Youth Power administers the New York State Youth Peer Advocate Credential. As of 2020, over 80 Youth Peer Advocate Credentials have been awarded. The establishment of a YPA Credential recognizes the importance of peer-to-peer support for young people. The intent of this credentialing process is to formally recognize the expertise of Youth Peer Advocates, to ensure all advocates demonstrate core competencies, to expand reimbursement possibilities, and to provide opportunities for professional growth and collaboration.
What is a Youth Peer Advocate?
Youth Peer Advocates are individuals between 18-30 years of age who self-identify as a person with first-hand experience with a social, emotional, medical, developmental, substance use, and/or behavioral challenges as a young person or have received services in any one of the child-serving systems (juvenile justice, foster care, special education, or addiction recovery). YPAs use their lived experience to promote resiliency, recovery, wellness, and self-efficacy in young people and promote the practice of youth-guided and family-driven approaches.