Pioneer Youth Services Employee Reviews

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Boys House
Relief Child and Youth Worker (Current Employee) –  Waterloo, ON30 October 2017
It really is a fantastic place to work. This past year has taught me so much as a CYW. The most enjoyable thing is being able to sit around on the weekend and just hang out and watch movies or play video games to help build our rapport.
Pros
Great learning experience
Cons
Drama
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Busy Workplace
Child and Youth Worker (Current Employee) –  Waterloo, ON17 August 2017
Learnt a lot in my many years in multiple different positions. Great staff to work with, many different challenges faced daily. Excellent learning opportunity.
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Unprofessional, toxic work place
CYW (Former Employee) –  Waterloo, ON6 March 2017
I worked at PYS for 3 years for the most part I did enjoy my job working as a contingency employee, and I also did some overnights from other programs which I did enjoy.
Residential treatment can be the most challenging jobs anyone can take, but in a lot of ways it does have its rewards as well. When everyone is working on a multi-disciplinary team, there is collaboration, and the physiological needs of the youth are being met. I did a lot of overnight shifts and for the most part I enjoyed working overnights, and having an office to myself at night, and the kids being settled. I had a routine on how to plan my night on getting my job specifications completed before front line staff came in the morning.
It is sad to say that the program and home I worked at when one of the youth mentioned to me how many staff and supervisors left that program that got me thinking a lot. There wasn't consistency there was a large turn over of staff, and unprofessional ARS that did not know how to run the program, or treat their staff. Communication breakdown was a big issue.
They used and abused me in a lot of ways of running home to home when they were short. One ARS who was outright rude and belligerent because I tried to get a night off because they were short. When I did decide to go in and she was on call she did not even acknowledge me or even have the courtesy to say hello when she saw me at that home. This is the way I was treated by this particular ARS who use to be a front line worker.
Regardless, I was there for the youth and I got the best work experience working
  more... with the youth. I have furthered on my career and thanks to PYS that did give me the experience to advance in my career.
There is a reason why they are looking for staff do your homework before considering employment with PYS.
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Pros
Paid breaks, and lunch breaks
Cons
Short notice to take on shifts, being single staff
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Life with 8 Austic Teenage Males
Child and Youth Worker (Former Employee) –  Waterloo, ON14 January 2017
A typical day at Pioneer Youth Services consists of general household responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, shopping for groceries or needs for the individual clients, as well as laundry. The clients that I serviced were absolutely the most wonderful young men I have ever met. Like most houses and clients you have your "up" days and also your "down" days but every day is another chance to make a difference in our clients lives.
The gentleman I woked with needed alot of assistance with his personal day, ie. getting dress, toileting and supervision but each day I encouraged him to put his toast in the toaster, and lead a more independant life. On special outtings, my client enjoyed swimming but would drop his body to the ground and refuse to walk to the car. Many times we would wait for him to decide to move or provide creative way to get him to the car. One place WalMart offer a wheel chair for clients that struggle with walking issues.

The management were helpful with individual review offered every six weeks. The staff that I worked with were amazing! Some staff had different approaches to our clients, some worked, some not so much but each staff came with their special ability and we had some amazing suppers, and outtings.

I think the hardest part of my job was shifts when staff moved on from the company and having to break in a new staff member.

The most enjoyable part of the job is coming in and seeing their smiling faces, working to see that moment when they get something or just knowing you made a difference in their lives.

I really enjoyed
  more... these boys, for me it was like going home each day. As each boy moved to adult residence, it was good to know that each of them were so individual and special.  less
Pros
great outtings, share lots of laughs, singing
Cons
long hours, the drive from Woodstock to Kitchener, Waterloo
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A good stepping stone for my career, however watch yourself
Child and Youth Worker (Former Employee) –  Wellington North, ON17 August 2016
This was a good stepping stone in my career for the following reasons:

1) I saw lots of extreme behaviours and this help me get desensitized to it. This enabled me to be more confident in how to approach you in my own business that I now run.

2) I learned the importance of documentation....and covering my every move. I learned how manipulative management can be and not to trust them. If the manager likes you they will try to protect you..if not, they will look for way to fire you.

3) I have got hands on experience with behaviour management.

However, management was really unprofessional. I had a mon-fri contract when I first started. I got a phone call one night asking "if we give you more hours will you quit your sat/sun job? I said "no." The next day I got approached by management saying "your contract has changed from Tues-Fri, take it or leave it. Forcing my hand to quit my other job. Now that I know better I would have fought them on that because you can't just up and change a contract around legally. That was just plain unprofessional .....my contract was changed because this manager couldn't fill in Saturdays.

The other thing is......if you breath the wrong way around there you get reprimanded. Management is all about covering themsevles....they won't go to bat for their staff.

When I left the company I know for a fact that Social workers were pulling kids out.......for example at one of the houses all the plates were smashed and the kids were taking turns eating off of one plate for months until a staff member went and bought new
  more... plates for the house....I wonder if that staff was reinbursed for that?

The company could use work on educating for staff. I know for a fact some of the staff they hired has no post-education. Some the housees have children diagnosed with ASD. Staff would benefit from getting educated on Applied Behaviour Anaylises, using data collection to eliminate behaviour,.....(they use BMods which are good but studies show that BMODs need to be faded out so the client doesn't become dependent on it. ) Staff should also get educated on persons with developmental disabilities, co-morbility, psychiatric disorders....genetic disorders (pradar-willie, fragile x, smith magnesis, ), FASD, etc and education on different treatments. A lot of the plans of cares are cut and pasted. I think education for staff and ensuring that this education is implemented into client treatment plans will be helpful in giving children proper treatment.
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Pros
Lots of hours, learned a lot, great exposure
Cons
politics
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Great place to work
Human Resources Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Waterloo, ON15 January 2016
Was a great place to work and all the staff have hard jobs but do their best for the children. Senior management team was great and really enjoyed coming to work everyday.
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Difficult
Child and Youth Worker (Former Employee) –  Waterloo, ON7 October 2015
Over night shift CYW, very difficult being the only one, with 10 residents in the house at all times. Lots of Police involvement, cooking, cleaning, filing
Pros
own office
Cons
too many kids, awake all night by myself
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overworked and underappreciated
AUTISM SUPPORT LIASON (Former Employee) –  Kitchener, ON24 August 2015
A typical day at work involves no break and massive amounts of repetitive paperwork. Staff are criticized for not having work done, yet are not allowed the time to complete it.
The company culture runs counter to their mandate. The homes do not provide therapy, as they claim to. They provide a place for kids to stay.
Pros
there are none that come to mind
Cons
many- too many to list.
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Fast paced
Frontline (Former Employee) –  Waterloo, ON30 July 2015
Fantastic. Loved it, wished at the time in my life I had more time to put towards the job, would go back in a heartbeat. Would suggest to anyone.
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Not a great place at all
Child and Youth Worker (Former Employee) –  Waterloo, ON19 December 2014
It is a FOR PROFIT agency, they only care about the money and not their staff team or clients. They cut corners, lack proper safety techniques in order to save a much money as they can. There has been hundreds of staff injuries in such a sort time (only within a year) and they do nothing to prevent future injuries.
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nicee
Child Youth Worker (Former Employee) –  Kitchener, ON7 November 2014
I was there for four years. Some of the children were very taxing at times. Was some politics but I kept to my self since I worked the overnight. I was let go for horseplaying with the kids, completely my fault.
Pros
experience
Cons
paperwork
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corruption, dishonesty, some great staff, management is terrible
Child and Youth Worker (Former Employee) –  Kitchener-Waterloo, ON20 July 2014
In the beginning working there was great, I got to meet great staff and clients. Everyone including management were very friendly however there is alot of politics. There is also extreme amounts of paperwork to be completed. Management do not value their workers at all. I spent most of my shifts cleaning and calling the police and agencies when youth would leave the residence without permission. I was given a bogus excuse and was let go as a result of staff talking about me in a very unprofessional manner! Also, I was willing to take on a lot of shifts but there were not enough shifts given to me as management gave the majority of my shifts to workers of higher seniority.

Overall, I liked working for the company mainly to make a difference in the youths lives, we also got to eat meals with the youth and attempt to engage in positive conversations with them. Making a difference fulfilled my purpose as a youth worker there. Lastly, some staff were very friendly and supportive when I needed assistance.
Pros
free lunches, building rapport with youth
Cons
work load, management, staff, loads of dishes/cleaning
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A nice office environment
Executive Assistant (Former Employee) –  Waterloo, ON28 April 2014
Strong work environment.
Staff that have been present for many year, very little turn over.
Supportive management.
Understanding and supportive co-workers.
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unpredictable
cyw (Former Employee) –  Kitchener-waterloo15 April 2014
. Some very supportive co-workers. Expectations were at times a little higher, time wasnt given to get paperwork done, seemed the expectation was to stay late on your time to get paperwork done. When injured or stressed, support from supervisors wasnt present for the most part. Shift rotation was mostly evening and very scatered times for shift start times. Would proably have been better starting off as casual/relief. The persons being supported in the home were great to support and learn from. Had no union contact or contact list in home. Health and safety didnt seem to be a priority.
Cons
physical injuries
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Good place for teaching life skills to their residents
Relief Child and Youth Worker (Former Employee) –  Kitchener-Waterloo, ON4 January 2014
While I worked at PYS, I was a casual part time staff working mostly weekends. I enjoyed the job experience and the staff were great. I have kept in contact with some.
The management were great with me. They worked around my full time job and were quite flexible.
The hardest part of the job may be working with different styles of staff.
I enjoyed my time there and developed good relationships with the clients and never had any issues on my shifts.
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Amazing hands on work experience with a wide variety of youth with specific needs
Relief Child and Youth Worker (Current Employee) –  Kitchener, ON7 September 2013
They provide great hands on experience opportunities for getting to know the youth in the homes. The co workers are noble and selfless individuals who all collectively working together to help develop personal growth in each of the kids lives. The management inside the homes are also well done. Managers are very approachable in terms of discussing personal matters are if needing assistance with one of the youth. The hardest part of the job would be physical restraints with youth who have outburts. Containing and calming them down can take a lot of patience. The most enjoyable part of the job is making the connection with the youth. Having them look forward to you coming in for your shift and them looking at you as somewhat more than a worker, but as a friend.
Pros
Great connections with the youth
Cons
Physical risks
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A Stepping Stone
Youth Counsellor (Former Employee) –  Kitchener on>7 August 2013
Great experience to further my education about the variety of residential facilities.
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Dishonesty, corrupt, cruelty toward staff/residents
1 to 1 worker (Former Employee) –  Waterloo, Ontario25 December 2012
As a former staff at this agency. I highly recommend any applicant who is applying for, a job with the company to reconsider. The staff does not look out for the clients, they are getting paid less money then what their salary wage stated on their contract. The supervisors has no sympathy for anyone who work in the homes.
Pros
must be reviewed properly managed by real professionals
Cons
the residents should receive proper care, not to be victimized or abused
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homes are not well maintained
Residential Supervisor (Former Employee) –  waterloo23 August 2012
Minimal support, management focus is on keeping numbers high and not quality of care
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Overall rating

2.7
Based on 20 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
2.6
Salary/Benefits
2.8
Job Security/Advancement
2.2
Management
2.5
Culture
2.7

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