Our History

IAEC is a grassroots statewide association which represents the interests of thirty-seven Recovery Homes (RH),
Sober Living Environments (SLE) and addiction treatment centers in the State of Illinois, in addition membership
includes 165 ICB (Illinois Certification Board) holders of the NCRS (National Certified Recovery Specialist)

IAEC began and adopted its Bylaws on October 12, 1988 as the Illinois Association of Residential Extended Care
Programs (IARECP) to unite extended care programs and to serve as a voice and united front for extended care
programs in the State of Illinois. Initial membership was open to residential extended care facilities serving the
recovering population. Residential extended care facilities include both licensed and unlicensed operations; ex.
half-way house, recovery home, sober-living home, and Oxford Houses. Unlicensed facilities were allowed to
participate, but were not voting members. Individuals and agencies who were interested in improving the quality
of services and in promoting the role of residential extended care facilities in the alcohol/drug addicted treatment
continuum were eligible to become non-voting Associate Members.

In the late eighties and early nineties there was a proliferation of Recovery Homes/ Sober Living Environments in
the Chicagoland area, many having negative reputations (overcrowding, little or no services, substance use on
premises, etc.). Basically, these facilities operated without standards of operation or oversight.
As a result, in November of 1994 IAEC amended its By Laws that in order for a facility to be a voting member:
“Licensed facilities must submit an application with a copy of their current OASA license to the Association.

Unlicensed facilities must obtain OASA licensure within two (2) years of initial membership or membership will be
revoked. Such facilities shall also be inspected by a Facility Review Committee annually, in order to guarantee they
meet substantial compliance with (a) the 15 page document titled Registration for Sober Living Environment of the California Association of Alcoholic Recovery Homes (CAARH), (b) Section 2060.30(Facility Requirement of
OASA Licensure Provisions), and (c) Operator must obtain NCRS (National Certified Recovery Specialist)
certification prior to facility membership approval.

In 1995, when the state of Illinois began looking to license Recovery Homes, Director Jim Long of OASA
approached IAEC regarding development of standards for the facilities and credentialing of the staff. IAEC (specifically Skip Land and Sterling Gildersleeve) worked wwith OASA to develop the standards for licensedRecovery Homes in Illinois (which became Statute 2060.509).

(NCRS) National Certified Recovery Specialist

The NCRS was developed in 1976 by AHHAP (The National Association of Halfway Houses). This credential
provides affirmation, encouragement and peer recognition of staff (employees & volunteers) that work in Halfway
Houses, Recovery Homes, Sober Rooming Houses, Neighborhood Recovery Centers and other Social Model
Programs and Centers.

Purpose of NCRS:
• To provide effective residential extended care to recovering alcoholics and addicts who have completed or
are still in treatment
• Coach and support individuals in recovery from alcohol and/or drug abuse
• Build public confidence in the extended cared halfway house/recovery home process
• Ensure quality care to the consumer of extended care
• Open doors to new professional opportunities for recovering chemical dependent individuals

• To provide individuals in recovery with a support systems to develop/learn sober living skills

As a member of AHHAP, IAEC adapted the NCRS credential in 1994 and was granted permission from AHHAP to
confer this credential to recovery professionals in the State of Illinois. As a result, it became mandatory that all
Recovery Home / Sober Living members of IAEC have a staff person who held NCRS certification.
By mutual agreement of the Board of Directors of AHHAP and the Membership of IARECP (IAEC), AHHAP
contracted with IARECP (IAEC) to administer the NCRS Credential and to supervise the evaluation process in the
State of Illinois. The initial contract period began on January 1, 1998,
In 1999 the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association (IAODAPCA), Illinois
Association of Extended Care (IAEC), Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association (IADDA), and the
Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASA) began
discussion with AHHAP about an Illinois specific NCRS. We were grateful to AHHAP for beginning the credential
and allowing IAEC to develop an Illinois specific Certified Recovery Specialist (NCRS) credential.

Dates of note:
• Beginning in July 1st of 2003 thru 2008 IAODAPCA administered the Illinois Specific NCRS in
• In December of 2001 IARECP officially changed its name to the Illinois Association of Extended
Care (IAEC) and obtained 501C3 status with the IRS.
• NARR (National Alliance of Recovery Residences) was founded in 2011. NARR merged with
AHHAP in 2013. IAEC is a member of NARR.• IAEC/NCRS began using the CAS (Certified Addiction Specialist) exam in June of 2016.

• IAODAPCA began administering the NCRS credential once again on July 1st 2016.

Note: The CAS examination is developed from a delineated study-making it a valid, reliable and legally defensible credential. The exam and workshops are available on –line, making the credential accessible statewide.

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