redberin10 karma2014-12-29 00:56:17 UTC
Yes! I've been working in human services (group homes, in home services, youth crisis homes, and youth behavioral group homes) for 10 years. Most places (for and non profit and state ran) pay absolute shit. It's understaffed and management just wants bodies so they can bill for more service hours. So they end up hiring people who barely qualify for the position.
The employees get shit training that isn't really applicable to many situations they will be in, and they aren't taught about the quality of care that they should be giving or why it's important. So these new employees get thrown into a shark tank that's swirling with other crappy and untrained employees. Combine that with the real truth of group homes, which is usually violent mentally ill children and adults who have been getting neglected by their staff, along with the high turnover (causing the clients to test new people) AND the shitty pay...You've got yourself a molotov cocktail.
But management needs those people. So they don't fire anyone and just keep holding quarterly staff meetings reminding everyone to please complete the paperwork, meanwhile your overnight relief hasn't shown up 3 days in a row meaning YOU have to stay overnight. Your supervisor won't answer the phone when you call at 11 at night to try to have someone else do the shift, and FOR GODS SAKE JESSICA JUST GO TO BED. LORRY, STOP PUNCHING OUT THE WINDOWS.
Needless to say, turnover is high for a reason. When your company hasn't given a raise to anyone in 4 years and another company offers $9.50 rather than $9.10, you make the switch and hope to god they treat you better. You hope to god you can afford their insurance plan, and you hope to god your car doesn't break down again because your dad won't lend you any more money. And you're still waiting for your mileage check from 4 months ago.
That's why the quality of care is so low sometimes. Because the staff are overworked, underpaid, and feel like there's no where else to go.
But for the lifers, like me, they push past that shit because they care. In the past, I've been told to spend more time filling out paperwork and less time with my clients. I can do paperwork when I get home. I wanna make sure my client is fucking ok. It took me a while to realize that what I said above isn't normal. It's common, but not normal. When I realized this, I spent 6 months at almost every company in town (there aren't a lot of companies where I'm at, probably 10, that do the developmentally disabled thing) back to back. I went to each one trying to find the right place, and i found it. We're small, under 40 employees, non profit, and we pay the second best in town (soon to be the best once our board approves the next round of raises). When we hire, we select with great care. We check references (many places dont), we do extensive 3 part interviews and put employees on a 6 month trial before they're given a raise with a permanent position. We train extensively, and do continuous training as new research and methods come out. They encourage their more knowledgeable employees to create specialized training and they provide quarterly feedback about our performance. I feel like my company gives the best care in our state. I can say this because our state is dominated by "chain" care facilities. And because we've been told we're the best.
Tldr: You got a kid, sibling, parent etc with a mental disability and you want the best care possible? Find out how much the company pays and how often they train. It says a lot about how much they value their employees. A valued employee is probably a good caretaker.
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