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Recovery Support Services (RSSs) are non-clinical services that assist individuals and families to recover from alcohol or drug problems. They include social support, linkage to and coordination among allied service providers, and a full range of human services that facilitate recovery and wellness contributing to an improved quality of life. These services can be flexibly staged and may be provided prior to, during, and after treatment. RSSs may be provided in conjunction with treatment, and as separate and distinct services, to individuals and families who desire and need them. RSSs may be delivered by peers, professionals, faith-based and community-based groups, and others.

Recovery support services are typically provided by volunteers or paid staff members who are familiar with their community's support for people seeking to live free of alcohol and drugs. Often recovery support services are provided by peers-people in recovery or family members. Some services require reimbursement, while others, such as mutual support groups, may be available in the community free of charge. Recovery support services may include the following:

  • Transportation to and from treatment, recovery support activities, employment, etc.;
  • Employment services and job training;
  • Case management and individual services coordination, providing linkages with other services (e.g., legal services, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, social services, food stamps);
  • Outreach;
  • Relapse prevention;
  • Housing assistance and services;
  • Child care;
  • Family/marriage education;
  • Peer-to-peer services, mentoring, and coaching;
  • Self-help and support groups (e.g., 12-step groups, SMART Recovery®, Women for Sobriety);
  • Life skills;
  • Spiritual and faith-based support;
  • Education;
  • Parent education and child development; and
  • Substance abuse education.

Be aware that when accessing "recovery support services" through the internet the word "Recovery" may be used in a number of different contexts to describe stages of treatment and /or intervention.

Definitions for Recovery Support Services
Transportation - Commuting services are provided to clients who are engaged in treatment- and/or recovery support-related appointments and activities and who have no other means of obtaining transportation. Forms of transportation services may include public transportation or a licensed and insured driver who is affiliated with an eligible program provider.

Employment Services and Job Training - These activities are directed toward improving and maintaining employment. Services include skills assessment and development, job coaching, career exploration or placement, job shadowing or internships, résumé writing, interviewing skills, and tips for retaining a job. Other services include training in a specific skill or trade to assist individuals to prepare for, find, and obtain competitive employment such as skills training, technical skills, vocational assessment, and job referral.

Case ManagementComprehensive medical and social care coordination is provided to clients to identify their needs, plan services, link the services system with the client, monitor service delivery, and evaluate the effort.

Relapse Prevention - These services include identifying a client's current stage of recovery and establishing a recovery plan to identify and manage the relapse warning signs.

Referrals and Assistance in Locating Housing - This includes referral to local sober houses, access to housing databases, and assistance in locating housing.

Child Care - These services include care and supervision provided to a client's child(ren), less than 14 years of age and for less than 24 hours per day, while the client is participating in treatment and/or recovery support activities. These services must be provided in a manner that complies with State law regarding child care facilities.

Family/Marriage Counseling and Education - Services provided to engage the whole family system to address interpersonal communication, codependency, conflict, marital issues and concerns, parenting issues, family reunification, and strategies to reduce or minimize the negative effects of substance abuse use on the relationship.

Peer-to-Peer Services, Mentoring, Coaching - Mutual assistance in promoting recovery may be offered by other persons who have experienced similar substance abuse challenges. These services focus more on wellness than illness. Mentoring and coaching may include assistance from a professional who provides the client counsel and/or spiritual support, friendship, reinforcement, and constructive example. Mentoring also includes peer mentoring which refers to services that support recovery and are designed and delivered by peers-people who have shared the experiences of addiction recovery. Recovery support is included here as an array of activities, resources, relationships, and services designed to assist an individual's integration into the community, participation in treatment, improved functioning or recovery.

Life Skills - Life skills services address activities of daily living, such as budgeting, time management, interpersonal relations, household management, anger management, and other issues.

Education - Supported education services are defined as educational counseling and may include academic counseling, assistance with academic and financial applications, and aptitude and achievement testing to assist in planning services and support. Vocational training and education also provide support for clients pursuing adult basic education, i.e., general education development (GED) and college education.

Parent Education and Child Development - An intervention or treatment provided in a psycho-educational group setting that involves clients and/or their families and facilitates the instruction of evidence-based parenting or child development knowledge skills. Parenting assistance is a service to assist with parenting skills; teach, monitor, and model appropriate discipline strategies and techniques; and provide information and advocacy on child development, age appropriate needs and expectations, parent groups, and other related issues.

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