Recovery-to-Work Toolkit

Addiction has taken a toll on your community and businesses. How can you help? 


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, we are certain that 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 is, 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. 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 toolkit captures the lessons learned from that work, including specific tactics, resources, and case studies. 

Phase 1: Defining Community Recovery and Identifying Partners

  • Step One: What is a recovery to work ecosystem? What kinds of organizations and people lead recovery to work ecosystem efforts? Is your role in a recovery to work ecosystem?
  • Step Two: What does success look like in your region? 
  • Step Three: Connect with other organizations that are (or should be) part of the recovery to work ecosystem 

Phase 2: Getting Organized as Recovery Champions – Solidifying Partnerships

  • Step One: Discuss what a successful recovery to work ecosystem would look like in your region.  
  • Step Two:  Complete Recovery to Work Ecosystem Assessment  
  • Step Three: Identify Community Stakeholders, Pathways and Level of Engagement

Phase 3: Understanding Employer Interest and Needs to Mobilize Engagement

  • Step One: Build a targeted list of employers to reach out to about interest in Recovery to Work efforts in the region 
  • Step Two: Conduct outreach to employers 
  • Step Three: Compile responses and determine next  steps, such as connecting employers to existing resources and programs or creating new resources programs to meet their needs

Phase 4:  Formalizing Recovery to Work Pathways

  • Step One: Identify organizations that deliver wraparound services in your region, and have not yet partnered on recovery to work efforts
  • Step Two: Identify top opportunities to improve connections to wraparound services and expand existing pathways 
  • Step Three: Develop a plan to take action on top expansion opportunities to expand or better connect wraparound services 

Phase 5: Identifying Pathways to Sustainability

  • Step One: As a group, discuss which recovery to work partnerships and activities have gained the most traction since the formal RTW efforts began 
  • Step Two: Identify opportunities for program development and expansion