and client. While the paperwork for social workers can get tedious, it is imperative we follow the rules for the sake of our families and children. Maintaining paperwork is a fundamental part of regulations placed on the agency by regulatory bodies and it is not within our control. It sets guidelines, establishes transparency and ensures compliance. Often times, not-for-profits face difficulties because they are expected to perform like businesses. With tight controls on grant funding, it is not always possible to roll out the generous pay increases to everyone at once. In the past, our employees have understood these challenges and supported us in every step of the way. The change in pay cycle may have been an inconvenient one but I would like to take this opportunity to clarify that the agency has never withheld any employee’s pay due. To explain the change further, the yearly amount an employee would receive in 26 paychecks was simply divided into 24 in accordance to the new semi-monthly cycle, which meant you received more money each pay check, and not a reduced pay check. I truly wish you had reached out to the HR department regarding these issues that you mention while you were employed at NAC. We encourage our employees to reach out to us in case of any doubts or concerns they may have at work. We believe stating facts is one of the most fitting ways to support our point of view and to show how the opinions and reviews of employees are taken into consideration while bringing up-to-date agency policies. We aim to improve the work-life balance for each one of us and have been making continuous good-faith efforts in that direction--regular pay increases, quality benefits at reasonable rates, flex time, generous vacation days, staying-in parties being some of them. The mission at NAC is to provide a collaborative and encouraging environment to our staff so that they may give the children the best and most compassionate care possible.

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  9. Helpful (1)

    "HCI"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - HCI in New York, NY

    I worked at New Alternatives for Children full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Important work with a vulnerable population.

    Cons

    Paperwork and billing dominate this job, while it should be more geared towards discussing the families needs, it ends up being 75% paperwork and 25% client work.

    Advice to Management

    Maintain the initially agreed upon 6 family case load and higher apt supervisors who have LC's to retain staff and ensure growth.

    New Alternatives for Children2018-03-16

    New Alternatives for Children Response

    April 27, 2018Human Resources Specialist

    Thanks for your feedback! From our nurturing foster parents to our team of compassionate master’s-level Social Workers, Behavior Specialists, Supervisors, Medical and Mental Health Clinicians, Education Specialists, Family Support Specialists, and B2H Health Care Integrators and Waiver Service Providers, everyone works together to ensure that children have the very best home care possible while concurrently planning for reunification or adoption. We are very proud of our sincere and dedicated team that helps us in our mission to serve New York City’s most vulnerable families. While the paperwork for social workers can get tedious but it is imperative we follow the rules for the sake of our families and children. Maintaining paperwork is a fundamental part of regulations placed on the agency by regulatory bodies and it is not within our control. It sets guidelines, establishes transparency and ensures compliance. We recognize that burnout is a real risk in our field so in order to ensure that our staff is not overworked, we offer very generous vacation and personal days and various other benefits to help them maintain a good work-life balance. We understand the challenges that line supervisors may face and to ensure that they remain competent, we regularly offer information about trainings, workshops, seminars and courses for continuing education programs to help them improve job performance while also maintaining their licenses. Furthermore, we encourage our staff members to move to supervisory roles when there is a higher responsibility available and also constantly engage in leadership training to help support the new supervisors. NAC also offers an incentive pay for our staff members who get their LMSW licenses to help them grow professionally. We feel it is important to give our employees opportunities to help them build on and expand their skill sets.

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  10. Helpful (2)

    "Health Care Integrator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Health Care Integrator 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at New Alternatives for Children full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I worked with some wonderful coworkers. The majority were very bright and wonderful and really cared for the families they worked with. I also had some pretty good clients. I really cared for the children and families I worked with.

    Cons

    I had a great supervisor who unfortunately left shortly after I was hired and the replacement was horrible. The office dynamic quickly became very toxic. The supervisors seemed to foster an us vs. them (HCIs) attitude. The caseloads were not kept at the number that was promised and the amount of paperwork needed severely limited the ability to interact with clients and service providers. The number of people... of colo rin the social work positions were a disgrace. The majority of clients are Blacks and Hispanics and to see that their workers could not reflect that diversity was a huge shame.

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    Advice to Management

    Higher qualified, Professional supervisors who are able to deal with the stressful position without alienating their staff. Keep the caseload at the stated number. Hire more minorities to truly reflect the population that they are serving.

    New Alternatives for Children2018-03-28

    New Alternatives for Children Response

    April 27, 2018Human Resources Specialist

    Thank you for your feedback. It looks like you had a mixed experience with us. It is so important to have great co-workers at your workplace and we are very proud of our sincere and dedicated team of social workers. Your care and concern towards our clients makes us appreciate your time at NAC even more. I am sorry you did not have a great experience with your supervisor. The number of caseloads can sometimes vary due to unavailability of other members in the department. However, maintaining paperwork is a fundamental part of regulations placed on the agency by regulatory bodies and it is not within our control. It sets guidelines, establishes transparency and ensures compliance. While the form-filling for social workers can get tedious but it is imperative we follow the rules for the sake of our families and children. In order to ensure our social workers are not overworked, we offer very generous vacation and personal days and various other benefits to help them maintain good work-life balance. It is possible that your employment period here coincided with the time we were undergoing some department changes. We feel it is important to give our staff opportunities to help them build on and expand existing and new skill sets. We also constantly engage in leadership training to help support our new supervisors. We understand the challenges that line supervisors may face and to ensure that they remain competent, we regularly offer information about trainings, workshops, seminars and courses for continuing education programs to help them improve job performance while also maintaining their licenses. We, at NAC, also sincerely believe in creating an inclusive and supportive environment. NAC is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to having a diverse and respectful workplace, as evidenced by the fact that 60% of the agency’s employees are minorities. The CEO and management support specific goals for the agency’s diversity program and periodically assess progress, our recruitment and hiring practices to reach out to a more diverse talent pool. We offer diversity training to help create awareness and increase employee knowledge and sensitivity to diversity issues.

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Found 49 reviews