Frequently Asked Questions
Recovery Friendly Workplaces as a campaign was originally envisioned in New Hampshire, and has since grown to include several initiatives across the country. In 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs awarded grants to Unity Recovery and Drug Free Workplaces PA to implement RFW programs through the entire Commonwealth and expanded programming in Philadelphia.
A Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) is a business or organization that chooses to go above and beyond in supporting employees by creating a workplace culture that supports people in or seeking recovery from substance use or mental health disorders, as well as those family members, loved ones, and community members also impacted..
There is no cost for a business or organization to become recovery-friendly - only a commitment to positive change. The RFW-PA and RFW-Philly programs are funded through grants from the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol programs and other foundations. In addition, employees who are job seeking and need additional employment services or recovery supports can also access such services at no cost.
While the time to complete the steps to become a Recovery Friendly Workplace vary from organization to organization, most find that it takes from 2-4 months to complete the initial steps and be considered a RFW.
When a Recovery Friendly environment and culture is created, people in recovery and those impacted by substance use and mental health disorders can thrive. A Recovery Friendly Workplace shines a light on employee health and wellness, and demonstrates commitment to reducing the stigma often associated with these disorders faced by those we employ, our customers, and living in our communities.
Estimates suggest there are over 850,000 people living in recovery in Pennsylvania. By becoming a Recovery Friendly Workplace, you are supporting your employees and creating a healthier environment for them to work, but also showing customers and community members that your business is a proactive, valued community partner. In addition, workplaces that implement evidence-based health and wellness policies and programs recruit and retain a healthier, more productive, and more motivated workforce.
Both RFW-PA and RFW-Philly have convened RFW Advisory Councils. These councils are groups of diverse business leaders and content experts who continue to help shape the initiatives and provide guidance and support to promote Recovery Friendly Workplaces.
Employers who participate in the RFW initiatives receive hands-on training and technical assistance to support their ongoing efforts to promote a recovery-centric workplace culture. Available resources include RFW-PA toolkits, materials, trainings, and support for supervisors and employees. Employment specialists ensure workplaces are well connected to the most current prevention, treatment, and recovery related resources to best support their employees.
In addition, employment and vocational specialists are available to individuals in or seeking recovery that are either job seeking, or need additional recovery support for their substance use or mental health disorders.
All services are available at no cost to job-seeking individuals, employees, and employers.