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Working at ACR Homes — Reviews by Employees

Learn what employees have to say about ACR Homes pay, work/life balance, care potential, job security, and much more by reading our anonymous employee reviews.

Reviews of Jobs at ACR Homes

4.0Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect4
Benefits5
Job Security3
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth4
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment5

From Roseville, MN — 09/01/2009

As a college student, working at ACR is great. I've found them to be flexible in helping me find hours that work with my schedule. When my schedule changes, my RS does a great job of helping me find hours that still work for me. I can see that it is hard to move up in this company, but I am really just looking for a job to help me get through college, and this does that perfectly. The best part of the job is getting to know the residents and hang out with them and bring them on trips. The people I work with all care for the residents just as much as I do, which makes the job even more fun. The company is strict when it comes to policy and procedure (I know a few people who have gotten fired!) but I guess you have to be strict when you are accountable for people's lives and health. I haven't really had the negative experiences other people talk about on here, but the company is pretty big (I think they have over 50 locations), so maybe it varies from place to place.
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4.4Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect4
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth4
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Roserville — 09/30/2008

I've been a long time employee with ACR Homes, Inc and the only reason why I am still with the company is the residents. Pay is not optimal but the bond and relationship I've built with the residents surpasses the value of money. I love working along my co-worker. They are very competent staff and care a great deal about the residents at the home. The only downfall is not having an RS who is around as often. She's a live-out RS and only work direct care ONCE a week. TO my knowledge I thought RS were to work a minimum of 15hrs of direct shifts. I don't think its fair to the residents of the home to not have an RS who is not involved in what they do. She has a full time second job teaching so she doesn't take residents to day appointments. The majority of our appointments are schedule for the evening when everyone is home, and the night is busy. I understand RS can't make it to all appointments, but she should make the effort. ACR should be more aware of what their RS are doing.
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3.3Rating Details
Category
Pay3
Respect3
Benefits3
Job Security4
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth3
Location3
Co-Workers5
Work Environment4

From Twin Cities, Minneso — 07/30/2008

I'm a current employee. I want to keep this short and clear:
1. ACR does care very well for its clients.
2. All of my co-workers are competent, pleasant people.
3. I also like and respect my RS.
4. The job is hard: so much to do, so much to document. It's not a career for me: for the moment, it fills my needs. (Though when I leave, I doubt I'll completely sever my ties with the house: this is a home and the residents are a family, and I hope I'll continue to be interested in them and visit them.)
5. One thing, though: I don't think it's fair that several reviewers have said "If you were fired, you must have screwed up" or "If you disagree with management, there must be something wrong with you." I have little to do with management and I am neither attacking nor defending management. I just think, as a general rule, it cannot be right that management is always right/perfect and whenever there is a disagreement, the lower-ranking person must be wrong.
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3.9Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect5
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth5
Location4
Co-Workers3
Work Environment4

From Roseville, MN — 05/02/2008

I worked for ACR for a year and a half as a residential supervisor. At the time I was also in graduate school and for me it was just too much to take on. If you are in school even part-time, DO NOT attempt to be an RS! I felt very respected by my PD, and honestly she was probably the reason I stayed so long even when I was so stressed out! I always treated the staff at my home with respect, and tried to give them gifts whenever they went above and beyond for a resident. I only rewarded good behavior, as any GOOD supervisor does, so most of the time if an employee is complaining about not feeling appreciated, they are probably not good at the job. Each home has different residents and different supervisors, so every employee has a different experience. If I felt under appreciated it was ONLY by my staff NOT the management. It is a tough job, and unfortunately some people blame management because they can't handle the responsibility it entails. As for the pay, I felt, as an RS it was more than fair, I got free rent and free utilities and fair compensation, so all in all it was fine. I can definitely see how it would be a struggle for someone working as a PC to live off the wage though. But then again that is not the companies fault. And benefits were not that great, as I have seen now that I work for a different company. Overall this was a great company to work for, I had a lot of fun, but in the end I chose school over the job and it was the right choice for me. I have to say it was hard for me to leave the residents as I formed a very strong bond with them. If you love the population of people that you work with you will like this job.
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4.6Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect5
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Roseville, MN — 04/17/2008

I have worked at many group homes and day programs, and I have never felt so appreciated for the hard work I do than at ACR. The respect for the residents far exceeds standards at any location I've worked, and is the foundation for the amazing care that is given to them. I get sometimes weekly letters calling out work that I have done, thanking me for my contribution. The benefits are average compared to other providers, but the satisfaction is higher, and the profit sharing program and periodic longetivity bonuses for non exempt staff are just a couple of the benefits ACR willingly and without obligation supply. The owners are generous people who have been in the position of every staff in the company, and know the effort and attention to detail it takes to care for someone else so thoroughly. I have worked for ACR for 5 years and have advanced into a management role. I also know of at least 3 directions I could move into within the company if I chose to leave my current position. ACR is adamant that only committed, caring individuals who can be strong advocates for those without a voice are hired and trained thoroughly, and I see no reason for any company to have to apologize for a standard of excellence. ACR is firmly committed to cherishing life in the residents and staff, and any actions taken by the main office are purely supportive or enforcing of standards set by the state and other agencies to ensure the best quality of care is given. As for allegations that staff simply disappear, I would be surprised if any company shared information on the departure of staff, whether on good or bad terms. ACR respects their residents and their staff, and people who do not agree obviously did not stay employed long enough to see the amazing benefits that can be acheived, monitarily and emotionally by investing in the life of another. This is a job where you can view it as a job or as an amazing chance to grow and learn what it means to be a decent human being, by advocating and giving of yourself to others. It is not a job for the selfish looking to get ahead in the business world. It is a job where you also get to find your place in the universe, and within yourself. It is well worth it.
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4.6Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect5
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth5
Location4
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Roseville, MN — 04/17/2008

I don't really know where to begin...the negativity in some of the other posts is appauling. I have been a staff for over 6 years with ACR, starting as a Program Counselor, working as an Awake Night staff, working as an Emergency Float, becoming a Residential Supervisor and now a Program Director. I believe it is correct to say the pay and benefits may not be that great, but blame a lot of that on government cuts in Health care spending and cost of living increases that are actually what affect those areas. ACR cannot just decide to pay it's staff higher amounts of money...they'd be out of business, staff would be out a of job and resident would be out of a home (that would mean over 250 residents displaced) all because someone wanted a raise.

As an ACR employee my goal is to give the residents the highest quality of life possible, it is not about me. My position with ACR is very stable and secure and the only way I could or would ever be terminated is if I violate a policy. It is important for the company to stick to its values and policies and not back down, even when the staff they may have to let go is a great staff...if you did something wrong and it affects the residents, then that person should be gone.

I think my 6+ years with ACR has changed me dramatically as a person and I wouldn't trade my job for a higher paying one. There are great benefits to working for ACR...a flexible schedule (and only you can truly over work yourself...you may have to learn to say No sometimes to a shift), free-rent if you are a live-in supervisor, a 401k and profit sharing, invaluable training on health care related topics which is updated annually, the opportunity to change people's perceptions about people with disabilities, the joy of seeing a residents face light up when they are happy to see you, the excitement of going to work knowing you are impacting someone's life and the chance to make a difference in your own life.

As someone who has been on the low end of the totem pole as a new staff and is now in upper managment, I think many of the views stated in these posts is incorrect regarding management and office staff. The management and office staff are always trying to find ways to value their staff and make working conditions more enjoyable...yes, policies and ways to do things may change, but they are only in the best interest of the residents, and are usually required by the counties or state. We are constantly praising staff either verbally or through notes/small gifts to thank them, even for the little things. As a supervisor I try to make sure my staff are thanked as much as possible and that I am able to help them when they need help or answer questions when they have them. I think that anything in the other posts that is specific to one supervisor or house is unfair...it's not every supervisor, it's not every house. People are people and personalities sometime clash, but overall this job is about the residents and making sure they can live their life every day with dignity, respect and are treated the way we would want to be treated if we were in their shoes.

I could go on and on, but it won't matter to some. I'll leave with this...I never thought I would work in this field when I was in school, but once I began it seemed like the only thing that fit. I love going to the house everyday and seeing the residents and talking to the staff...even if my day started out poorly, I know I'll always leave with a smile on my face.
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3.1Rating Details
Category
Pay3
Respect2
Benefits3
Job Security2
Work/Life Balance2
Career Growth3
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment4

From Roseville, MN — 12/21/2007

As a former employee with more than six years of service in the company and many fond memories of my time there, I can say that ACR does valuable work for vulnerable people who need both quality care and social support. At the same time, employees are subjected to difficult working conditions (which are inherent in direct care) and the unfortunate tendencies of management to foster a self-congratulating and insular office culture as well as a totalitarian style of leadership and discipline.

As regards pay, ACR's compensation is certainly adequate for part-time work and exceeds what one might find in other service positions. For full-time employees it may be more difficult to live on wages earned. As the company readily admits, raises are few and far between. This is attributed to legislative funding limits. At the same time, I often found that approval was given to pay as much as double-wage when a worker picked up a last-minute shift. This had the unfortunate effect of creating a situation where an employee working a regularly-scheduled shift (or one "picked up" before incentives were offered) could earn as little as one-half what a last-minute "emergency" worker would for doing the same job. Benefits at ACR are adequate but not extensive. Health insurance and pre-tax withholding are only offered to full-time employees. Scholarship programs are helpful for students and some retirement benefits are offered to part-time workers and reward longevity.

While residents are treated with great respect, employees are treated with less consideration. While the company issues statements about how valued employees are, I eventually came to the unfortunate conclusion that even workers in good-standing are considered expendable. On several occasions I saw excellent, long-term staff who had close relationships with residents simply vanish from the schedule without explanation. Employee input is not highly valued and dissent is not tolerated. On multiple ocassions, employees were disciplined for voicing disagreement with policies or conditions to other staff or supervisors. (This EXCLUDES circumstances where this was done in front of residents, which would have been inappropriate.)

I found this lack of respect for staff obvious in an incident where the decreasing mobility of several residents made a piece of equipment necessary. Despite periodic minor injuries, years of promises to remedy the problem through constantly-delayed renovation, and significant inconvenience for both staff and residents, the equipment was only procured after an employee was hurt and filed for workers' compensation. With this financial (and potential legal) issue at hand, not only was the equipment installed within days, but the injured employee received a personal letter from the company's president instructing her to refrain from any activities that might exacerbate the injury. Afterwards, we were encouraged to say "thank you" to several upper-level managers for this supposed act of benevolence.

A particular weakness of ACR is the tendency for people with little care experience with particular residents to be put in the position where they make policy decisions regarding care for those individuals. This happens especially at the "program director" level and above. In my experience, sometimes such supervisors know their residents on paper only and thus give plainly unworkable or even disruptive advice to staff who know the residents very well but have little authority.

Relations between staff and immediate supervisors were often good during my time with the company, but those between low-level caregivers and upper-level supervisors and policy-makers were often unpleasant and even humiliating. Managers spoke to staff in a patronizing manner and were fond of presenting staff with documents they were pressured to sign on-the-spot. Several of my co-workers left private meetings with managers in tears.

A human-services company like ACR will have steady business, but one must also be aware that infractions against company policy can result in the sudden termination of an employee in good standing. While this is understandable in some cases given the delicate and important nature of the work, in other cases it became quite apparent to me that good workers were terminated simply as scapegoats to make it appear that something serious had been done to remedy a problem.

Because of the decentralized nature of ACR work sites, location and conditions can vary significantly. Houses range from brand-new construction to dated structures in need of serious renovation. Supervisors vary in flexibility and level of regard for staff. A good supervisor with a good staff can take excellent care of residents and run a house well while keeping the disruptive influences of micro-managing central office staff to a minimum. The company does provide small bonuses or gifts to staff for holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries of hire, which are greatly appreciated.

What I found most rewarding and valuable from my time at ACR were the relationships I formed with the residents I cared for and some of the other staff with whom I shared responsibility for the well-being of the former. Because of the highly-personal aspect of helping people with their (sometimes very private) needs, bonds between staff and resident can be very strong and meaningful. Additionally, the high pressure of the environment and dependence of staff on each other to manage difficult situations can lead to strong relationships within a team as well. I found most of the people I worked with at peer or immediate supervisory level to at least be honest and well-intentioned, and sometimes terrific. My time at ACR was a valuable experience for me, though I wish I would have left much sooner. Ultimately, it was relationships and not pay or lofty ideals that kept me in my job there.
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4.5Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect4
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Roseville, MN — 12/06/2007

I worked for ACR Homes for five years. In that short time, I was able to move from a floor staff to residential supervisor. As a result of my career climb and training with ACR, I have the skills to manage a health care home of my own. I was shocked to read comments about ACR having "no advancement opportunities". I found ACR to reward competence; perhaps not in pay, but certainly in recognition and vertical career climb. If a employee wants more from ACR, they have a direct link to management in their 24/7 on-site supervisor. ACR is particularily diligent in training staff and preparing them for future careers. As a first-time work experience, flexible college job, or extra income opportunity ACR is excellent. I was able to work close to my school. As for pay, ACR places upmost importance on the clients and the houses they call home - staff get incrimental increases based on state-distributed increases to providers. My only complaint about ACR was the benefits - specifically, the health insurance, which had substantial premium and there was no vision insurance. That being said, I haven't found any better benefits at any other health care provider.
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4.3Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect5
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment5

From Roseville, MN — 11/21/2007

I worked for ACR homes awhile ago, and I loved it. I noticed that most negative posts refer to this as a "job". If this is a job to you, then this is the wrong one. Staff are responsible for the lives of vulnerable adults - that's more than a job. I have not had many jobs, but I find it hard to believe that many employers do what they do to make their staff feel appreciated. I got a gift bag and a cake when I finished training, I got gift cards from my supervisor just because, and being a part of the residents' lives is amazing. No, we don't get paid enough for the workload at times, but either do teachers, and other professions that impact other peoples' lives. Two things I would want the company to seriously look at changing would be 1) the benefits. They truly are not worth it. I paid so much out of pocket and paid high premiums on top of that, it's almost cheaper to not have insurance. I have a emplyer w/better benefits, and wow, what a difference. There probably wouldn't be so much turnover with PC staff if they had better benefits to hang onto. It's not too hard to find another employer that has a better package and pay. If I had to decide over ACR and another employer based on medical benefits, it wouldn't be ACR that wins. 2) would be the hours RS's are expected to work. My RS at the home I worked at worked insane hours at times. That's not good for anyone - residents, staff, and the RS. There needs to be a better system to protect the RS from being expected to work so much, that can't possibly be ok. If PC's can't work more than 16 hrs at a time without 8 hours in between, then RS's shouldn't either. They deserve to have a personal life too.(I no longer work at ACR, graduated - FYI)

It's just those 2 things that I would've liked to see changed when I was there. Otherwise, it's an amazing place to work, the resume you build working there opens so many doors for you, the upper-management listens to concerns, and it's very rewarding. I looked forward to going to the house to work a shift. I have a feeling many negative entries are because people messed up, and they are bitter because they got called out on it. There is so much training and preparation for the PC position that if you get called to the office, then you must've really screwed up. So deal with it, own up to it, and stop whining. Other employers may let mistakes slide, but ACR can't - it may harm a resident in serious way.

So, if you don't really need benefits, and want the most rewarding job ever, I highly suggest applying. It's an amazing experience and you will enrich your life in the process.
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3.2Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect3
Benefits4
Job Security3
Work/Life Balance1
Career Growth1
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment5

From Roseville, MN — 10/12/2007

You have to know what you are getting into. Every house is a bit different. From my experience, ACR homes highly values its clients. They have a good quality of life for the most part. However, the company works from the assumption that PC staff are expendable. They tend to hire smart young people and see what they can get from them before they graduate/burn out/move on to other ventures. If you are in college, it might be a fine part-time gig. If you are looking for a longer term vocational experience you should know some things. The company does not give performance based raises for individual performance (you will only get cost-of-living increases). RSA and other leadership positions give you a very small raise for the amount of work you are taking on (read: carrying on call pager, training, etc). They seem to hire more established (married) individuals for the RS positions (I assume due to lower probability of leaving). Live-in RS positions depending on the house can be a serious invasion of your life. All vacation plans are dependent on the health of your residents. Due to the lack of advancement opportunities and stressful work conditions some homes have high turnover leading to more job stress on all house workers. Hospitalizations of residents put stress on all house workers due to the expectation to staff 24/7 at the hospital.

My advice: take care of yourself. The company will take advantage of your young and naive good will and flexibility. It is NOT a non-profit organization. Establish some limits on your schedule and picking up extra shifts to prevent burnout. Working full-time is incredibly draining at some houses (due to rotating shift scheduling). Overall, I wouldn't make ACR a place to build your future career. They aren't looking to promote the high majority of PC staff nor are they concerned with your health or well-being. The company knows that all its PC employees are fairly easily replaceable with the next well intentioned bright face.
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