What Is The Parent Empowerment Program (PEP)?

The Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) is a training program for Family Peer Advocates (FPAs). PEP training introduces new FPAs to their role and to the skills they will need to effectively engage and empower parents. 

PEP Training includes self-paced online modules, an in-person (or virtual) training and a series of coaching phone calls.  Successful completion of the Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) Training is required for anyone seeking a Family Peer Advocate Credential in New York State.

Who Should Participate in PEP Training?

FPAs have lived-experience as the parent (biological, foster, adoptive) or primary caregiver of a child/young person with significant social, emotional, developmental, medical, substance use and/or behavioral needs. FPAs provide a service called Family Peer Support.

***If you previously completed the PEP training, including the PEP 2-Day In-Person (pre-covid) or the “Traditional” 5-Day In-Person (pre-2018), you do not need to retake the training.***

How Do I Access the Online PEP Training?

When you click the button below you will be redirected to the Self-Learning Center hosted by our partners from the Community Technical Assistance Center of New York (CTAC). This is where you will access the online training modules.

CLICK HERE for a ‘Getting Started’ guide. You will need to enter this unique Access Code to enroll in the training: FPATraining

Additional information about each level of the PEP Training is listed in the menus below.

PEP Level 1 Online Training

Choose this pathway if…

  • You are a parent or primary caregiver with ‘lived experience’ navigating one or more child-serving systems for your child with social, emotional, behavioral, developmental, or complex health care needs; and,
  • You already have a job as an FPA or if you might be interested in becoming an FPA in the future; and,
  • You have never taken and completed ‘traditional’ PEP Training (5-day in-person training).

Below is a preview of topics covered in the PEP Level 1 Online Training. Each module takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

Family Peer Support Services and the FPA Role
Family Driven Care
The Power of Lived Experience
Embracing Each Family’s Culture
Effective Communication Skills for Family Peer Advocates
Engagement Strategies for Family Peer Advocates
Learning About Families: Exploring Strengths, Needs and Culture
Creating a Plan to Support Families
Empowerment Strategies for Family Peer Advocates
Developing Effective Partnerships
Recognizing and Responding to Crisis and Safety Concerns
Professionalism: Code of Ethics, Confidentiality, Boundaries
Children’s Mental Health Services

PEP Level 2 Online Training

Choose this pathway if….

  • You have completed the PEP Level 1 Online Training.
  • Access will be automatically granted upon completion of the Level 1 post-training self-efficacy questionnaire and post-training knowledge survey.

Below is a preview of topics covered in the PEP Level 2 Online Training. Each module takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

The Importance of Self Care
Documenting Your Work
Measuring the Impact of Your Work with Families
Building Community Through Groups
Empowering Parents in Parenting Role
Understanding Childhood Trauma

PEP Level 2 In-Person/Virtual Training

Continue with this pathway if…

  • You hold a current FPA Provisional Credential; and,
  • You have completed ALL of the Level 1 and Level 2 online modules; and,
  • You are currently providing services that fill within the role of a FPA (employment or volunteer); and,
  • You are available to participate in the full training along with weekly coaching calls (schedule TBD).

Availability is limited to the first 12 eligible registrants. If you do not yet meet training requirements, your registration will be cancelled.



1-hour orientation:  February 9 @ 9:30am – 10:30am
4 days of training: February 14-17 @ 9:30am – 2:00pm
Registration is now closed. Please email FPACredential@ftnys.org to be added to a wait-list.




Contact Workforce Development
Department Staff

1 (518) 432-0333 ext. 18



This training helped me to understand the importance of culture when engaging and empowering parents.

I feel more confident using active listening skills when speaking with parents.