The Social Side of AWARDS: The Recovery Connections Program

Here’s one new way a Foothold agency uses the reporting capabilities of AWARDS in its work with clients. In 2013, Community Access launched “Recovery Connections,” a brand new program concept designed to help people with a history of mental illness connect to their peers and the community at large by engaging with people, places, and activities outside the mental health system. The program, funded by a grant from the New York State Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, does not track clients and services in the traditional sense, but still needs to show growth and positive connections over the course of its reporting period.

Working together with the Recovery Connections Program Manager, we were able to break down the program’s reporting needs and configure the system so that AWARDS could be used in a meaningful way to keep track of participants’ engagements with the greater peer community, like an individual’s attendance at community events and other social activities that align with his or her particular interests.

Sunni Headley, a Recovery Connections Peer Advocate, shared this story about a program participant: “‘Gerald’ popped up at Recovery Connections craving more information [about a community event]. He always speaks with us about not just staying busy but also staying productive as he gathers his life together. He doesn’t have much family and he doesn’t have the best means, but he stays hopeful and keeps pushing. He comes to our Creative Writing group every Wednesday. He has also attended our community garden clean up event…and is interested in getting involved in the gardens near his place. He also wants to move forward in employment. We are here to support him every step of the way.”

Noting these interactions within AWARDS ensures that participant information is tracked, and allows advocates to follow up with all participants to ensure they are connected to the appropriate resources. Breaking down the process and configuring AWARDS in this way really got to the heart of the matter, connecting individuals to empower them to make significant changes in their lives. For more about Community Access and the Recovery Connections program, click here.

About Foothold Technology
Foothold Technology offers web-based software developed specifically for behavioral health and human service providers. More than 600 agencies across the nation count on Foothold’s AWARDS software to manage services including Mental Health, Alcohol & Substance Abuse, Developmental Disabilities, Homeless & Housing, Employment & Training, Youth & Family, and more. With origins and roots in social services, AWARDS is a complete Electronic Health Record that also supports administrative activities, including facilities maintenance, human resources, scheduling and alerts, audit reports, and automated billing. AWARDS is certified for Meaningful Use. For more information, visit