What is a Recovery Community Organization?
A recovery community organization (RCO) is an independent, non-profit organization led and governed by representatives of local communities of recovery. These organizations organize recovery-focused policy advocacy activities, carry out recovery-focused community education and outreach programs, and/or provide peer-based recovery support services (P-BRSS).
- RCO's DO NOT provide clinical services and are not treatment programs.
- RCO's respect and support ALL pathways of recovery.
- The majority of their board, staff and volunteers are in recovery from alcohol and/or other drug addiction.
- RCO's routinely engage people in recovery, their families, and other stakeholders in a PARTICIPATORY process of program decision-making and conducting activities.
- RCO's are grassroots organizations and are active in their communities.
- The mission statement of an RCO focuses on addiction recovery.
- Some RCO's are hosted under the umbrella of a fiscal agent. In these cases, the RCO must have it's own autonomous governing board/ advisory board where decisions regarding policies, advocacy, staffing, budget, finances and programs are made.
association of recovery community organizations
The Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) at Faces & Voices of Recovery unites and supports the growing network of local, regional and statewide recovery community organizations (RCOs). ARCO links RCOs and their leaders with local and national allies and provides training and technical assistance to groups. ARCO helps build the unified voice of the organized recovery community and fulfill our commitment to supporting the development of new groups and strengthening existing ones.
All RCOs that are led and governed by the recovery community are welcome to join.
ARCO Leadership academy
The benefits of membership include the opportunity to participate in an annual 2 day Leadership Academy. ARCO has hosted Academies in Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Washington, D.C..
ARCO members come together each year with other leaders to strengthen their ability to:
- Influence public policy decisions by becoming familiar with initiatives affecting recovery, the players that influence policy and programming, and recovery advocacy strategies to impact policy
- Explore different aspects of developing and sustaining a recovery community organization
- Learn current practices in recovery community centers, peer services in diverse settings, and mobilizing community constituents
- Engage in networking and support - becoming part of a national network of recovery community organization leaders in an ongoing learning community of practice.