About First Step Recovery

First Step Recovery provides treatment for individuals struggling with drug and alcohol dependency. We are a non-profit organization, fully accredited through the Council on Accreditation (COA). We are part of The Village Family Service Center, which has been working to help children and families since 1891.

We are committed to providing: a warm, confidential environment where each person is treated with respect, and dignity; high-quality, comprehensive chemical dependency treatment for people with substance use disorders; consultation services to the medical community; and professional training for students within the medical field and those seeking licensure in the behavioral healthcare field.

Learn more about First Step Recovery and our history below.

Our History

First Step Recovery was founded in January 2000 by Susan Stenehjem-Brown and Michael Kaspari. The agency provided an intensive outpatient treatment program for people with substance use disorders. As the agency expanded, additional programming and staff were added. By 2003, First Step Recovery was providing outpatient treatment, family programming, and relapse prevention treatment. In addition, a full-time staff member was providing consultation services to a local hospital.


In response to community needs, the agency implemented a Partial Hospital Program which allowed for many to receive services on an outpatient basis who otherwise would require a residential or inpatient level of care. This highly-structured program provides comprehensive services to include chemical dependency programming, mental health assessment/referral, and nursing/medical screenings. Our staff works closely with other medical, mental health, and psychiatric entities to address the issues and concerns of patients to ensure a holistic approach to recovery.

In 2011, First Step Recovery, PLLP, was purchased by The Village Family Service Center. This collaborative effort has resulted in increased capacity to provide substance abuse and mental health services in the community. First Step Recovery, a program of The Village Family Service Center, is proud to provide a niche service within the Fargo community. In 2012, we received full accreditation through the Council on Accreditation (COA), which recognizes our adherence to national standards for delivery of substance abuse services.

Our philosophy and our success have been based on treating the whole person with respect, dignity, and compassion. We believe chemical dependency is a family disease and strive to include the family in the treatment and recovery process. Most importantly, we believe recovery is possible!

Take the first step toward a different life.

If you or someone you know is caught in the cycle of drug or alcohol addiction contact us today.

Our approach to addiction treatment