Initiatives

Advocacy Tip of the Day: YP! leaders produce daily (weekdays) advocacy tips which are posted on Facebook.  These tips are coded with #YPAdvocacyTips.

AMPLIFY-NY: Beginning in 2017, this initiative provides opportunities for young people with disabilities to speak up, build skills and prepare to take on leadership roles through regional youth leadership forums and supported leadership activities. Parents and caregivers also have the opportunity to attend educational sessions to assist them in continuing to help set the stage for young people with disabilities to Lead On. This 5-year grant is funded through the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC). For more information, click here.

Autistic Self-Advocacy Network – New York Chapter: YOUTH POWER! is fostering the development of a New York State Chapter of ASAN.  This chapter is not limited to youth. For more information about the chapter contact Melanie Hecker at MHecker@youthpowerny.org. Visit www.autisticadvocacy.org to learn more about ASAN.

Citywide Oversight Committee Youth Advisory Committee (COC YAC): Since 2011, the New York City Regional Youth Partner of YP! has served as a co-chair of the COC and coordinated the YAC.  The purpose of the COC is to provide a vehicle for cross-system collaboration between New York City and New York State child serving agencies, Borough Based Councils (BBCs), family members and youth for the purpose of improving the social and emotional well being of children and youth through implementation of the New York State Children’s Plan within New York City’s system of care.

The YAC is charged with bringing the perspective of young people who receive cross-systems services to the work of the COC.  The information they provide assists the COC in addressing cross-systems issues, which affect youth and their families in New York City.  The YAC ensures meaningful two-way communication and collaboration between the COC and young people who receive services.

Commissioners’ Committee on Cross-Systems Services for Children and Youth:

Engage LOGOThe Commissioners’ Committee on Cross-Systems Services for Children and Youth is comprised of health, education and human services agencies, and family and youth partners, focusing on achieving better outcomes for children, youth and families by improving access to services and supports; ensuring quality coordinated services and supports from a qualified workforce; and collaborating to eliminate service barriers between systems. The Council provides leadership; coordination; staff support; and facilitates cross-systems communication. The Commissioners developed a message defining the priorities of the committee.

YP! leaders also participate in the Regional Inter-agency Technical Assistance Teams (RITAT). These teams network child-serving agencies and work on solving cross-systems issues.

E3: Engage, Educate, Employ:   From 2014 through July of 2015 YP! worked with the New York State Department of Labor to produce a series of workshops, webinars, videos and supporting self-advocacy trainings on youth employment.  Check out the materials we produced on our YP! Original Resources page.

Fostering Advocacy Change and Empowerment (FACE) is a foster youth-led and adult-supported project, working to change the face of foster care in New York. Comprised of some of this generation’s most energetic and passionate youth advocates, FACE is an inviting, enthusiastic, familial, safe platform to be heard, to advocate, and stay empowered for every foster youth in New York State.  Click here for more information.

Free to Be is an initiative of YOUTH POWER! created to provide a peer network for LGBTQ+ young adults that is all-inclusive. Whether one identifies as asexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, queer, or any other identity, this is a safe place for resources and support. For more information, click here. #YPFreetoBe

Harnessing Hip Hop aims to engage young people through lessons on creative coping skills, creative methods of connecting with natural supports, and, of course, music. Hip Hop, just like other forms of art, is a powerful tool that when harnessed can help to create positive outcomes. Currently offered as a workshop for large and small groups, this initiative discusses the power of listening to music to assist coping, the freedom of writing for hip hop, the hard work that goes into taking this passion beyond a hobby, and how your writing can be used as both self-expression and a form of Artivism. For more information on this initiative, contact Alex Frisina at AFrisina@YOUTHPOWERNY.org or 631-245-5289. Follow this initiative on social media with  #YPHipHop.

Mental Health Waiver Youth Peer Advocate Training: YOUTH POWER! and Cornell University worked together to create a training that will be required of Youth Peer Advocates in mental health home and community-based waiver programs. Click here to log into the online portion of the training.

Navigating Multiple Systems (NMS) Initiative: The NMS Initiative is a statewide, collaborative project led by the Council on Children and Families with initial grant funding from New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. YP! and Families Together are partners in this initiative. To learn more about this initiative, click here. To visit the Navigator, visit MSNavigator.org.

New York State Success: From 2012-2016, YP! provided technical assistance and support to upstate counties in the NYS Success System of Care Expansion grant. Technical assistance and support involves building counties’ capacities for youth involvement in decision making and youth-guided practices. To learn more about NYS Success, including the county profiles, success stories, and other resources, click here.

OnTrackNY: is an innovative treatment program for adolescents and young adults who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis. YP! is providing technical assistance to OnTrackNY regarding youth peer advocacy, the role of a youth coordinator and youth-guided practices.  Visit this link for more information about OnTrackNY.

Peer Leader and Support Development: PLSD is a mutual support group for young peer leaders and advocates from across the NYC, Long Island and Western Regions. Young leaders will get support from fellow youth advocates and learn from their experiences. The group will also include skill development opportunities. This support should enhance each member’s ability to be an effective peer leader. Click here for more information.

Regional Youth Partners Initiative: In 2009, YP! began to work with the New York State Office of Mental Health to develop the next phase of the youth involvement initiative. To advance recommendations in the New York State Children’s Plan, YP! hired one peer leader for each of the five OMH designated regions of the state. Regional Youth Partners (RYPs) help to increase youth voice on all levels of youth services. They also connect and support local youth-led groups and host regional gatherings. They are our field organizers, working to make our movement stronger.

TAY – Transition Age Youth: YP! is engaged in two key New York State TAY initiatives. We are a sponsor and partner in a conference for youth service professionals on transition age youth services. We also participate in the Office of Mental Health’s TAY work-group. Click here to view a list of TAY resources YP! helped to create.

VOYA: In 2013 YP! began assisting Rensselaer County in developing a Youth Advisory Council (YAC) to help guide their System of Care. The YAC took on the name Voices of Youth Advisers (VOYA). In 2014, Rensselaer contracted with YP! to coordinate VOYA and their efforts. VOYA is charged with bringing the perspective of young people who receive cross-systems services to the work of the Rensselear County System of Care. The information they provide assists the county in addressing cross-systems issues, which affect youth and their families in Rensselear. VOYA ensures meaningful two-way communication and collaboration between the county and young people who receive services. Click here for more information.

Youth Peer Services Advisory Council: In late 2015 YP! launched a cross-systems council to advise the New York State Medicaid Redesign Team on Youth Peer Services. More information coming soon!