Spark of Genius
2.7 out of 5 stars.
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Spark of Genius Reviews: Working at Spark of Genius

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2.6Work-life balance

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Challenging but rewarding

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A typical day at work can include ensuring young people are up and engaging in activities or education, alongside preparing meals and snacks. Each day is very different and can bring a variety of challenges in the house, the young people come from a variety of backgrounds and will often display physically challenging behaviours that can result in staff being significantly injured, if inappropriately staffed the houses can go into chaos often resulting in police intervention.You are to complete your qualifications in-line with sssc however it’s often impossible to implement learning from SVQ or HNC as houses are stuck in a discipline approach and what has worked in the past rather than trying to move forward. There are some fantastic house management within services however unfortunately this is not the case the higher you go with house managers pushed into making decisions around new placements they do not agree with and receiving little to no support when things go wrong.The houses are full of cliques and some unpleasant staff which leads to its own issues if your face does not fit. Each house has its own work ethic which can bring a variety of challenges when working at multiple houses, this can lead to issues with consistency of what’s acceptable good practice and what is not. The company needs brought up to date with documents and recording processes as very dated, policies outdated and not frequently reviewed The most enjoyable thing is working with the young people although challenging you can make small differences to their lives.

Pros

Working with children

Cons

Long hours, huge expectations to pick up additional shifts, assaulted frequently, personal property damaged
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A great place to get career progression opportunities

I started here from College as a Student Placement and have been afforded the opportunity to grow through lots of different roles. I've been here for many years and I find there's a really child centred culture where they care about young people. I'm proud to work here.

Pros

Great career progression opportunities
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Insights into Spark of Genius

Based on 9 survey responses
Areas for improvement
  • Ability to meet personal goals
  • Time and location flexibility
  • General feeling of work happiness

Expensive service, lacking professionalism

Low pay, no sick pay,Job itself good but lack of consistent training since Covid and Management lately not fit for purpose. Ongoing staffing difficulties, low staff moral and some poor managers who can’t and sometimes don’t engage well with staff who are the core centre piece to this role working with challenging young people .
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Awful

This is a terrible place to work. Constant changes in management who are inexperienced and very dismissive. Constant threats of sssc, from people who have not actually read their codes of conduct, think there must be a star chart for the managers to get the highest amount of disciplinary actions, take pleasure in ruining people’s reputation, rather than accept that they have awful management and senior teams. After moving service did not take me long to realise just how bad they are and truthfully they would be fish out of water in a reputable company. Not much focus on the kids the more the local authorities pay they will keep them, even if the placement is not working. No respect or compassion to support workers, no work life balance constant changes to shift pattern and constant intrusion on your days off. Really could go on and on, but the saddest thing in it all is only the kids suffer due to massive staff changes and no structure in their life’s, the very reason they have to live away from home for most is chaotic childhoods, and unfortunately this is only accentuated in this environment most leave with little or no life skills this is just a holding pen they are being kept in.

Pros

None

Cons

Management
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Don't go for interview

Management culture of blame. No support,criticism if you bring problems to managers. Multiple changes in management with no direction.No boundaries in place fir young people. Numerous assaults on staff and damage to house

Pros

None

Cons

Everything
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Could be so much better

Has the potential to be a great place to work but the culture is very much about punishing and disciplining staff for the slightest wee thing. Not a nice way of working at all. No real encouragement from management to develop or progress within the company.

Pros

Can’t think of any

Cons

Culture, senior management
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Fun and rewarding place to work.

Great supportGood work/life balance Challenging but rewarding Opportunity for career progression Caring and nurturing environment Stylish services

Pros

Good pay eith excellent benefits

Cons

N/a
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Worst job to date

The management team is disgusting and that goes right up to the regional manager. You have management with inappropriate relationships with staff on the floor and a massive bullying problem which somehow seems to escape HR procedures.

Pros

You appreciate any other job you've ever had

Cons

Too many to list
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Avoid this organisation

Awful organisation to work for, inexperienced senior staff and erratic managers. Be prepared to take serious abuse from the kids with no back up. I feel sorry for the kids as there’s no thought or planning for their future. I see one of the managers likes to comment on these posts but perhaps he should be more of a presence in these services? They use sssc as a threat to staff, bother you constantly when you’re not on shift and struggle to keep staff.

Pros

None I can think of.

Cons

Inefficient management
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Really enjoy my role

Good pay, good hours and good group of people where I work. Good leadership team. Only negative for company is lack of sick pay. Especially when times can be really stressful

Pros

Good rates if pay, plenty of days off, great team

Cons

Lack of sick pay
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Should be closed down

Awful place. Very poor comms between staff and parents, zero boundaries, challenging behaviours rewarded with take aways etc, inappropriate relationships between staff and children, no support work of any note done with the kids...they’re cash cows from what I can tell. Succession of managers, each one dimmer than the predecessor. Reported. Awful place, avoid.

Pros

Are you kidding

Cons

Nothing but
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Fast paced but worthwhile position

It can be a very full on job, the pupils can have a lot of emotional issues but you are well supported by your colleagues who become friends. It is hard work but each school has a different ethos and it was interesting working in both. One school is physically demanding and fast paced whilst the other is more mentally challenging. I really enjoyed working for the company but unfortunately I found the commute too much. If I could have moved Skypoint closer to where I lived I’d still be there.

Pros

Good support, free lunches

Cons

Emotionally it can be hard
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Job Satisfaction

Have worked for SoG for about 6 years. For the most part have really enjoyed coming into work every day. Staff support each other and management have various processes in place to listen to all staffs recommendations or concerns either upfront or anonymously. This is a really inclusive place to work which makes your work life more enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong - it’s hard work and can be exhausting at times but let’s face it....what isn’t that’s worth doing? If you are thinking of applying to work here do it - you won’t regret it.

Pros

Management & Staff Support; seeing the YP thrive

Cons

Hard work
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Don't do it. You are worth so much more.

This was the worst experience I have ever had in employment. There is a bullying culture among staff with no intervention from others. Some staff are very supportive but unfortunately are seriously outnumbered. There is no work life balance. I was continually given more and more paperwork yet no time to do so. When I mentioned non class contact time I was pulled up. As a teacher, I was continually assaulted and told that it's what the pupils do. There were little to no consequences for pupils having done this. Staff and children are constantly placed in unsafe situations due to the company wanting to improve profits. Staff have been cut while they continually enrolled new pupils. I was an experienced teacher before this and now I can't see me returning to the profession. The situation here was so bad I attempted suicide as i could not see any other way. I have contacted the company and have had received no feedback nevermind an apology for my experience. There is much more but these are the main points. Dont do this to yourself. It ruined my life.
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Shocking company

Kids are used as cash cows this company needs closed down Bullying staff children are bribed to behave when the inspectors visit Management encourages staffs to lie in paperwork Constant cover ups
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Official response from Spark of Genius

13 January 2020
If you believe this to be the case, you have a duty and responsibility to report your concerns to the appropriate people.I believe the Care Inspectorate have recently carried out an inspection however, they didn't mention any of your concerns.

Still the same I see.

Ive worked with Looked after Children for over 15 years and never come across a more disorganized, bullying agressive place to work. The glaswegian mangers are all duplicitous and so hard to understand they should come with subtitles. Seriously I wouldn't wish my worst enemy a job there. AVOID!
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Official response from Spark of Genius

13 January 2020
Two of the Children's Homes are rated as OUTSTANDING and the other is rated as GOOD by Ofsted.I'm sure you have contact details for the managers you mention so, why don't you make contact with them directly to share your thoughts in person - I would have expected a professional care worker with your substantial experience to have mentioned this at the time - I'm not sure the Managers you mention are Glaswegian.Please contact us for a fuller discussion.

Spark of Genius

A great company to work for, offering wonderful opportunities. A company that is continuously promoting the development of the young people, the staff team and the management team.
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Official response from Spark of Genius

13 January 2020
Thank you for taking the time to share such positive comments.We strive to deliver the best possible care that we can offer and we require good positive people to support the children we care for.

A positive and life changing experience

I have worked for Spark for over 10 years and the organisation are child centred, focused on high quality care and have a very nurturing and caring environment where staff are truly valued. Sure it can be fast paced and sometimes difficult, but when working to change the lives of children and young people, you can expect challenges and have to show some resilience. I must say I've found some of the other reviews way off the mark. I've worked in a few care settings previously and I truly feel at home with Spark and wouldn't consider moving anytime soon. Senior Management are approachable and caring with vast experience of the sector. Don't believe everything you read, this is a good work place.
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Official response from Spark of Genius

13 January 2020
Thank you very much for the support, it is greatly appreciated.Unfortunately, it's far too easy for some people to comment on public forums when they are feeling disgruntled and angry - we all understand that we work in challenging settings and sometimes it can be unpleasant however, those instances are superseded by the good work that goes on across all of our services which the young people benefit from.I truly believe that SoG is a great place to work and I would appreciate any disgruntled people contacting me in the first instance to discuss their thoughts before taking them to a public forum, we can't make things better if we aren't afforded the opportunity to explore and resolve the problem.

They are still operating ??

I'm glad to see so many people speaking up about this dreadful company I have worked for this company for over 5 years and I have finally admitted defeat i stayed at spark of genius because I could see that myself and my colleagues were making a big difference in these children's lives for many of the young people spark of genius is a safe nurturing home in which they have never experienced before most of the children have EXTREME behaviours that put themselves and others at risk all the young people at spark of genius are there because they need intensive support that local authorities simply cannot provide within council run units as spark claims to provide highly trained staff and more secure placements however what goes on in this company is a completely different picture to what spark of genius promote staff leave on a regular basis because they simply cannot cope with the pressures and responsibilities that come with this role and management pfft don't me started !!
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Official response from Spark of Genius

13 January 2020
I'm extremely sorry that you are somewhat disillusioned after spending such a long period with us.Unfortunately, this line of work can be very challenging which means there will be pressure at times however, it is a very rewarding vocation and we do rely on good quality people who care for young people whilst understanding the complexities of the role.Feel free to contact me if you wish to share your experience and let us know what you think we should change - we are always open to constructive feedback from ex employees so please get in touch.

Stay away or you may regret it

Worked in residential in 2019 in the north east, at first you seem supported but the minute you think for yourself the management don't like it, lots of local authority money wasted on just getting the young people out and holidays abroad ( with staff ), massive staff turn over and sickness, a culture that should not be present exists behind the doors in this company, verbal and physical abuse of the young people, falsifying documents and handover sheets just to please head office as they have the ofsted rating to keep, staff using the company cars for there own journeys, i was told by a staff member to adjust the handover reports so its positive as head office reads them in scotland , not a good place to work, its a lot better in witherslack, all the three homes have staff working all hours, stressed, no professionalism and no boundaries followed, shocking how some speak to the young people and get away with it, ofsted should carry out a visit or speak to staff anonymously i will soon be leaving , can't wait to leave this place

Pros

Free meals

Cons

Draconian work culture, stressed staff, unable to retain staff, low morals.
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Official response from Spark of Genius

13 January 2020
The young people thoroughly enjoyed their holidays abroad - the YP from the three houses went to various locations in Spain and had a great time - it's a fantastic experience for them and I think the staff team also need to be commended for giving up their personal time to support the children. Unfortunately, you were only with the organisation for a couple of weeks and found it quite difficult to engage with the young people and your colleagues. This line of work isn't for everyone and to your credit, you did acknowledge that you maybe weren't cut out for child care anymore.We looked into your statements in the posting above and found them to be incorrect - the house also maintained its Ofsted rating of OUTSTANDING shortly after you had left. I also need to say that Ofsted, placing authorities, parents and carers were very complimentary towards the management, the staff team and the young people.Drop me an email or give me a call if you wish to chat about your experience.

High burnout rate

Not enough support from management. Staff experience and opinion not taken into consideration when placing new referrals in a residential home. Awful

Cons

shifts horrendous
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Official response from Spark of Genius

13 January 2020
Why don't you send me an email or call to share your experience and allow me an opportunity to respond accordingly.

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Overall rating

Based on 51 reviews

Ratings by category

2.6 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
2.9 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
2.5 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
2.4 out of 5 stars for Management
2.5 out of 5 stars for Culture

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