Pros: everyday is different
Cons: long hours
Working at Portage has equipped me with many skills in the counselling field.
A typical day at work involves supervising up to 16 youth residents at a time while they perform chores and participate in group activities, organizing and facilitating therapeutic groups, having one-on-one engagements with residents, utilizing various therapeutic interventions when faced with conflict, briefing the next shift team on the events of the day, completing log books, and writing various reports.
The most enjoyable part of this job is building rapports with the residents and creating fun groups for them. I personally enjoy creating self-esteem groups which I find to be effective with the female youth I specifically work with. I love knowing at the end of my work day that I've made some kind of difference in someone's life.
The hardest parts of the job are dealing with conflicts (verbal and physical) between residents, and disclosures. Sometimes the disclosures are hard to hear, and it can be difficult depending on their age when letting them know the procedures surrounding disclosures (notifying parents, etc.). It can also be difficult de-escalating residents when in the middle of a conflict.