You are an active community member who has recognized the significant impact of substance abuse within your community.

You might be a social worker who has a connection to individuals battling addiction or fighting for recovery.

You might be a business owner who recognizes that your employee in recovery needs much more community support to live up to their potential.

Whoever you may be, you aren’t alone in the recovery ecosystem within your region.

Many other individuals and organizations care deeply about reversing the harmful spiral that addiction poses on individuals, families and employers alike.

The Challenge: Even when there are individuals and organizations that are focused on helping people in recovery get back to work, much of the work in any given community is done in silos.

How This Guide Can Help: Over the past several years, the Development District of Appalachia has been working with regions to break down those silos and to build recovery ecosystems. This Ecosystem Builders Guide captures the lessons learned from that work, including specific tactics, resources, and case studies.

How to Use the Guide: The guide is designed to walk a community through a self-driven process to start or expand regional ecosystem work. There are five phases with practical resources, activities, case studies, and community spotlights. Using the navigation to the side or below, communities can choose their own adventure: starting at the beginning and moving through each phase sequentially or jumping directly to a “just in time” resource or case study.

You may start using this guide as an individual organization, but by following the steps below, you can build a team in your region around a shared vision for recovery.

Phase 1: Defining Community Recovery and Finding the Right Partners

What is a recovery to work ecosystem? What kinds of organizations and people lead recovery to work ecosystem efforts? What is your role in a recovery to work ecosystem?

Think Big about the Recovery to Work Ecosystem Approach

Set Your Vision for a Successful Regional Ecosystem

Identify a Leadership Team with Organizations that are Critical to a Successful Ecosystem

Phase 2: Getting Organized as Recovery Champions

What is the region’s shared vision for a successful recovery to work ecosystem? What are the challenges that stand in the way of that success? What are the opportunities to work together to achieve that success?

Convene Partners to Create a Shared Vision of Success for the Recovery to Work Ecosystem

Complete Recovery to Work Ecosystem Assessment  

Identify Roles for Partners and Community Stakeholders

Phase 3:  Mobilizing Employer Engagement

How can you find and support businesses that are champions for recovery in your region?

Build a Targeted List of Employers 

 Conduct Outreach to Employers 

Connect Employers to the Right Resources and Programs

Phase 4:  Formalizing Recovery to Work Partnerships

How can your region seamlessly connect people in recovery to the wraparound services needed for them to succeed in the workplace?

Identify Gaps in Wraparound Services in your Region

Improve Connections to Wraparound Services

Phase 5: Identifying Pathways to Sustainability

How can you identify resources to support a robust and sustainable ecosystem in your region that isn’t dependent on one organization or one funding stream?

 As a group, discuss which recovery to work partnerships and activities have gained the most traction since the formal RTW efforts began 

 Identify opportunities for program development and expansion