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  • ACR is an unethical agency. The interview process consists of connecting dots on a piece of paper, playing bananagrams, watching a Miley Cyrus video, and role-playing with puppets. The training process: a week and a half of training that is confusing and disorganized - once completed, staff often feel as though they still have no idea what their role is or how to effectively do their job. Decisions on who to hire are based on whether the agency likes you or not, there are "round-about-ways" to not hire someone who is completely qualified, but just "rubs" management the wrong way. Your experience can be taken at face value for what it is, or it can be doctored up in order to make it look better so you can be put into a higher position. Two people with the same education and experience are not treated the same, based on how much you are liked and what the agency needs from you. Staff are expected to know how to do their job without sufficient support and are piled to the max with files. Staff are expected to maintain "work/life balance"; however there is no room for your "life" because you work 12+ hour days: covering visits, attending your own visits, attending meetings, completing paperwork, driving around the city, being on-call, attending unorganized staff meetings, completing assessments that caseworkers don't look at or have a use for...the list goes on. We are paid $100 to be on-call on weekends, and typically work upwards of 30 hours over the course of 2 days. Staff can work a full 12+ hour day and then be expected to work on the overnight as well if needed with no regard for how this is impacting our personal lives, relationships and families. The turnover of leadership in the past few months has been damaging to the agency - the result of the devaluation of quality employees.
    Supervisions are often focused on things that people cannot change - like physical attributes, such as "bitchy face". If you share with your supervisor that you are feeling overwhelmed, or perhaps dealing with something in your personal life, the conversation quickly turns from "supportive" to "well, I need to ensure that regardless of what you are going through, that you understand that there are expectations in this position and we will need to have further discussions if your personal life begins to impact your work life". While this is pretty standard - to expect people to do their job, it's the lack of empathy or flexibility in a human services agency that is embarrassing. If you use all of the wellness days that you are given (5 per year only), then you are out of luck and will need to figure out your personal life stuff without needing to take additional time off.
    Management is brainwashed, and they brainwash the supervisors who in turn treat the staff like absolute garbage. There is no value in staff and they are disposable. When the agency is short-staffed, there is no sense of urgency to hire new staff to support the remaining employees who are crumbling under the continued pressure to take more files and continue to cover un-assigned files, to work underpaid on-call shifts. There is minimal effort made to value and appreciate the work that staff are doing. Staff are expected to go above and beyond without complaining. Supervisors are trained in manipulation.
    The agency hosts "circles" in which a facilitator engages staff to be honest, in a "safe" environment, about what's working well and what staff are concerned about. The outcomes of these circles are shared with managers. If you ask questions or challenge the way that anything is done, you are the problem, and the issue will be brought up in your supervision, and will now be about you. You will be confronted about your "attitude", and how you "impact others" and will be put under the microscope.

    *please see comments for continued review*

    Posted on 12 April 2018 by Rater #32 | Flag as inappropriate

    Was this review helpful? 63 0


My god this is so perfect! If you plan on working here: don’t get pregnant, don’t expect annual evaluations, don’t expect any sort of work life balance. But DO expect to kiss ass so you aren’t a “red flagged” employee, to be completely over worked and under appreciated and to be bullied and brainwashed. This agency is a real piece of work.

Posted on 18 April 2018

This is 100% accurate I worked at Alta Care for a number of years and either saw first hand everything mentioned here, or I saw it happen to other people time and time again. This is one of the most honest and accurate reviews on here, please read fully when considering employment.

Posted on 12 April 2018

Well said! This defines Altacare and my experience there. Please read this before considering employment.

Posted on 12 April 2018

A conversation that you were told was safe, where your feedback was asked for and required, will now be used to "weed out" staff who are seen as "difficult, challenging, and negative".

Staff are frequently fired just before their probationary period because they aren't liked, with no reasons given other than "you're not a fit for the agency at this time". There is no consistency. All staff can be doing something the same way, but if the agency wants to fire someone, that person will be targeted specifically - supervisions will increase, and unattainable demands via an "action plan" will be placed on that staff in order to have "grounds" or "lack of follow through" to fire them. The agency does not take responsibility or accountability when things are going poorly. Staff attempt to be honest about where they are at (stressed, overloaded, overwhelmed), and the supervisor will question if you are going to be able to balance what you have going on and still be able to effectively do your job. 

Management makes up new policies whenever they feel like it, usually when a staff has challenged a process or is owed some sort of money. A lot of these policies are un-written, but the expectation is that staff are to follow them. There is never any follow through on policies, and because there are multiple versions of policies, staff are constantly confused as to which one they are supposed to follow. The agency does quarterly "mapping", to which none of the "worries" are ever addressed or acknowledged - so much so that staff are left no longer feeling any sort of hope for change, but basically just accept the BS for what it is.

Staff do not have access to more than a week of time off for a full year upon commencing employment. The agency boasts that "work/life balance" again, but do not provide sufficient time to allow for staff to actually take care of themselves.  The agency discriminates against pregnant employees, treating them as "problems" that have to be  accommodated. The agency provides tempting things like RRSP bonuses, Christmas bonuses, end of fiscal year bonuses, wellness allowances, vacation allowances......but you realize that the money is not enough. The money does not make up for the emotional abuse that you receive.

 People don't just "leave to leave", because the perks can certainly keep people around for a while. But people will leave because they are treated like absolute shit. As soon as people begin leaving, the supervisors and management teams make comments like "we needed a shift in culture" or "they impacted the team negatively, it was their time to go" - not recognizing that these very comments are what continue to push people out. There is no value in people. There is no value in individuality. There is no value in challenge. Instead of encouraging people to be the best they can be and supporting them in growing and developing their skills and abilities - people are spoken of poorly, even as far as slanderous - when they choose to leave for a different job. Supervisors and management are some of the most unprofessional - right from their lack of experience and knowledge, to level of training, and their ability to interact in a professional manner with CS and other professionals. Supervisors and managers are an embarrassment when they attend meetings and are unclear about legal processes or roles of other professionals. There is no neutral or unbiased party to go to in the event of a grievance; no actual HR processes and this continues the cycle of emotional violence and abuse. Those words may sound harsh and over-the-top, but in reality....these words are too kind.

Save yourself the PTSD and emotional trauma, don't get sucked in by the so-called "perks" and "bonuses". Run far, far away from this agency and put your time and effort into somewhere that doesn't thrive on crazy.

Posted on 12 April 2018

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