Youth Peer Advocate (YPA) Credential

YOUTH POWER! of Families Together in NYS administers the New York State Youth Peer Advocate Credential. 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.

Note: YOUTH POWER! is in the process of developing the Youth Peer Advocate credential and accompanying training that will be available upon its completion and approved release (Anticipated January 2019).

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.




NYS Youth Peer Advocate Credential

In order for an individual to be eligible for the YPA credential they will need to:

  • Be an individual 18 to 30 years old who has self-identified as a person who has first-hand experience with social, emotional, medical, developmental, substance use, and/or behavioral challenges
  • Be able to use lived experience with a disability, mental illness, juvenile justice, special education, substance use disorder, and/or foster care to assist in supporting young people in their resiliency/recovery and wellness
  • Agree to practice according to the Youth Peer Advocate Code of Ethics.
  • Be able to demonstrate qualities of leadership, including:
    • Knowledge of advocacy
    • Group development and/or facilitation of peer-to-peer groups or activities

An individual seeking a YPA credential will typically start with a Provisional Credential. A YPA with a provisional credential must complete all other requirements of the full Professional Credential within 18 months of employment as a YPA.

Click here for the 5 Steps to Becoming a Credentialed YPA.

Youth Peer Advocate (YPA) Credential Information for Advocates FAQ *COMING SOON*

For more information on the YPA Credential, please contact