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Orientation to the Pennsylvania Youth Support Partner (YSP) Role Shannon M. Fagan, MS, Director, Youth and Family Training Institute Aaron Thomas, Youth.

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Presentation on theme: "Orientation to the Pennsylvania Youth Support Partner (YSP) Role Shannon M. Fagan, MS, Director, Youth and Family Training Institute Aaron Thomas, Youth."— Presentation transcript:

1 Orientation to the Pennsylvania Youth Support Partner (YSP) Role Shannon M. Fagan, MS, Director, Youth and Family Training Institute Aaron Thomas, Youth Support Partner Coach, Allegheny County, PA Paige Costa, Youth Support Partner, Montgomery County, PA

2 The Youth and Family Training Institute (YFTI): In 2007 a Request for Proposals (RFP) that was issued by Pennsylvania’s Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The RFP was specifically requesting applicants to develop a model that would allow youth with complex mental health challenges and their families to be equal members of their planning team. Various partners, including youth and family leaders, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, the University of Pittsburgh, Community Care, a Medicaid managed care company, and others, met to design what is now called the Youth and Family Training Institute. The Youth and Family Training Institute would be responsible to train, coach, credential and monitor fidelity to the High Fidelity Wraparound Model - a model that truly puts youth and their families at the forefront of planning for their own lives. The original model was presented……….. 2 First….. A Little History

3 3 Coach: A skill based teacher and support provider to the staff and the “guardian of fidelity” to the process of High Fidelity Wraparound. Facilitator: The person who ensures the 10 High Fidelity Wraparound Principles and the activities of the process are delivered to youth and families with the highest possible fidelity to the national best practices. And… Family Support Partner: has experienced similar challenges as the families they are working with and can support on many levels: by being a partner on the team, helping with direct support guided by the plan and by connecting families with other families. But…The youth leaders wanted more … High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) Model The original HFW model included:

4 The PA Youth Support Partner (YSP) was developed! The Youth Support Partner role was created because youth asked for it. The youth proposed a role similar to the family support partner, but would consist of youth that have faced their own behavioral health challenges and possible systems involvement. So, Pennsylvania’s HFW team is made up of a coach, facilitator, family support partner and a youth support partner. Each has a key and integrated role in supporting a youth and their family in the HFW process. 4 In the spring of 2008, YFTI staff met with youth leaders to discuss the qualifications for an effective YSP. A survey was distributed across the state asking for input regarding specific aspects of the Youth Support Partner role. The data was used to help create the specific job qualifications for and functions of the YSP.

5 YSP Qualifications The YSP is generally 2 to 5 years older than the young adult they are working with, are under 25 when they become a YSP and are a graduate of the HFW process or have experienced similar life experiences as the young adults they are working with Should have a high school education or GED Must have reliable transportation Must be successfully managing their own behavioral health challenges Should have knowledge about youth resources within their own community 5

6 The Functions of a YSP To role model effective behavior for the youth To ensure and empower youth voice and choice within their planning process and their actual plan To support improved self efficacy and confidence To promote and strengthen healthy relationships To help people working with youth understand youth culture Working as a liaison between professionals and youth To use their personal story to teach through experience To work as a team with the facilitator and family support partner to support positive outcomes for youth 6

7 Characteristics of a YSP Experience with behavioral health challenges and self awareness Strong communication skills Ability to work with a team of family members and human service professionals Team player Outspoken, flexible, motivated, self-disciplined Sense of humor, good common sense Clean background check Ability to share story appropriately, with passion, not emotion Good working knowledge of youth opportunities Ability to take feedback while learning skills Open-minded 7

8 YSP Characteristics (cont.) Time management and organizational skills Ability to establish relationships with other agencies Ability to understand other cultures Skilled at leading and inspiring by example Show professionalism in meetings 8

9 YSP Training Requirements All HFW workforce members receive 5 days of team training Mastering of skill-sets created by YFTI for the YSP role as demonstrated by live observation, videotaping and documentation reviews 3 hours of coaching/supervision a week until credentialed Completed credentialing packet that is submitted to and maintained by YFTI On-going learning activities to be supported and documented by team coach YSP’s work from skill sets that are unique to their role, they receive coaching that keeps them true to the skill sets and are working with the youth and their families as described in their plan. 9

10 Challenges High turnover rate- due to various reasons like not having skills for position, not having transportation, not stable in their own recovery, lack of their own natural supports Developing a YSP Network for our HFW counties to support the YSP role Helping others understand the unique role of the YSP Supporting YSP supervisors regarding hiring youth for these roles YSP’s understanding boundary issues YSP’s and self care YSP’s and college Teaching time management skills Youth are great, everyone wants them to do things above and beyond the scope of the YSP role ( presentations, being a part of boards etc) 10

11 Possible Solutions Youth Support Partner Coach Aaron Thomas is one of 3 unique coaches in PA, the first one ever credentialed specifically for working with the Youth Support Partner Role. This is unique to Allegheny County in PA. Development of a Youth Employment Specialist within a System of Care. The Youth Employment Specialist will: work with youth in professional positions and their employers to better understand their strengths and needs in the workplace document and teach youth and employers about successful work habits, mental hygiene techniques and workplace accommodations 11

12 One Youth Support Partner’s Story Paige Costa, Youth Support Partner, Montgomery County, PA Why interested in this position? What are some unique aspects of your work? 12

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