Career Story: Residential Advisor In A Juvenile Facility

Residential Advisor In A Juvenile Facility

Job Title: Residential Advisor

Education: Purdue University Calumet, BA Developmental Psychology,

Previous Experience: This is my first job out of college

Job Tasks: My facility is affiliated with a local hospital. I work in a residential unit that accepts teenagers from the ages of twelve to eighteen. Most of these kids are court ordered to this facility because of problems related to school, family issues, or they have been in trouble with the law. They are here from six months to a year and in some cases even longer, depending on the situation. Some kids come here directly from their home, others through the court system and a juvenile detention center, or another placement.

I work primarly the midnight shift, so I do not have much contact with the kids, but since they live here for a minimum of six months, they do basic day-to-day activities here. They go to school, have homework, have various therapy groups and recreational activites. They are on a level system that is dependent on how long they have been here and what kind of progress they are making with in the program. There are various activities they need to complete to make the next level. They are also on a color system that lets them know what kind of priveleges they can have on that given day. For example, extra free time, radio priveleges, one-on-one time with a certain staff member, an extra snack or candy.

Staff members have direct contact with the kids, so we help them with their school work, and just listen to them, and report back to their therapists should the need arise.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best part of the job is that I am able to help most of the kids become better behaved.

Worst part of the job is that there is always going to be someone that you can just not get through to. Thay don't think they did anything wrong, and they don't see anything that needs changing.

Job Tips:
1. This is a good position to get just out of college. Many staff members continue on with their master's degrees while working in this job which is good experience.

2. Take drug courses if they are offered in college, it will help a lot in knowing what kind of side effects you might see with soke of the kids' behavior

3. It is east to get burned out, try not to take anything the kids say personally!

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