The idea for this website grew out of a statewide workforce development strategic planning process. The process involved a broad range of stakeholders, including consumers and family members; prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery support providers; payers; educators; trainers; health professionals; advocates; and criminal justice professionals.
The Strategic Plan which came out of this collaborative work consists of four overarching recommendations that center around Communication and Collaboration, Continuous Learning and Quality Improvement, Valuing and Rewarding the Work, and Recruitment and Retention.
In response to a recommendation in the Plan to support collaboration in recruiting, retaining and sustaining a vibrant and skilled workforce, Careers of Substance was launched. The website was developed with input from stakeholders, and is sponsored by the MA DPH Bureau of Substance Abuse Services with support from DMA Health Strategies and AdCare Educational Institute. Ongoing web design and development is provided by Just Magic Design.
Aimed at supporting everyone who addresses substance use and addiction as part of their work, Careers of Substance provides information and resources designed to support a competent, dedicated and enthusiastic workforce:
- Individuals – advance or get started in the field, earn appropriate education, licensure and certification, stay current on recent research, and search for jobs
- Organizations – recruit, retain and support highly skilled staff, engage in results-oriented quality improvement, and respond to external changes
- Networking – set up an online home for collaborations on behalf of the workforce, find out about cross-system initiatives and advocacy efforts, and check out a calendar of events specifically for the field.
The website is truly a product of the field for the field, and invites ongoing contributions of real life workforce-related stories, tested resources, and news and dialogue as a resource which will develop as the field evolves.
Given ongoing changes in the economy, health care reform, advances in research, and the growing demand for addictions professionals, the field is a dynamic environment. Having one place to find and contribute information at Careers of Substance will leverage personal and organizational growth for the benefit of the whole field.