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Partners for Recovery Logo SAMHSA's
Partners for Recovery
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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Workforce Development

Workforce issues are complex and linked to almost every challenge facing the addictions treatment and recovery field. Like other health care professions, the field has encountered many barriers to effective staff recruitment and retention, and to maintaining competencies. In addition to these common workforce challenges, the treatment and recovery field frequently experiences stigma, lack of public support, under-funding, and misconceptions about treatment and recovery.

Partners for Recovery has identified workforce development as a critical issue and has sought input from many groups, including professional associations, colleges and universities, recovery support providers, State directors, treatment providers, Addiction Technology Transfer Centers (ATTCs), Federal agencies, clinical supervisors, human resource managers, and key leaders. The input from the field has been gathered and synthesized in a report entitled, "Strengthening Professional Identity: Challenges of the Addictions Treatment Workforce." (93pp, PDF, 452KB)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), House Committee on Appropriations requested in its (FY) 2006 committee report that SAMHSA develop a report on the recruitment, retention and skill development needs of substance abuse treatment professionals. The field report entitled "Strengthening Professional Identity: Challenges of the Addictions Treatment Workforce" (93pp, PDF, 452KB) informed the development of the "Report to Congress: Addictions Treatment Workforce Development." (50pp, PDF, 220KB) The information and actions outlines in these two reports serve as a basis for CSAT's workforce development programming. For more information on the Report to Congress see attached article, SAMHSA Submits Report to Congress: "Addictions Treatment Workforce Development." (3pp, PDF, 44KB)

Workforce development is also an important issue in the field of substance abuse prevention. The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention has established a Prevention Fellowship program to advance the field of prevention nationally. The Prevention Fellows hone their skills with State Substance Abuse Directors and Prevention Network personnel across all levels of State activities with emphasis on the Strategic Prevention Framework, SAMHSA's Prevention National Outcome Measures, and the use of data for decision making regarding prevention programming. This program also enhances the skill level of prevention professionals and develops future workers in the field. Many of these fellows will become the Prevention Specialists of the future.

Read about Resources on Workforce Development.

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