New W.Va. Court Specialists Have Personal Recovery Experience


West Virginia’s family treatment courts are hiring people with personal experience with substance misuse to help guide and support parents who are in recovery.

The family treatment courts recently created four new “peer recovery support specialist” positions using state and federal grants, according to a news release from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The peer support specialists, who work as liaisons between court participants and treatment teams, are part of an effort to increase retention within the program.

Megan Griffin, the new peer support specialist in Nicholas County, said the program gives people going through the court system “the gift of being understood.”

“It gives participants the idea that they can have a life worth living, that they have a chance to begin that new life and change,” she said.

Supreme Court administrative officials said their goal is to eventually have one specialist in each of the state’s 10 treatment courts. The family treatment court program serves individuals with substance use disorders who are also involved in a child abuse and neglect case.