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Youth Villages

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Youth Villages

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Youth Villages Transitional Living Specialist Reviews

Updated Sep 3, 2021

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Found 10 of over 741 reviews

3.0
1%
Recommend to a Friend
1%
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Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler
Patrick Lawler
9 Ratings

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  1. 4.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Transitional Living Specialist

    May 10, 2018 - Transitional Living Specialist in Tulsa, OK
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    They stick true to there mission and the client and families are always first. They encourage bonding between the youth and have company gatherings to build morale. You get to see how your helping someone else's life change for the better or at least encourage thorough processing before taking action. Highly recommend to anyone who is passionate about helping others as everyone there strongly cares for the clients served.

    Cons

    Most times you work more than 40 hours a week in order to get paperwork completed and families seen as well. Not including the on-call weeks. Boundaries are not clear for some and your expected to do things before you are properly trained in it. Not always the safest neighborhoods and travel during weather. Hard to balance work and life especially if you have small children and is the sole caregiver.

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  2. 3.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Great job, management doesn't listen.

    Sep 3, 2021 - Transitional Living Specialist in Memphis, TN
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Clients are great, but you may feel like a baby sitter.

    Cons

    Documentation requirements, management expectations, and unrealistic deadlines. YOU WILL WORK 24 HOURS A DAY.

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    Youth Villages Response

    Youth Villages

    Thank you for taking the time to leave us a thoughtful review about your experience working at Youth Villages. During the hiring process, we aim to be very transparent about the non-traditional hours and schedules required for many of our positions. Employees enjoy the flexibility of working with company-issued laptops and creating their own meeting schedules, but it does require time management skills. We understand our line of work may require extra time, mainly if a child or family is in crisis. The work required at times can be demanding but hopefully fulfilling and beneficial to all involved. Please reach out to us to share any additional feedback at feedback@youthvillages.org.

  3. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    churn and burn

    May 14, 2017 - Transitional Living Specialist in Woburn, MA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I learned a lot about resources in the community. I made a huge difference in the lives of my clients.

    Cons

    Terrible support from supervisors/managers. Only the most compliant to management get promoted, whether they're good at the job or not. If you actually get your job done well and get your paperwork in, they leave you in the field, because someone has to do it. Toxic company culture. Watch what you say in the office, even if you think no one is listening. No regard for work/life balance. They just churn through recent college grads, but that seems to be their model. The most abusive miserable place I've worked, and employees from around the country agree. Be careful.

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    3 people found this review helpful

    Youth Villages Response

    Youth Villages

    So glad you feel you made a difference for the young people in the program. That's the most important thing. Employees who have concerns with their supervisors always have avenues to express themselves and bring about resolution. You can still have the conversation with HR by reaching out to feedback@youthvillages.org.

  4. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 5 years

    LifeSet Specialist - Lots of focus on kids, care nothing about employees or their families.

    Jul 7, 2016 - Transitional Living Specialist in Memphis, TN
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Going to Conference once a year, I enjoy working with the youth. There are not many pros to this job. One good thing is that they will hire anyone with a college degree.

    Cons

    Poor salary, poor raises, promotion is based more on the buddy system than experience, unrealistic work expectations, horrible wear on your car, horrible work-life balance, low morale for front line staff, does not pay well but has the audacity to ask the employees to give up to 3% back to the company (they don't even give 3% raises), little room for growth, little support from upper management. Only get paid .42 cents per mile when the government rate is .55 cents, on top of having to have excessive car insurance coverage. They are hiring kids fresh out of college and paying them $12 an hour.

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    Youth Villages Response

    Youth Villages

    Thank you for your five years of service to young people aging out of foster care! I’m glad you enjoyed your work, but I’m sorry you left disappointed. Youth Villages promotes largely from within, and many of our staff end up getting promoted and joining the leadership ranks. This can take time, however, and depends on openings. It sounds like you’re disappointed about how decisions around promotions have been made. I cannot speak to this specific situation as I’m unaware of the circumstances, but I want to assure you that a “buddy system” goes directly against our values and is not tolerated. I would like to ask you to please contact our HR department at feedback@youthvillages.org to provide them with details, so we can address this. Working as a direct-care staff with young people aging out of foster care can be stressful, especially when young people are lacking housing or are on the verge of homelessness, or are going through another very challenging time in their lives. But being there for them during these hard times makes all the difference. To help with wear and tear on your car, Youth Villages pays a mileage reimbursement rate that covers gas costs and maintenance cost. We encourage employees to set mileage reimbursement rates aside for car-related expenses. The Our Family Campaign is an internal United Way fundraising campaign that gives staff an option to donate back a portion of their salaries to the organization and designate it to a specific program or cause. The “where it’s needed most” category benefits our YVLifeSet program, which is largely privately funded. The Our Family Campaign is part of our culture. We love for staff to participate, but in the end, it’s up to you. This is always a personal decision. My contributions have fluctuated greatly over the years, depending on my personal situation and what I felt I could give. The OFC also benefits employees when they go through a difficult time – a significant illness, a death in the family, a natural disaster, among others. I couldn’t agree with you more that our staff are the soul of our organization. We are trying hard to reduce workload and hours, make our staff feel appreciated and provide benefits our staff care about. We know working in the community to help young adults and families can be very stressful and mean unexpected late working hours. We’re in the process of looking for solutions that make these jobs easier on our staff. Tablets are one way we’re hoping staff will be able to use their time during sessions and in between sessions more effectively, so they have more evenings free and spend less time doing documentation in the office. Thank you for your time commenting, and please feel free to talk to our HR members at feedback@youthvillages.org about the specific issue you allude to in your comment. Best wishes on whatever is next for you!

  5. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 8 years

    Hard Work, HUGE Rewards.

    Jul 2, 2015 - Transitional Living Specialist in Nashville, TN
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    This is the type of job you dream of if you want to help people. You are actually helping kids and families and you can be creative with how you do it. If you are working in the community based-programs, you make your own schedule for the most part so you can grab lunch with your friends or attend a Dr's appointment during your work day if you want, as long as you are getting your work done. The pay is competitive with other companies, and more than most.

    Cons

    There is a lot of paperwork and at least 2 meetings a week. If you are working with a case that can only meet with you at 6:30 pm, then you must meet with them at 6:30 pm. Sometimes that will happen and you can't control it.

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    3 people found this review helpful
  6. 3.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Transitional Living

    Jul 3, 2015 - Transitional Living Specialist in Knoxville, TN
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Good organization. Training up front is very helpful. Supportive supervision. Good treatment models. Rewarding work

    Cons

    Ridiculously low salaries. They are paying their family counselors illegally by classifying them as exempt, requiring overtime and weekend work.

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    2 people found this review helpful
  7. 2.0
    Current Employee

    Don't do it

    Jul 11, 2015 - Transitional Living Specialist 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Job has some flexibility. You can create your own schedule around your clients.

    Cons

    Poor worklife balance. It's every bit as miserable as the reviews say it is. Very unrealistic work expectations. Not family friendly. High turn over, most of employees have been there less than 6 months. Lots of wear and tear on your car.

    3 people found this review helpful
  8. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

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

    Jul 1, 2014 - Family Intervention Specialist and Transitional Living Specialist in Knoxville, TN
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    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).

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    13 people found this review helpful
  9. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    great job if you are young and have a flexible schedule

    Sep 20, 2012 - Transitional Living Specialist in Nashville, TN
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    competitive pay for the field, lots of opportunity for advancement and to move to other cities, rewarding , will pay for you to get your masters degree and licensure,

    Cons

    stressful, long hours, on call 24 hours per day during the week and rotating weekends, lots ot paperwork, lots of travel in your own vehicle (with mileage reimbursement)

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  10. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Good place to get experience but get burned out very quickly

    Oct 20, 2012 - Transitional Living Specialist in Woburn, MA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Lots of support from coworkers.

    Cons

    The job was not the same as what was described to me initially. I worked 50+ hours per week and had no consideration for the work I have done. I felt that my opinion didn't matter as decisions about the young adults I worked with came from supervisors and the clinical consultant. If you didn't get done that week what they wanted you to get done the week prior, it was always a back and forth between your supervisor and yourself during group supervision as to why it wasn't done that week instead of talking out any situation collaboratively with coworkers in group supervision. There was no room to grow and move up in the company except to become a supervisor or move laterally into an alternative position which were few and far between. I did not get the training and supervision I deserved to be more successful. Upper management decided to discharge youth before they were ready due to monetary constraints and also accepted youth that were not appropriate for the program itself.

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    6 people found this review helpful
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