Scottish Autism
1.8 out of 5 stars.
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Scottish Autism Employee Reviews for Support Worker

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Scottish Autism is a very unpleasant place to work, which is a shame because the service users are lovely and it's enjoyable building relationships with them. However, the managers are awful, they expect so much of you and never thank you for anything, they sometimes just point blank ignore any queries you have about rotas and so on. There's so many changes to rotas and you work ridiculous hours for a very poor wage. Management never consider how staff or service users feel about things yet constantly make changes that attempt to make the company look good on paper, but in reality does the exact opposite. Very low staff morale and so many things sadly ruin what has the potential to be a good place to work.
Pros
relationships with service users
Cons
long hours, no breaks, no smoking, poor pay
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It was genuinely lovely in an age of social care strain to witness the level of support Scottish autism gave the people it supported and its staff and to be part of that. I really liked all of my colleagues: they were exceptionally nice and very easy to work with and the workplace culture was very positive and relaxed. My bosses, especially those immediately above me who I had the most contact with, were immensely supportive and accommodating and took the time to make sure that staff were coping and felt confident and able to do all aspects of their jobs. They made sure that you felt able to talk to them and gave clear times when it was possible to do so (you also always had on call support if really needed and could contact colleagues on Microsoft Teams for less urgent help). I felt that they had my back - it never felt cut-throat. The training is comprehensive and you are not left to feel out of your depth at any point or just plunged in at the deep end. Moreover, you get several fully-paid shadow shifts prior the real thing and will never be put in a position in which something could happen that you are not trained to deal with. Even if you were to make mistakes, if you are open and honest about it as soon as you or someone else realises, you aren't made to feel terrible about it or like you're hanging on to the job by a thread - everyone is really understanding (again provided you are always upfront). There are also a lot of checks and balances for most things, which means you don't feel like everything is on you. In fact, if things go wrong, quite often the first thing - more...
Pros
Superb workplace culture and support from management - who generally have been in your position
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Management like to make it look and sound like you are valued and ‘have a voice’ in decisions being made for changes within the organisation but this is certainly not the reality of it and they will implement whatever changes suits there cost cutting exercises, no matter the impact these changes have on staff or service users. Piling more and more extra duties and increased responsibilities onto Support staff with pay rate still being minimum wage. Staff with years of experience and service within the organisation are paid the exact same as a new staff member to the organisation. No thanks to staff whatsoever, with being a frontline key worker during this awful pandemic, just a case of staff having to get on with it with no support or guidance from management.Staff shortages within the services across the whole organisation, causing staff stress and anxiety constantly and service users not receiving the full support and care they should be as staff are trying to support service users and juggle 101 other tasks at the same time. After the upheaval and uncertain times to everyone’s lives this year with the coronavirus, this organisation thinks it’s the best time to implement the no smoking ban on the 31st December 2020 and furthermore staff are not entitled to a break, paid or unpaid, whether you work a 7 hour shift or a 14 hour shift, you will not get a break as they have managed to add a Claus in the small print of contacts. The organisation have lost hard working, very caring and experienced staff due to all the above facts and more. Person based care is right out the - more...
Pros
Supporting the service users. Friendly, supportive and caring colleagues. Free meals.
Cons
Poor management, awful pay, no incentives, the main focus of the organisation is cost cutting and not individuals support and care anymore.
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My time here was unbearable. Flung in at the deep end with no training or support in place, getting left to deal with aggressive kick offs with no experience or training. Constantly feeling on edge in case a kick off happened since you couldn’t do anything to help yourself or the people you worked with. Hope you never expect a day off if it’s not them adding in extra shifts without asking you they will text you every day off you have asking you to come in. Shift patterns are horrendous constant backshifts with a random dayshift chucked in so finishing at 11 at night and starting at 7 the next day. No help from management at all, no interest in there staff as long as you are there to do the shift that is all they are fussed about. All take take take and no give in that place, work you to the bone then wonder why they can’t keep staff. Full of empty promises to keep you there, won’t get holidays you request either if it doesn’t suit them. Never know if you’ll actually get to go home after your shift or if they’ll ask you to stay on and do a 24 hour shift then either get attitude or ignored if you don’t do it. Unhappiest I have ever been in a job, was really looking forward to starting here and experiencing a fulfilling job however it was the complete opposite. Constant turnover of staff in here and after a week of working there you would understand why. All of this for just over minimum wage. Avoid at all costs.
Pros
Great support workers/colleagues, helping young people
Cons
No support, Terrible shift pattern, Management, Not aloud social life
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Worked with with this company for over 9 years and seen a huge downfall within the company, they seem to employ everyone and anyone these days, staff who have no experience in care or with autism, and put into very challenging services, really not fair on the other staff or service users! The managment are not supportive apart from a few, nothing gets investigated or followed up leaving service users and staff open to financial, emotional abuse.....the list goes on, they do not treat staff like people, you are just a number in that place regardless of how long you've worked there or how much time and effort you put in to your work they dont care....well unless your face fits or are related to one of the managers or higher up, i have witnessed staff reduced to tears because of the way they are being treated. It's such a shame as there are alot of great staff that work there that go over and beyond for the service users, but again they get no credit, there is no incentive as a long term serving staff member, you get paid the same despite your experience, qualifications and knowledge as to someone who has never worked in the care industry before. During lockdown staff were working crazy hours while no management in to help them, all 'working from home'. This use to be a really good company to work for but the past 3 years has gone downhill fast! It seems managment all get their family in to work for the company and form their own wee cliches making it uncomfortable for other people working and get discriminated against if staff feel they cant address an issue with another staff - more...
Pros
Service users are amazing
Cons
Long hours, rubbish pay, treated as a number not a person
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Absolutely a joke of a place. . Far to many chiefs and not enough indians. New no smoking at any time is a joke . We get no breaks at all. Can do 12 24 or 36 hours straight. Shocking if your a smoker or vaper. Management a joke. Dont know their a@@ from elbow. Shift changes left right and centre. No wonder service users kicking off. Clue in the name. Autism.... like structure and knowing what staff is coming in. Gets changed at last min so some kick off. Great place to work if good a sucking up bosses a@@. I work with great team but morale is very low . No thanks for covering shift or staying late. On the look out for new job. The no smoking rules only apply to staff but still expected to hold an ashtray for a SU . I will so miss my service users.
Pros
Meet some good friends and SU are lovely.
Cons
Long hours no breaks. Useless management. No smoking or vaping the whole 36 hr you are in shift.
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One word - AVOID The amount of staff they go through says it all. Student city! No disrespect to students but many left after a few months or a year for University. Very unfair on the service users. In terms of a service users timetable, no versatility and the same activities every week. I understand autistic individuals like routine but many service users in the Abbey would have easily coped with other options been introduced. Yes, you work with different service users but the long term staff get easier shifts (service users with no challenging behaviour). Its not what you know but who you know! Management needs to have a good long hard look at themselves. Inexperienced managers who are in their own wee bubble. Old pals act and all that! They fail to listen to any concerns as they know better. Many should not even be in that sort of position. This also includes Autism Practitioners. Many think they are your boss and what they say must be done. Again, many AP's shouldn't even be in that sort of position. I worked in the Abbey centre but got sent to housing support on occasions. Housing support wasn't much better. Shift times are dreadful. I have been working in the care sector for a long time and this has got to be the worst care organisation ever. The setup at Scottish Autism is a disgrace. I'm not one for writing reviews but needs must. I felt a huge sigh of relief when I left Scottish Autism.
Pros
£5 towards your lunch and great service users (and some support workers)
Cons
Management, Poor staff, Communication is shocking
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My experience of working for Scottish Autism was positive. I received an extensive induction and felt valued from the beginning. I worked mainly in the residences so can only comment on the staff team there, and in my opinion everyone, from the support workers to management, were so helpful and cared about their staff. The job has its difficulties, and lone working and thinking on your feet is required, however, I always felt able to reach out to other staff members or seniors if I had any issues at all. I have so much respect for all of the staff for the efforts they go to to ensure the service users are cared for and happy. They are a fantastic team. I had some questions after leaving regarding my pay and even then, management responded quickly and went out of their way to help.
Pros
Staff support
Cons
It can be difficult at times but very rewarding.
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I worked at Scottish Autism for over a year and can hands down say it was the WORST year of my life. The interview was great, as was the training and initial contact with my manager. My first day "shadowing" I witnessed staff dissing the service users in front of them. I was told straight away that the service users were "a pain" and I would hate working here. I have a whole 3/4 "shadow shifts" before I got put on my own with the service users. First off, the service users are amazing. And if anything, you would totally love working alongside most of them and build great relationships with them. I sometimes worked 24/48 hours shifts, with no break, and done so at my manager's request as they were ALWAYS short-staffed. During this, the staff were not supported at all. If you phoned "on-call" for the assistance, they would say they were "busy" or "too far away" to help you. They would only ever come if it was a medical emergency. I even witnessed a service user hitting a member of staff and on-call refusing to attend as they were "busy" elsewhere. Staff and service users' safety was constantly put in jeopardy due to the negligence of managers. Some service users who needed to 2 members of staff with them, were only ever allocated one member of staff. Which in most cases, seriously affected the service users' quality of life and put the staff members at risk. If you complained about this, the managers did not care at all and would see you as incompetent. If your physically unwell, or mentally unwell, you are questioned and made to feel terrible about it. You are - more...
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never worked somewhere that the managers can make your life a living nightmare simple because they don't like you, no proof but still being disaplined for sweet f*** all, do not think because this is a charity its a good place to work, enough to drive anyone to insanity! So glad I told them to shove their job. Feel sorry for service users.
Pros
none
Cons
managers all stock together, ridiculous
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If your face doesn't fit, you're out. Forget seeing your families again because those 24-48 hour shifts are tedious, stressful and emotionally draining. Pay is terrible for the quality of work they demand of you, don't even get me started on management. Incompetent company. Ended up suffering physically and mentally from my time at SA, I lost valuable time and energy. Best thing I ever did was leave. I suffered appendicitis on shift and was unable to contact out of hours, the excuse was they 'accidently failed to inform my unit of last minute on call changes'. Thankfully I now work in a place where I am approached and am not another number in a long list of unhappy staff.
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Pay below the rest of care sector, management out of touch with staff , toxic team leaders and managers who have their own cliques and not willing to help inexperienced and new members of staff who will only critisise if you are not one of "the in crowd" bogged down with paperwork which takes up time away from service users, great job if you are actually allowed to do the job and not deal with management / supervisor drama
Pros
Service users
Cons
Too many
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I could go on and on about why Scottish Autism is an awful place to work, but I'll sum it up with this: Management do not care about service users or staff. They only care about making money. I worked in Dundee so cannot speak for other areas, but do yourself a favour and don't apply to work under such rude, incompetent people.
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I thought I would have the greatest job working for Scottish Autism. At the interview everything was lovely and they made you feel like it’s the best thing happening, but in reality it’s the worst thing. Had to wait 2 months to actually start working when some others who had the interview the same time as me started earlier. Had to debate with myself if it was worth it. I decided to give them a chance still. Had the training in another city which I found odd. At the interview they said everything was gonna happen in Dundee, but they’ve sent me far away to get the training. Did not understand that but found out later that they had availability to do the training in the Dundee but they’ve enrolled too many people so they had to send me to another city. I was already fed up with them, but I thought about how things seemed so perfect in the beginning and how much of a fool I would be if I just resigned. I was wrong. The WORST MANAGEMENT. They just don’t care about their new employees and I’m pretty sure about the older ones too. They want to force you into taking shifts. They are short on staff but don’t care about the existing staff. Also they don’t hire more people and people are leaving. Resisted only almost two months and I think it was the best decision to resign. Just stay away from this company . The only good thing is the payment. But it’s not worth it for the level of stress they put you through.
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Managment are fair and approchable. Training was second to none. Staff work well as a team. Hours can be unsociable. Was fun to work in a team with in the day centre as wrll as out in the community. Would be nice if management had more recognition for staffs effort with service users.
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Every day is different, you learn new skills every shift. The management are always happy to help you with your own development. It is easy to move up in the company and training will be given. The most enjoyable part of the job is leaving your shift knowing you made a difference to the person you were working with life. Hardest part of the job is building a relationship with the people you support as you might not decide to work there forever.
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You work long hours, sleepovers not well paid. Can be very stressful, if you do work for them, be prepared for long shifts, hard work, very repetitive. You are not appreciated, I would definitely not reccomend this company, you get more pay in other places.
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I liked working with the service users. The working environment was relaxed but communication with my manager was a nightmare. There were times where she would not respond to work emails for weeks and I would have to ask someone to remind her. The shadow shifts that I received were only 5 and with the same person which gave me no proper preparations what so ever. When I started working casually for them, I asked for more casual shifts with different people so that I could pick up shifts but I was denied. Overall, I would not recommend Scottish Autism to anyone due to their poor organisational skills and inadequate management.
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If you want to bow down to queen bee then this is the place for you. When you work here you have no life, no time and all the managers work put on your shoulders. Managers have plenty of time off (even 2 weeks at Xmas) and don't give a toss about you or your home life. If you don't drive it doesn't matter if there's no public transport on or if there's a red weather warning you're still expected to travel in expected to go in for your shift.
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The work is hard and you’re often working shifts that mean your sleeping pattern and day to day life might be hard to plan, however, it’s one of the most rewarding jobs. I have felt the experience I’ve had working with Scottish Autism is invaluable. There’s a lot of cons to the job which many people have already highlighted. The pay isn’t great for all the responsibility and challenges you have to face. It’s a fast paced environment with a lot of change and a high staff turn over.
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I have always worked in the Care/Support Worker sector and have learned loads over the years. Thought I would like to specialise in one disability so I chose Autism. OMG wish I hadnt this company is a complete and utter joke. Call them selves a caring company, well they need to go and look up what that actually means. Management dont give a flying f*** about there staff as long as shifts are covered thats all that matters. Also as long as management dont have to step in and work either, they would rather pay over the odds and get agency people in. Please folks if anybody reads these apply elsewhere. Management if anybody reads these reviews please do something about your company as you can see so many unhappy people and this definately can not go on.
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