Youth Peer Advocate

Position Summary:
Youth Peer Support and Training services are formal and informal services and supports provided to youth, who are experiencing social, medical, emotional, developmental, substance use, and/or behavioral health challenges in their home, school, placement, and/or community centered services. These services provide the training and support necessary to ensure engagement and active participation of the youth in the treatment planning process and with the ongoing implementation and reinforcement of skills. Services are delivered in a trauma informed, culturally and linguistically competent manner.

Responsibilities:
• Helps youth with identifying the skills needed in order to independently navigate the various service systems.
• Provides youth with the skills needed in order to cope with and manage their psychiatric symptoms, traumatic experiences, issues related to their substance use disorders, and any other life experiences that they may be enduring.
• Provide mutual support, hope, reassurance, and advocacy that includes the sharing of one’s own “personal recovery/resiliency story” as the Youth Peer Advocate (YPA) deems appropriate as beneficial to both the youth and themselves.
• Develop, link, and facilitate the use of formal and informal services, including connection to peer support groups within the community.
• Help youth to engage, bridge, and transition support from youth to adulthood, understanding why they should be active participant in the development of their care and treatment.
• Assists youth with developing the skills needed in order to advocate for services and benefits.
• Connect youth to community resources and services.
• Ensure that youth understand their treatment plan, as well as help to ensure that plan is person and family-centered.
• Documents all services provided both timely and accurately.
• Performs other related duties as assigned.

General responsibilities:
• Attends workshops, conferences and staff development training seminars on current practices as directed by the Chief Executive Officer or Program Director to acquire continuing education in the appropriate field; implements what has been learned;
• Maintains cooperative relationships with referent and community resources
• Undertakes related duties as assigned;

Administrative Relationships:
The Youth Peer Advocate reports directly to the Program Director or designee and collaborates with other staff.

Qualifications:
• A high school diploma, high school equivalency preferred or a State Education Commencement Credential.
• Demonstrate ‘lived experience’ with a disability, mental illness, juvenile justice, special education, substance use disorder, and/or foster care to assist in supporting youth in their resiliency/recovery and wellness.
• Applicant must be able to draw on his/her own personal experience while being able to transcend own personal events to articulate the experience of the served youth.
• Certified as a Youth Peer Advocate or provisionally credentialed, completing Level one of the Youth Peer Support Services Advisory Council recommended and State approved training for YPAs.
• Excellent written, verbal, and listening skills.

Reasoning Ability:
Ability to apply common sense and understanding in order to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral or diagram form. Ability to deal with problem solving several concrete variables in standardized situations.

Physical Demands:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to stand; walk; climb two step ladder, use hands to handle or feel; and reach with hands and arms. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 5 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.