Today at work, we got a bomb dropped on us from our CEO. Due to financial difficulties (2 million in the hole), drastic changes will be coming down the pipe line. What that means, nobody knows (but him), but it has gotten a lot of people worried. I'm trying to take comfort in the fact that my program, foster care, is one of the few programs that is actually making money for the agency and is deemed a core program. The CEO said that most of the core programs, he wants to invest in, but it is still gets people worried when the chopping block comes out.
I feel better knowing too that I'm not in middle management either (one good thing about not being too ambitious). Our program already phased out two management positions. My experience with middle management wasn't very pleasant when cuts where made.
I love helping people and working with troubled kids. It seems to be what I'm set out for, but I can't say I've ever worked for a financially sound mental health agency. Right before I left Comprehensive Mental Health in KC, the agency was having big problems too. Not only was our mileage repaid at a criminally low rate, but our reimbursements for buying our clients things was completely cut. That meant, if we took one of our clients out for a burger, it would come out of our own pocket. When I interviewed here in Oregon at Trillium, they said that financially the work that I would be doing is secure. It took a little while, but it seems the financial problems of mental health finally caught up to Oregon and everyone is changing the way they do business to stay afloat.
I believe that a lot of the problem is that states have cut funding, and clinical people are having to learn how to do business. Basically, psychiatrist and social workers don't know the first thing about running a business. The second problem we see happening is with billing. Since everything is privatized, mental health services is sold out to local HMOs who all have different billing practices and pay at a different rate.
That's mental health in a nut shell. On my level, it's bad enough to put up with high burn rates and low raises, but now job security begins to come into question. I guess it's too late to join the army. You would always have job security there.