Youth Peer Support

A Youth Peer Support Specialist (YPSS) is a specially trained young adult who has had direct experience with a child-serving system (such as foster care, mental health, juvenile justice, homeless, or disability).

As a YPSS, you will use your lived experience to collaborate with and coach youth who are transitioning to adulthood and help set a course for their future. You will help youth to identify goals, advocate for themselves, provide direct support and assist with skill building. Youth Peer Support Specialists serve the vital role of helping youth bridge case plans, and take personal steps on their road to wellness.

Youth Peer Support Specialist help youth to develop

Social Capital

Helping youth in the development of interpersonal relationships and resource-rich social networks. Youth engagement opportunities provided by YPSS provides a foundation of social networks and social relationships, which includes bonding between similar people and bridges between diverse people. Social capital has become increasingly important to a successful transition to adulthood and may be of even greater importance to youth who have been involved with children serving systems.

Cultural Capital

Developing the behaviors and values that are needed to succeed in educational and employment settings is essential for all young people. Often youth who have had direct experience with child serving systems have not had the opportunity to focus on the values and norms necessary for success in the labor market or post-secondary education. This often limits their educational attainment and workplace success.

Economic Capital

Developing an understanding and building financial assets is essential for all youth. YPSS help youth to develop an understanding of why it is necessary to invest in self-development in order to access and build economic capital. Knowing where to look for and how to access economic capital, as well as how to maintain assets, are critical for youth to grow and thrive.