The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) defines Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) as “framework[s] for coordinating multiple systems, services, and supports that are person-centered, self-directed and designed to readily adjust to meet the individual’s needs and chosen pathway to recovery”. This strengths-based approach to recovery is utilized in substance abuse treatment centers across the Texas.

DSHS has partnered with The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work to obtain and analyze data from four statewide Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) in consideration of how the state might develop and fund future sites. Research will focus specifically on how RCOs are developed, designed, and how such supportive services can be implemented by measuring such parameters as: peer recovery coaching; types of substance abuse recovery supportive services; types of training plans for peer support specialists, organizers, and organizations/ agencies; and RCO linkages among local communities. Investigators will apply qualitative research methods to acquire information including interviews of RCO staff. Project deliverables include: individual interviews, RCO organizational trainings, written reporting procedures as well as monthly and final reports which offer assessments of the RCOs and recommendations for future ROSC projects.

The goal of this evaluation is to inform DSHS about what substance abuse recovery support services to sponsor in the future as well as how to fund them. Such findings will impact the evolution of recovery interventions in the state of Texas and will contribute to the body of scientific research relating to the effectiveness of substance abuse recovery programs. Ultimately this research will benefit people with substance abuse as they access recovery services and begin the healing process.