If you are not sure which position best suits you, our Human Resources team will work with you to find the right fit. There are 3 basic positions:
Residential Counselor - working in the houses where our participants live, helping with all of the activities associated with daily living, dressing, eating, chores, toileting, sleeping, relaxing, playing.
School Paraprofessional - working with children up to age 21 in the school following an academic schedule and assisting the teacher with learning goals, group work and one-on-one skills training. Use specialized technology such as communication devices and adaptive switches with students.
Day Habilitation Paraprofessional - working the adults who are no longer in school with activities such as physical therapy, arts and crafts, music and attending appointments and field trips.
All positions include implementation of personal care plans through individual and small group activities. You will assist in preparing instructional materials for school and daily activities. You will learn how to prepare, store and maintain all equipment. At the end of each shift working with your team you will complete data collection sheets, detailing client's behavior over your shift. Most importantly, you will supervise the clients in your charge and assure their safety at all times, including assisting with meals and toileting.
How flexible is the work schedule?
We have full-time and part-time shifts every week. With your supervisor you can work out a schedule that is advantageous to you and meets our staffing needs. The most important thing is that you consistently show up for the hours you are assigned.
Full-time Shifts with Full Benefits: 40 hours per week (5 days, each shift 8 hours) with 2 consecutive days off 32 hours per week (4 days, each shift 8 hours)
Part-time 8 Hour Shifts, Minimum 2 shifts per week, Prorated-Benefits: 24 hours per week (3 days, each shift 8 hours) 16 hours per week (2 days, each shift 8 hours)
Part-time 6 Hour Shifts, Minimum 2 shifts per week, Prorated Benefits: 24 hours per week (4 days, each shift 6 hours) 24 hours per week (4 days, each shift 6 hours) 18 hours per week (3 days, each shift 6 hours) 18 hours per week (3 days, each shift 6 hours)
What is the team atmosphere?
We must work together to best serve our clients. We start with comprehensive training at Berkshire Meadows so right from the start you will have over 2-days to get to know your colleagues. Part of your training is watching so this is another chance to build team and relationships. All staff are very helpful for people that have not done this work before and may need assistance writing shift notes. All hands are on deck - our staff is very caring and help each other with tasks, sharing responsibilities and documenting shift activities, so it's a great place to work.
What skills do I need for this job?
Willingness to learn, help and be a team player. High school diploma or equivalent. Can speak and understand English as well as be able to write. Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds, stand for long periods of time and use common sense. All new hires must complete an I-9 for employment eligibility verification. Prefer, experience working with a Special Needs population and a valid driver's license (MA, CT, or NY State). Must meet program requirements for background checks (Acceptable CORI - Criminal Offender Record Information and OIG).
Will I get training?
Our Training Director provides a comprehensive 3 day paid training. That's right, you get paid for learning on how to do your job. If you do not have CPR and First Aid certification, we will train you and can administer the test for you. Training is comprehensive and includes information about JRI/Berkshire Meadows policies and employee handbook. Techniques and hands on learning about the best practices in the fields of autism and dealing with medically compromised patients. Instruction on operations and working on our premises. Valuable training that will serve you well throughout your time at Berkshire Meadows and beyond. You will also have an "observation" period - usually 2 or 3 days, where you work side-by-side of an experienced staff member and learn all of the day to day routines. This gives you a chance to practice what you learned in the training and connect to a fellow team member. You will also learn some sign language!
Is there room to grow and earn more?
There are many growth opportunities including additional certifications which increase your salary differential. Opportunities are widely posted and promoted within the organization.
What is a typical day as a Residential Counselor?
We have children residences and adult residences. Start the day, helping to get participants dressed, eat breakfast and get ready for the a jam packed schedule. School for children, day habilitation for adults. Daily activities include taking a walk, perhaps a doctors appointment or a field trip to a museum or a swim in our therapeutic pool. During the warmer months, visit our horses in residence. At the end of the day, help participants, wind down with a snack and watch their favorite program or listen to music, eat dinner , take a bath and tuck them into sleep. Throughout the day you will work on the development of communication skills, choice making on options in front of them, and keeping individuals safe, engaged and active. Your work will include some housekeeping, dietary, and laundry responsibilities. You will also be involved in planning and implementing leisure time activities Residential staff at JRI work with children, adolescents and adults, facilitating therapeutic and fun recreational activities, maintaining safety and security and working as part of an interdisciplinary team including clinicians, nurses, teachers and residential staff. This is a job where you can make a real difference in the lives of the people we serve.
What are the available work shifts?
School Paraprofessional with Children - (Shifts Between 7 am - 3pm; Monday thru Friday) Day Habilitation Paraprofessional with Adults - (Shifts Between 7 am - 3pm; Monday thru Friday)
Full-time with Benefits 40 hours per week 5 days per week 32 hours per week 4 days per week
Part-time with Pro-Rated Benefits 24 hours per week (3 days, each shift 8 hours) 20 hours per week (5 days, each shift 4 hours) 16 hours per week (2 days, each shift 8 hours)