Welcoming back former staff strengthens Rosecrance’s mission


For a growing number of individuals in the workforce, the last day at a company they respect may not be the end after all. More organizations, including Rosecrance, are reconnecting with former staff to pursue new opportunities in familiar places.

These “boomerang employees” bring a blend of new experiences and institutional knowledge, along with a high level of trust developed during the first stint with an organization.

“Our employees are all champions of hope, and we want the best for them,” said Rosecrance Talent Acquisition Manager Alicia Rau. “When we hire someone back, it shows the faith we have in our greatest staff to continue to be an asset. Rosecrance is all about second chances for clients, so why wouldn’t we offer that same opportunity to former staff?”

Cooper Carter is one who recently returned to Rosecrance Central Illinois. She discovered a passion for helping others build dreams while working at the organization’s recovery homes in Champaign, but stepped away to focus on education and family.

Four years later, the talent acquisition team sought staff for the new Living Room respite program at Rosecrance. As a person with lived experience in recovery and a shining employee history on file, Carter was an ideal employee to bring back. The new position and enhanced benefits from the employee reinvestment campaign made it a perfect match, and Carter returned before the December holidays in 2021.

“Rosecrance gave me my first experience working in behavioral health, and I loved making a positive difference in people’s lives,” she said. “I was surprised they wanted to bring me back, but I’m grateful it worked out.”

As a recovery specialist, Carter is a key connecting point for clients who may be experiencing emotional distress. She can relate to visitors through her own experience and point them to Rosecrance and community resources.

“I’m grateful that I can relate to clients through my own life,” Carter said. “I didn’t realize how big of an impact I could have, but it’s great that I can be a liaison for them. In a way, we’re helping each other out—it’s therapeutic for all of us.”