FYPS Terms and Definitions

Youth Peer Advocates (YPAs) 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.

Family Peer Advocates (FPAs) have ‘lived-experience’ as the parent (biological, foster, adoptive) or primary caregiver of a child/youth with a social, emotional, behavioral, mental health, or developmental disability).  They receive training to develop skills and strategies to empower and support other families.  They foster effective parent-professional partnership and promote the practice of family-driven and youth-guided approaches.

Alliances will work together to achieve FYPS goals in their respective borough-based Service Area. Each borough-based Alliance is led by one contractor otherwise known as the Alliance Coordinator (ACs), who developed and is responsible for maintaining their network of service providers. The Alliances collaborate bring in the unique strengths of individual organizations to create a cohesive support structure to provide a comprehensive range of formal and informal community-based family and youth support services.

The FYPS Alliances include:

  • Bronx – Vibrant Emotional Health, MASA and JBFCS
  • Brooklyn – Community Counseling and Mediation, Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Public Health Solutions, and Christopher Rose Community Empowerment Campaign
  • Manhattan – University Settlement
  • Queens – Vibrant Emotional Health, and Korean American Families Services Center
  • Staten Island – Vibrant Emotional Health and Staten Island Justice Center

Credentialing Process – The establishment of a Credential for YPAs and FPAs is to recognize the importance of peer-to-peer support. The intent of this credentialing process is to formally recognize the expertise of Peer Advocates, to ensure all advocates demonstrate core competencies, to expand reimbursement possibilities, and to provide opportunities for professional growth and collaboration.

There are many benefits to being Credentialed as a professional, to the field, and to families. These benefits include:

  • Employers will know that anyone with a Credential has common core training, and they are engaged in ongoing professional development. FPA/YPA Credential is increasingly becoming a hiring requirement and/or preference.
  • Families or youth who work with Peer Advocates can also be assured that the Advocate has met standard requirements and agreed to follow a code of ethics.
  • Family Peer Support Services will be billable to Medicaid, only if provided by a credentialed Peer Advocate. Employers will be looking to hire staff with the right credentials to be able to generate sustaining revenue.
  • The process of becoming credentialed and maintaining your credential provides a structure for a Peer Advocate to formally document his/her experience and training and may lead to career advancement opportunities as the profession continues to mature.
  • Credentialing (or a similar process) is a standard practice in most professions. This gives the profession credibility and helps to promote a broader understanding of the Advocates role, specific skills set, and value.

Communities that Care (CTC) Terms and Definitions

Communities That Care guides communities through a proven five-phase change process. Using prevention science as its base, CTC promotes healthy youth development, improves youth outcomes, and reduces problem behaviors.

5 Phases of CTC are:

Phase 1: Get Started – Communities get ready to introduce CTC.

  • Identify a lead agency and hire a community coordinator/facilitator (full time recommended).
  • Using the online tools (see Tools for Community Leaders for specifics on Phase 1) and with coaching from a CTC specialist, you can create a small group to explore the advantages of CTC for your community and explore key leader interest. Key community leaders will attend an orientation provided by a CTC specialist in your community. Once key leaders have decided to use the Communities That Care system, your community will start the work of implementing CTC.

Phase 2: Get Organized – Communities form a board or work within an existing coalition. After recruiting community board members, they:

  • Learn about prevention science.
  • Write a vision statement.
  • Organize workgroups.
  • Develop a timeline for installing CTC.

Phase 3: Develop a Community Profile – Communities assess community risks and strengths—and identify existing resources.

  • The community board and workgroups:
    • Review data from the community’s youth survey.
    • Identify priority risk and protective factors that predict targeted health and behavior problems.
    • Assess community resources that address these factors.
    • Identify gaps to be filled in existing resources.

Phase 4: Create a Community Action Plan – The community board creates a plan for prevention work in their community, to:

  • Reduce widespread risks and strengthen protection.
  • Define clear, measurable outcomes using assessment data.
  • Select and expand tested and effective policies and programs using the Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development website.

Phase 5: Implement & Evaluate – In this final phase, communities:

  • Implement selected programs and policies.
  • Monitor and evaluate them.
  • Measure results and track progress to ensure improvements are achieved.

Communities that Care implements a Social Development Strategy. The Social Development Strategy provides the foundation for the CTC model. It allows stakeholders to better understand what protects young people from developing health and behavior problems into an easy-to-use strategies that can be easily put into action for families, schools and communities. 

The five key components of the Social Development Strategy are:


Provide developmentally appropriate opportunities to young people, for active participation and meaningful interaction with prosocial others.


Teach young people the skills they need to succeed


Provide consistent specific praise and recognition for effort, improvement, and achievement.


Acknowledge a young person’s effort and promote positive bonding — a sense of attachment, emotional connection and commitment to the people and groups who provide that recognition. Bonding can occur with a family member, teacher, coach, employer or neighbor.

Clear Standards for Behavior:

Through the process of bonding, young people become motivated to live according to the healthy standards of the person or group to whom they are bonded.

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