Western Mountain Youth Services
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Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Western Mountain Youth Services on 09/23/2011 21:18:59 MDT Print View

Does anyone have any information/experience with this organization? They have a job opening for "field staff" that sounds like something I'd like to do. Would require a total relocation and life change.

Any thoughts are welcome.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Western Mountain Youth Services on 09/26/2011 21:12:43 MDT Print View

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David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: youth services on 09/27/2011 08:01:33 MDT Print View

Travis, I'm not familiar with that particular program. Looking at the staff bios, they look like a pretty new (>1 yr) startup. Pretty common, that niche has exploded since I worked in wilderness therapy (in 03-04).

I assume they're a fairly typical wilderness program, though the site doesn't discuss details much. They take referrals from child services and youth court, which is rare, and typically equates to low-income kids. Most wilderness programs are private-payer, and very expensive (400 bucks a day or more), and thus cater to a certain socioeconomic class. I'm actually curious that apparently CO state services will pay for residential placement at a daily rate high enough to make a program sustainable. Montana rates don't come close, as running a wilderness program is much more expensive than maintaining a group home. Or maybe it won't, and the program will fold.

Field staff would be the lowest level, grunt position. What I did back in the day. It's a stressful job. I lived in Moab and worked 7.5 days on, 7 days off, commuting three hours to company HQ. Those positions are typically held by dedicated outdoor bums and recent college grads, as having a family on that schedule is rather difficult.

I'd ask lots of questions if you pursue that position, and be highly skeptical of their business model and clinical method. The overview on the site does not impress me, nor does the fact that the clinical director is apparently not licensed (if he is, why not mention it?). In short, many of these programs have gone under quickly, and some have had some sketchy and unethical practices with clients. Work for the wrong program and you could end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

On the other hand, it could be a great place just starting up, and thus the gateway to a great career. I've found the skills I learned in wilderness therapy invaluable in every job I've had since.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: re: youth services on 09/27/2011 08:44:20 MDT Print View

Thanks Dave, I'll be in touch.