I am a Residential Program Worker at the Children’s Service Center in PA.
I have also put in to be a Mobile crisis therapist but I havent gotten a call back yet.
1. What is your educational background?
I have a BA in English with a minor in Psychology and I am going fot my Master’s in Mental Health counseiling.
2. Do you find your job emotionally draining?
The good days are Freaking Awsome. The Bad Days are so bad they make you want to drink two bottles of wine and then sleep for a month and never come back to work ever ever again.
The stories you will hear will break your heart, infuriate you, make you sick and jade your preception of human beings.
The parents will anger you beyond any rage you have ever encountered before and the kids will break your heart and frustrate you all at the same time.
You need to be careful of vicarious trauma, takeing your kids trauma and feelings and makeing them your own, and being realisitc that you are never going to ” save ” anyone.
You will have kids that have been Tortured, forced to have sex with their mothers by the age of 8, have been locked in closets and never met another person except their ” care givers”, children that set things on fire and kill animals because they can’t cope with their lives, and children who are so broken at such a young age that they are/have/ will again actively attemped suicide, and ALL of them BLAME THEMSELVES for the abuse that has been done to them.
3. Do you find your job rewarding?
Oh yes. The good days are the BEST DAYS. When a kid looks at you and you can see it on their face that they want to trust you and tell you things, but they are afraid because they have been so hurt and so abused by everyone in their lives that were supposed to love and protect them , AND THEN THEY decide to TRUST YOU and TALK TO YOU ANYWAY…. that is the best feeling. When they look up and go ” I got handed a shitty hand at life, and it’s not my fault and I will be ok”. Those are the best times.
4. What does your average work day look like? (Basically, what is your schedule on a day to day basis?
) Because I am an RPW we have a 24 hr group home. I get the kids that CY drop off to us to take care of, and kids that their parents dont know what to do with so they give them to us. I have 8-16 hr shifts, and sometimes I get called in if there are especailly Bad Things happening. I take care of them, talk with them, make sure they don’t hurt themselves or anyone elce. I have scars from having to put kids in a theraputic hold so they didn’t hurt themselves or me with the peice of glass they found outside. We give them a strutrued day and do theraputic groups with them as part of “treatment”. We take them to the movies, to go carting, to rollerskating and next week were going to Six Flags.
The pay sucks. I get 11 bucks an hour BECAUSE I have a degree. Don’t go in to this feild for the moeny because it isn’t there. You will go home somedays ” I don’t get paid enough to deal with this shit”, and other days The GOOD days, you will say ” I am getting paid to do this? Awesome!”