About First Step | The Village Family Service Center

The Village Family Service Center

About First Step

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

Our Staff

First Step's staff offers a caring heart, professional qualifications, and years of experience to each and every client who walks through our doors. Our team includes several Licensed Addiction Counselors, many of whom are also licensed mental health professionals. In addition, our on-staff registered nurses help with referrals related to physical and psychiatric disorders. We also help family members and significant others deal with issues related to loving someone who struggles with drug or alcohol use.

Meet our providers

Our History

Susan Stenehjem-Brown and Mike KaspariFirst Step Recovery was founded in Fargo, ND, 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 clients 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 use 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 substance use disorders are a family disease and strive to include the family in the treatment and recovery process. Most importantly, we believe long-lasting recovery is possible!

Contact First Step Recovery

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.