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Recovery Worker V.S. Recovery Coach

Is a Recovery Worker a Recovery Coach? No.


I feel it is important for me to clarify that since moving to England I have been a Peer Mentor, Support Worker, Recovery Worker and I am now a Recovery Coach.

Everything I am sharing is based on my own personal experience.


For this blog I will be focusing on paid roles; Support/Recovery worker and Recovery Coach.

From my experience, a support worker and a recovery worker are very similar. The only difference was that a recovery worker role had an increased caseload, and an additional £2,000 added to your annual salary.


As a recovery worker, I worked a regular 9-5. The training was very minimal, but the paperwork was intense. Just the initial assessment paperwork was over 100 pages, then the TOPS (Treatment Outcomes Profile), care plan paperwork, and more. I would then have to add all the data into the software system, which took hours (if you did it right.) My initial caseload was approximately 40, it continued to increase, 5 clients here, 20 clients there. Often Recovery Workers caseloads exceed 80, 90, sometimes even more.


Honestly, it was stressful, I felt I could never get ahead of my workload or keep up with the paperwork and data entry. I loved supporting people but ultimately I felt as if I spent more time completing paperwork and logging it into the system. I wasn’t happy.


When I became a Recovery Coach I found my calling and left my job as a Recovery Worker. I couldn’t do it anymore.


Recovery Coaching is everything I was hoping for when I was employed but did not find. As a Recovery Coach, it is about meeting people where they are at today. We only focus on the present and future, how can I help you with your recovery today?


The paperwork is very minimal and I spend more time supporting and having meaningful interactions. As a Recovery Coach I focus on increasing recovery capital in the following areas:

  • Connectedness to the Community

  • Physical Health

  • Emotional Health

  • Spiritual Health

  • Living Accommodations

  • School/ Job/ Education

  • Personal Daily Living

  • Other

As a Recovery Coach, I meet people where they are at, which means accommodating different forms of communication, whether that be phone, text, email, etc. As a Recovery Coach, we put Recovery First whatever that means for the recoveree we are working with. Phil Valentine mentions this is in his blog titles “Excellence” where he stated;


“I understand that often recovery coaches are hired by organizations that don’t understand the role. Recovery coaches beware. It’s up to you to determine if the role is right for you. Ask good questions at the interview. Once you accept the job, considered all the ramifications, and accepted the position, you now represent the recovery community. Strive for excellence.

Recently a young man talked about being hired by a treatment provider under the title of Recovery Coach, however, he soon assumed responsibilities of an outreach worker. He took the job because he needed it; his family was desperate for income. He worked with the homeless and encouraged those suffering from addiction to seek help. However, when he had the audacity to drive an overdosed young man to the emergency department, they fired him for violation of the agency’s transportation policy. He found another job more in line with his personal beliefs. He thrives now. And he excels.”

As the recovery coach profession grows, it’s vital we conduct ourselves RIGHT.”


We are honored and feel privileged to be the first CCAR Trainers in the UK, hence it is imperative to us personally and professionally that we set a high standard for ourselves and those we train; as sharing the ART & SCIENCE of Recovery Coaching is a gift we have received and we strive to ensure we share, deliver and implement the RIGHT way.

Please feel free to email us at hello@recoverycoachacademy.co.uk




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