“Recovery-to-work ecosystems require efficient regional stakeholder collaboration to achieve their goals. Individuals are especially vulnerable as they transition between different recovery steps while moving through treatment to employment. Behind the scenes, stakeholders must coordinate efficiently, generally with a regional champion to offer leadership and management.” – Addressing Appalachia’s Substance Use Disorder Crisis Through Recovery-to-Work
You have a vision for what a successful recovery to work ecosystem looks like in your region, now it’s time to organize regional stakeholders to create a continuum of care.
By now you have connected with other organizations in the recovery to work ecosystem. You may have met in small groups and discussed what success looks like in your region. There are a number of individuals who are ready to be recovery to work champions. These people will represent their communities, organizations, and individual projects in further understanding the SUD challenges and opportunities for recovery.
This is a good time to bring a larger group together to discuss where there are gaps in the regional ecosystem and where there are opportunities for collaboration. This will set you up for success in engaging employers and other stakeholders.
Recruit and Convene Partners in a Regional Working Session
A regional working session is an opportunity to: develop a shared vision of success, identify cross-organizational opportunities to strengthen the recovery to work ecosystem, agree on structure and roles for joint work, and develop consensus around a joint approach to business engagement.
You can use the stakeholder engagement strategy developed in Phase 1 of the guide and the responses to any initial outreach to develop a list of organizations to invite to a regional Recovery to Work ecosystem working session. It is important to include the organizations that are Recovery to Work champions and that were identified as high priority for cultivating new partnerships. These organizations have the most potential to impact recovery to work efforts, either through their ability to prepare people in recovery for successful careers or to influence the willingness of businesses to hire people in recovery. It is also important to consider how the recovery perspective will be represented in your regional meeting.
Community Spotlight: Learn from a community in North Carolina about the importance of including the recovery perspective in regional meetings (Phillip Cooper, North Carolina)
Template: Email Invitation
Activity: Design an agenda that is responsive to where your region is in the ecosystem development process, considering using the activities for group discussion included below. Is this the first time a group has come together? If so, consider spending most of your time using the regional self-assessment activity to develop a shared vision of success and list of initial opportunities. If your region is further along in your ecosystem work, you will likely move through the regional self-assessment quickly (it will still be a valuable exercise to solidify group identify and surface new ideas) and can spend more time discussing how to formalize roles and partnerships.
Use the Recovery to Work Ecosystem Assessment to Shape Shared Vision and Identify Opportunities
If your group of recovery to work champions is meeting or working together for the first time, a regional self-assessment can help the group define a shared vision for success and identify opportunities for working together. Once the group has defined shared goals, the regional action plan template can be used to translate ideas into action through identifying tasks, staff leads, and timelines.
Activity: Use the Recovery to Work Ecosystem Assessment Tool to consider and discuss your region’s strengths, where your ecosystem needs work, and your region’s top opportunities
Case study: Examples of shared regional goals from cohort learning academy
Template: Regional action plan
Decide on Structure for Roles and Relationships of Recovery to Work Partners
Based on the opportunities identified in the regional ecosystem assessment, are there other organizations you can reach out to get involved? Are there opportunities to formalize partnerships by mapping working relationships, developing MOUs, and sharing data? The spotlights below show how some regions have formalized recovery-to-work partnerships. Regions have taken different approaches to formalizing partnerships, but the end result is the same: providing seamless transitions to those in recovery and better coordination of outreach and support to the business community.
Community spotlight: Flowchart of existing treatment (OVRDC)
Community spotlight: Upper Cumberland hub and spoke diagram
Community spotlight: First Tennessee ally map; OVRDC ally map
Community spotlight: Partnership MOUs that define roles and expectations
Community spotlight: Data sharing tools
Case study: New York
After completing phase 2, you should have the following outcomes:
- A better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that are unique to your region.
- A more intentional approach to formalizing roles, partnerships, and joint work across the ecosystem.
- A coordinated team of recovery to work champions ready to work together to start or expand outreach to businesses.