FLORIDA’S FUTURE IS NOW

John Lehman, FARR President

FLORIDA’S FUTURE IS NOW

The FARR brand is now comprised of two distinct organizations. Each has a unique mission and is served by an independent Board of Directors. The Florida Association of Recovery Residences (FARR, INC) has been selected by the Department of Children and Families to provide recovery-oriented housing operators an opportunity to achieve voluntary certification of compliance with National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) Quality Standards, Code of Ethics and other criteria established by F.S. 397.487 and 397.4871. FARR certification, compliance, and field assessors are responsible to follow transparently published protocols for the assessment of provider compliance. Communities, neighbors, continuing care coordinators, families and consumers all benefit from uniform application of these protocols across all four recovery-oriented housing support levels.

The new FARR Voluntary Application for Certification is now available under the navigation tab Certification when visiting www.farronline. org. Implementing criteria established by F.S. 397.487, programs must demonstrate Certified Recovery Residence Administrator (CRRA) staffing for every three locations. This credentialing process is overseen independently by the Florida Certification Board under contract with the Department of Children and Families. Included in the core competencies required for achieving this credential is a thorough working knowledge of NARR Quality Standards and Ethics as well as a practical appreciation of how to implement these standards as practices that produce a culture of recovery support within the residential community. As established by F.S 397.4871, applicants for Certified Recovery Residence Administrator must pass level 2 background checks. In turn, FARR requires all online applications for Voluntary Certification of Recovery Residence be completed by the CRRA . Newly introduced components of the FARR online application include execution of affirmative attestations, completion of a contact section identifying all recovery residence owners, managers and staff and a section that facilitates uploading documentation in support of attestation and standards. F.S. 397.487 establishes that recovery residence owner(s) and financial officers must also pass level 2 background checks. Further information regarding the application and certification process is available at www.farronline.org.

Enforcement
To ensure the integrity of FARR Certification, all stakeholders possessing direct knowledge of provider non-compliance are encouraged to visit www.farronline.org to file a grievance.

Together, concerned stakeholders and FARR staff are legislatively empowered to take action to protect consumers, families and neighbors against predatory opportunists who seek solely to profit from this vulnerable population. FARR has established relationships with external parties who possess authority to act upon certain credible allegations, including the Attorney General Office for Consumer Protection, local and state law enforcement agencies, DCF Substance Abuse Licensure and, when appropriate, local zoning departments.

Academic Research
Equally empowering; certification of provider compliance with NARR Quality Standards evidences a culture of recovery support is embedded in the fabric of the peer community. Federal protections afforded this population under the American with Disabilities and Fair Housing Acts which hinge on a key premise: that when individuals in recovery from addiction live together as “the functional equivalent of a family”, positive outcomes are greatly enhanced. Eleven core principles underpin 37 Quality Standards that are further delineated by 102 sub-standards. These standards represent promising practices comprising a “how-to manual” for creating and sustaining residential, peer communities that promote recovery capital.

Promoting recovery capital is the primary mission of recovery residences. The new membership organization, Florida Alliance for Recovery Residences (FARR LLC), is honored to play an instrumental role in supporting academic research towards development of an assessment tool for measurement of recovery capital. Commencing April 2016, a research team led by Dr. David Best of Sheffield Hallam University will collaborate with FARR Certified Recovery Residences to implement the measurement platform that has been deployed by recovery-oriented housing providers in the United Kingdom. The first of several research projects involving FARR Members, assessment of recovery capital (ARC) is recognized worldwide as the gold standard for valuation of recovery outcomes. A strengths-based practice, ARC measures consumer progress towards achievement of self-directed, recovery goals and improvement in quality of life. Dr. David Best is recognized by the academic community and leaders in the substance use disorder treatment, recovery support and corrections service sectors as a leading subject matter expert. His pioneering work in this field is extensively published and peer reviewed. Provider reliance on this measurement instrument will help guide service delivery in both clinical and peer sectors. FARR Members are, at once, proud and humbled to participate in this ground-breaking project.

The Florida Alliance for Recovery Residences (FARR, LLC) will assume ownership of all membership, academic research, advocacy and outreach activities. Providers electing to apply for voluntary certification are not required to join the membership organization. Membership in FARR, LLC has no impact on compliance assessments conducted by the credentialing entity. The membership organization is comprised of individuals and entities committed to the recognition and promotion of three components of the new recovery paradigm: recovery residences; recovery community organizations; and recovery-oriented systems of care. We are proud to announce Dr. Paul Ahr Ph.D., M.P.A. as Chair of this organization’s Board of Directors. Dr. Ahr’s education and experience, including having served as Director of Missouri Department of Mental Health and, most recently, a decade long commitment at the helm of Camillus House, a Dade county nonprofit engaged in a mission to end chronic homelessness, qualifies him to lead a member organization seeking to fulfill the promise of the new recovery paradigm. In 2014, Dr Ahr received the Sapphire Award: Excellence & Innovation in Community Health, from the Florida Blue Foundation. A House in Town, a level II recovery residence founded by Dr. Ahr and partners, is poised to launch in Lake Worth, Florida. Under his leadership, the membership platform will facilitate partnerships between recovery support and addiction treatment providers, resulting in a recovery-oriented continuum that effectively supports consumers as they transition to self-directed recovery. Membership categories include: Recovery Residences (Certified and Provisional), DCF Licensed Behavioral Health Care providers, vendors who support these service sectors, residents and family, academic researchers and students, government agencies and recovery community organizations.