PA Care Partnership Youth-Driven Standard

What is the Youth-Driven Standard?

Youth-Driven is having an authentic youth voice in leadership positions, in county and state government, where youth are trained, supported, valued and given a seat at state and local policy and program tables. The youth are supported in various ways as they share their experiences and their opinions. Financial support is given as needed through stipends, transportation assistance, hotels, meals, and childcare, with the goal of sustaining their input. Opportunities, like youth voice and leadership, are encouraged and made available to youth at county and state level child-serving systems, through the work of System of Care. Youth are provided with what they need to make informed decisions about their treatment and their future.

Youth in Leadership

A minimum of 25% of the County Leadership Team is youth members, who share equal responsibility with family members and system partners. The County Leadership Team ensures that youth members are prepared, trained, supported and valued. The county has mechanisms in place to provide support for youth participation in events such as stipends, assistance with transportation, travel reimbursement, and child care. The County Leadership Teams facilitate the development of sustainable youth efforts and leadership in the county. Opportunities for youth voice and leadership are made available in each respective child-serving system in the county. Peer support is available to youth in the county in order to improve youth and family outcomes. Youth in the county have access to youth organizations that support youth involvement in the system and service-delivery levels.

What is a Youth-Partner?

  • Someone who has lived experienced in one or more systems.
  • An advocate for youth.
  • Someone who has a unique perspective.
  • An individual who has their own original story.

What is Youth-Guided?

  • Development and practice of leadership and advocacy skills and a place where an equal partnership is valued.
  • Youth are empowered in their planning process from the beginning and have a voice in what will work for them.
  • Youth receive training on systems and understand the purpose of the system and youth involvement opportunities. 
  • Individually: Youth are engaged in the idea that change is possible in their lives and the systems that serve them.
  • Community: Partners and stakeholders have an open mind and desire to involve youth.
  • Policy: Youth are invited to speak on their experiences with systems of care to help determine where charges are needed in both systems and policy.

What is Youth-Driven?

  • Youth fully understand his or her roles and responsibilities on the team. 
  • Youth describes his or her vision for the future. 
  • Youths are mentors and peer advocates for other youth.
  • Youth is making the transition to adulthood. 
  • Individually: Youth describe their vision for the future and set goals with input from the team.
  • Community: Partners are dedicated to authentic youth involvement, so they listen to youth and make changes accordingly.
  • Policy: Youth are calling the meetings, setting the agenda, and able to be self-advocates and peer advocates in the policy-making process.