Our CASAC Counselors
Posted on: December 29, 2016
Cazenovia Recovery Systems is proud of our employees’ enthusiastic response to earning the CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) designation from the New York State Department of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). New regulations will require each Cazenovia Recovery counselor to be a CASAC in order to participate in programs that will convert to new 820 services next year.
Cazenovia Recovery provides a $1,000 stipend to each CASAC, which can be applied to training and exam costs. The agency also brings in experts to conduct training sessions at our Administrative Office in Buffalo. Registered CASAC trainees must achieve 350 dedicated hours – through education, special classes or training. Trainees must also pass a credentialing test. Among the 150-question test topics are intake and discharge, treatment planning, medication, pharmacology, case management, and counseling.
Cazenovia Manor’s CASAC Experience
The clinical team at Cazenovia Manor successfully focused on earning their credentials. Among the first to become certified are Venus Wiggins, senior counselor; and Anita Jenison and Ron Corpening, counselor associates.
Venus satisfied the training criteria with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. Ron and Anita reached 350 hours through an OASAS-approved resource training center in Amherst. Ron also had significant on-the-job training. He has an associate’s degree and she has a bachelor’s degree. CASAC is valid for three years and requires 60 hours of continuing education credits to keep it current.
The staff at Cazenovia Manor believe that sharing the ongoing experience with colleagues motivated them daily. “We were dedicated to passing the test,” Ron reported. All expressed appreciation for site supervisor Debra Cannon’s constant encouragement and interest in their progress.
“You can’t be a counselor without CASAC anymore,” Anita explained. “Other credentials are nice to have, but CASAC is what counts. You could have a PhD, but without a CASAC, it wouldn’t matter.”
Venus noted: “This showed us that research is ever-changing and we need to keep up with the trends to stay competent. Being a qualified health professional gives us confidence and it makes our residents feel better, too.”
“It’s not just saying you’re qualified; it’s knowing you’re qualified,” Ron said. “It qualifies Cazenovia Recovery to provide redesigned services. It’s powerful.”
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