MAKING CONNECTIONS: Tides Family Services caseworker Maria Heaon, back, meets with two clients of the agency.
By Paul E. Kandarian PBN Staff Writer
In 1975, Michael Reis co-founded the Ocean Tides School, and at the end of his term as president there, recognized the need for at-risk youth to have more support in their families and communities. He founded Tides Family Services in 1983 to do it.
Tides is dedicated to serving at-risk youth and their families, and has grown into a family of its own, said founder Michael Reis. And that is part of the allure of working there, he said, with employees getting a sense of family in their work.
There are also other, more tangible benefits of working at Tides, which in 2009 was named one of the Providence Business News’ Best Places to Work, and which a year later won a Bank of America Local Hero Award.
Most notably, the day a person starts at Tides, 100 percent of his health insurance premiums are paid by Tides for individual enrollment; the employee opts, he pays that part of it There is also a defined-benefits pension plan, fully vested at four years, nine months of employment.
Workers also take part in the La Sallian Leadership Institute, which for a full week, twice a year, helps enhance their commitment to the mission.
Tides has biweekly trainings for all supervisors regarding family systems and various aspects of supervisory responsibilities.
Rewarding staffers is important, Reis said: Tides has an employee-recognition program based on years of service, presenting eligible staff members with a personalized gift based on service years. Free or discounted tickets to local family entertainment or sporting events are also given.
And always, family comes first at Tides.
“We encourage all employees to place their family’s health first and foremost,” Reis said. •