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Qualifications: Be 18-30 years of age, have a valid NYS driver’s license, and must have completed required background checks as per Vendor Agreement and agency policy.
Experience Required: Self-identified as a person who has first-hand experience with social, emotional, medical, developmental, substance use, and/or behavioral challenges.

Certificate/License: NYS Credentialed Youth Peer Advocate (YPA) OR Provisional Credential YPA

Minimum Education: High school diploma, high school equivalency, or NYS State Education Commencement Credential (e.g. SACC or CDOS)

Training Requirements: Prior to any case assignment, vendor must successfully complete the 3 Day High Fidelity Wraparound Erie County Vendor Training, Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training, Erie County Department of Social Services approved Mandated Reporter Training, and any other required trainings as identified by individual vendor agencies.

Service Code Description: Youth Peer Advocate services are an array of formal and informal activities and supports provided to youth experiencing social, emotional, medical, developmental, substance use, and/or behavioral challenges in their home, school, placement, and/or community. Youth Peer Advocate services provide a structured, strength-based relationship between a Youth Peer Advocate and the youth through the delivery of:

  • Developing, linking, and facilitating the use of formal and informal services, including connection to peer support groups in the community
  • Serving as an advocate, mentor, or facilitator to support the resolution of barriers
  • Assisting in navigating service systems by being a bridge between young people and their service providers during transitions in care
  • Helping young people develop self-advocacy skills in meetings where young people ask for their support
  • Assisting young people in gaining and regaining the ability to make independent choices so that they feel empowered to play a proactive role in their own treatment
  • Guiding young people to effectively communicate their individual perspective to providers and families
  • Assisting young people to develop skills in advocacy so they can advocate for needed services, benefits, and seek to effectively resolve their unmet needs
  • Assisting young people in understanding their treatment plans and help to ensure the plan is individualized and reflects the young person’s values and culture

The service is needed to allow the youth the best opportunity to remain in the community. Activities included must be intended to achieve the identified goals as set forth in the Plan of Care. Progress notes must be clear and specific, document progress toward goal completion aligned with the Plan of Care, and address risk, safety, permanency, and well-being.

Transition Responsibility: When Youth Peer Advocate services are authorized, a sustainability goal must also be added to the Plan of Care. The Child Family Team will build/enhance the skills of the youth and assist in the identification of a natural/community support to eliminate the need for this service.

The overall goal is to reduce risk/safety and enhance permanency/well-being. Please note that all vendor services are time-limited and transition to natural and/or community supports is an expectation of the High Fidelity Wraparound process.

*Bilingual/Multilingual candidates are strongly encouraged.

Top 5 languages (besides American English) spoken in the Buffalo, NY metro area:

1. Spanish: 30,790 speakers (2.87% of area)

2. Polish: 7,951 speakers (0.74% of area)

3. Italian: 5,970 speakers (0.56% of area)

4. Arabic: 5,608 speakers (0.52% of area)

5. French: 4,455 speakers (0.41% of area)

Job Types: Part-time, Contract

Work Location: Multiple Locations

If interested in this postion, please email your resume and cover letter to or apply on indeed-logo-button.png