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.

Youth Peer Advocate Provisional Credential
An individual seeking a YPA Credential will typically start with a Provisional Credential. Please read the FAQ and the application instructions before completing the application.  We have also prepared a pre-recorded video with page-by-page instructions.  Completion of the YPA Level One training is required for the YPA Provisional Credential. If you have not taken the Level One training, click here to get to the training page. Youth Peer Advocate Provisional Credential Application (online version) Youth Peer Advocate Provisional Credential Application (print version) Provisional Credential Application Page-by-Page Pre-recorded Video   Please note that once you have obtained the YPA Provisional Credential, you must complete all other requirements of the Professional Credential within 18 months including 600 hours of paid or formal volunteer work as a YPA. If you are not yet employed or have not secured your ability to obtain these hours, it is recommended that you wait to apply for the provisional credential until you are able to do so.

Questions or information on the YPA Credential

Please Contact: Joanna Ahlatis, Program Coordinator 518.432.0333 ext. 18 

Robbie Lettieri, Youth Peer Services Training & Credentialing Manager