About First Step | The Village Family Service Center

The Village Family Service Center

About First Step


As a professional, non-profit health care organization dedicated to the recovery of our patients and their family members, we provide:

  • High-quality, comprehensive treatment programs for substance use orders for adults
  • Comprehensive family program
  • Consultation services to the medical community
  • Community education
  • Professional training

Our Staff

First Step's staff brings a caring heart, professional qualifications, and years of experience to the battle against addiction. We have trained addiction counseling professionals, many of whom are also licensed professional clinical counselors with experience working in the mental health field. In addition, our on-staff registered nurses and a consulting Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psychiatry help with referrals related to physical and psychiatric disorders. Our family therapist helps family members and significant others deal with issues related to loving an addicted person.

Meet our providers

Our History

Susan Stenehjem-Brown and Mike KaspariFirst 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!

Why is there a camel in your logo?
It's summed up in this poem:  

The camel each day goes twice to his knees.  He picks up his load with the greatest of ease.  He walks through the day with his head held high.  And for that day stays completely dry.

Take the First Step today. Call 701-451-4900 or contact us online.


Family standing with sun behind them. First Step Recovery offers caring, professional treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.