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About Partners for Recovery (PFR)

Learn about PFR’s core activities and history, and its Leadership Institutes, which help prepare future leaders in substance use treatment.

PFR is an initiative sponsored by the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). It addresses issues of national significance and is driven by the individuals, families, and communities it serves. The PFR Initiative supports and provides technical resources and builds capacity and improves services and systems of care.

PFR core activities include:

  • Supporting and facilitating the development of Systems of Care to support individual, family, and community recovery
  • Fostering collaboration among the various systems that impact those with substance use and co-occurring mental health conditions (for example, primary care, child welfare, criminal justice)
  • Equipping recovering individuals, providers, state and local governments, and other stakeholders with the tools to respond to stigma
  • Developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to address workforce issues for the addictions treatment and recovery field
  • Preparing the next generation of leaders in the addictions treatment and recovery field

The 2010 PFR Fact Sheet (PDF | 155 KB) highlights:

  • Distinctive features of the PFR Initiative
  • PFR's approach to improving services and systems
  • Current accomplishments and projects
  • Upcoming activities, resources, and events

The April 2010 PFR Update (PDF | 189 KB) provides additional information.

History of PFR

PFR was launched in 2003 by CSAT in partnership with key stakeholders in the substance use disorder treatment field. It was conceived as a way to engage a variety of organizations and systems to improve the field of addiction treatment and the diverse systems and organizations that support individuals in recovery. As a subset of these stakeholders, leaders in the field of addiction treatment, mental health, and prevention were recruited to serve on a steering committee that assisted with the launch of the initiative.

The PFR Steering Committee (PDF | 138 KB) continues to provide guidance and leadership to the PFR Initiative. Its membership identified the following five key areas of focus to enhance access to treatment and recovery and the overall quality of services:

  • Recovery
  • Cross-Systems Collaboration
  • Social Inclusion
  • Workforce Development
  • Leadership Development

PFR builds on the guidelines established in the National Treatment Plan, which were:

  • Invest for Results
  • "No Wrong Door" to Treatment
  • Commit to Quality
  • Change Attitudes
  • Build Partnerships

PFR Leadership Institutes Prepare Future Leaders in the Addiction Treatment Field

In collaboration with the national network of Addiction Technology Transfer Centers (ATTCs), PFR is sponsoring regional Leadership Institutes across the country. The Leadership Institutes are part of the overall strategy of PFR to develop leadership within the addiction treatment field.

As many of the current leaders in the addiction field near retirement, there is a need to transition leadership to the "next generation" while also developing leadership at all levels within organizations. PFR's support of the Leadership Institutes came out of the documented need for such training.

The Southern Coast ATTC piloted the first Leadership Institute in October 2003. The Graduate School, USDA (GS/USDA) is responsible for the pre-assessment of participants (called "protégés") and a five-day immersion training. Based on the tremendous success of the pilot, the five-day training is currently being hosted by regional ATTCs across the country with rave reviews from participants.

In-Depth Training Course

The full Leadership Institute involves several components, including:

  • Independent pre-course assignments
  • A 360-degree assessment of each participant's job strengths
  • Five intense days of training
  • A six-month follow-up program during which time protégés work with mentors and complete a specific project based on their leadership goals

At the end of the course, participants reconvene, present their projects, and formally graduate from the Leadership Institute.

Training Objectives

The overall goals of the Leadership Institute are to develop a cadre of leaders able to:

  • Enhance cultural appropriateness
  • Develop and disseminate tools
  • Build a better workforce
  • Advance knowledge adoption
  • Provide ongoing assessment and improvement
  • Forge partnerships (SCATTC Strategic Plan, 2004)

The Leadership Institute achieves this by motivating participants to:

  • Explore and enhance interpersonal skills through personal assessments and dialogue and through personal and professional partnerships and coalitions
  • Explore and enhance team skills
  • Explore and enhance organization development skills

With up to 20 individuals participating in each of the Leadership Institutes, the field is beginning to create an identified pool of emerging leaders whose talents and influence will help shape the addiction treatment field in the coming years.

The Resources and Links page lists documents on leadership and the need for workforce training.

Last Updated: 04/22/2019