Cultivation of Recovery Champions
The “All in for Florida: A Recovery Project” is a three-year initiative with the broad goal of building recovery groups across Florida into sustainable Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) that utilize Certified Recovery Peer Specialists (CRPS) to enhance recovery support services within the local recovery network consistent with the guiding principles of a Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC). The project includes listening sessions around the state, resulting in symposiums and visioning sessions that assists communities to cultivate recovery champions and understand the needs of the community.
Peers are natural leaders in their recovery community, many of them wish to bring more recovery supports home and look to the RCO development team for guidance. Please note: recovery champions come in many forms such as a passionate Judge or other local leader that becomes a powerful recovery ally. This person is not required to identify as being in recovery to start this process for an RCO in their community.
Upon request from a community recovery champion, FADAA’s RCO development team will work to schedule a community listening session in the champion’s community.
- The listening session may be organized by the recovery champion, with assistance from the RCO development team, to include securing a location for the session and any advertising to local agencies and the community for participation.
- The RCO development team will facilitate a brief presentation on the Science of Addiction Recovery and include several participatory exercises to promote group involvement and dialogue.
- The RCO development team will ask the group what’s working well to support recovery and what could be better in their community to support recovery.
- The RCO development team will introduce new ways that peers are supporting peers to promote recovery across the state and nation, to include information on RCOs.
At the end of the listening session, the RCO development team will ask the group how they think they can promote recovery moving forward. If there is interest in bringing an RCO to the community, the RCO development team will set a date at the listening session for a symposium planning meeting. Moving forward, the RCO development team will continue to use the recovery champion as a point of contact for future planning meetings.
Using the recovery champion as a point of contact and local organizer, the FADAA’s RCO technical assistance (TA) team will go to the community with an overview presentation of the symposium planning process and RCO development.
- This meeting will mark the beginning of a two to six-month planning process in which stakeholders from every aspect of the community will be invited to take part..
- While it is recognized that certain individuals can plan and organize an event very quickly on their own, FADAA’s RCO TA team intentionally slows down the planning process so that many individuals from different parts of the community can help create the event to take ownership of the day.
- Intentionally fostering inclusion and providing opportunities for individuals to take part in the planning decisions create long lasting connections within the community.
- There has been noted success when the entire planning group meets once or twice a month, with multiple sub-committee meetings and/or conference calls in between to plan different aspects of the event.
- Planning groups have previously split into subcommittees to include: venue/logistics, decorations, catering, door prize, agenda/speakers, and media/outreach committees.
Symposiums are the next step in bringing a community together. FADAA’s RCO TA team facilitates the development of symposiums that are put on by the community. There is no preset blueprint for each unique community symposium, however we have found these things to be successful:
- Weekend events
- Event of four hours or less
- Speakers from multiple pathways
- Opportunities for local leaders/politicians to hear those stories
- Café Conversations to gather data on what is working and what needs support in communities
The data is then transcribed and reviewed by the community planning team and will inform the training workshops that are selected.
Recovery Community Visioning
Following the Recovery Symposium in each community, separate recovery community visioning follow up meetings will be held with the key contact and other members of the symposium planning group.
- RCO TA team will debrief with the community over what went well at the symposium, what could have been better at the symposium, and what they hope will happen from the symposium.
- Follow up is structured in a way that gives individuals specific action steps to take to either improve existing relationships or create new relationships to support a Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC).
- Action steps may be determined by the group to support efforts in the formation or continued development of a Recovery Community Organization.
- Café Conversations responses from the symposium are discussed and used as a tool to determine what services that RCO can offer and how to go about further development to support local recovery efforts.