On July 1, 2021, the Vermont Recovery Network, made up of Vermont’s Recovery Organizations was faced with a huge challenge. The Executive Director left her position and the state decided to pull all funds from the organization. What was going to happen? An new Executive Director was hired to either help close the organization or determine what were its next steps. After speaking with many of the Executive Directors of the Recovery Organizations, it was clear they wanted an organization to represent their interests moving forward. Thus became the birth of the Recovery Partners of Vermont. The new name of the organization and so much more, unfolded over the next 5 months. The direction of the Recovery Partners of Vermont quickly emerged. The leadership of the member Recovery Organization, nine in total, came up with specific tasks for the staff of the Recovery Partners of Vermont.
- Advocacy at all levels from raising public awareness, representing the needs and interests of the Recovery Organizations with government agencies (state and federal).
- Fundraising for members
- A Clearinghouse of Information for members
- Developing and delivering a technical assistance plan for each Recovery Organization
- Creating a library of information around Recovery Organizations policies, job descriptions, handbooks, procedures etc.
- Initiating a yearly-peer driven standards audit for Recovery Organizations
- Having an in-house data consultant to help each Recovery Organization and the Recovery Partners of Vermont develop a standardized data set for use for each Recovery Organization and system wide.
Next step was securing funding this new direction. Following a model that the Community Mental Health Agencies use (Designated Agencies) with their umbrella agency, Vermont Care Partners, it was agreed that each member Recovery Organization would pay for 50% of the operating costs of the Recovery Partners of Vermont and that the Recovery Partners of Vermont would raise the matching amount. Also, those member Recovery Organizations would hold a seat on the board of directors of the Recovery Partners of Vermont. There also would be 6 at-large members.
All of this was voted by the Board of Directors at their December 2021 meeting and became reality on January 1, 2022.