Nothing About Us Without Us

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We are writing to express our outrage that the Fairfax/Falls Church, Virginia Community Service Board (CSB) leadership decided to defund the position of the Director of the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs and to fragment the duties of this office among non-peers (people without lived experience with mental illness or addiction) .

This decision is a slap in the face to any peer or family member who believes that they should have a real voice in the policy and operation of the CSB.

The CSB administration is dismantling a system purposely built by the previous CSB Board and Fairfax County to engage individuals to become active participants in their own service system. It was also designed to have a peer established in an executive-level leadership position that would allow them to be an unapologetic advocate and voice for peers and families at the highest level of the organization.

The peer and recovery community has a slogan …

“Nothing About Us Without Us”

When the former Director of the OCFA was hired, it was a job requirement that the individual have lived experience. When this job was posted in January 2016, the CSB HR department advised that lived experience be “strongly recommended” rather than required. This is unacceptable. The federal government requires their peer employees at the Veteran’s Administration and SAMSHA to have lived experience. Why can’t we?

We demand the following:
  • The Immediate reinstatement and funding of the position of the Director of the OCFA.
  • And that “lived experience” be a requirement for the Director of the OCFA

Please sign this petition. We appreciate your support!!


The Northern Virginia Peer Support Coalition

The Recovery Work Group

The Fairfax-Falls Church WRAP Team

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