YOUTH POWER nothing about us without us YP!

In this eNews;
The NYS Youth Peer Advocate Training & Credentialing is LIVE!

YOUTH POWER! is thrilled to announce the launch of the Youth Peer Advocate Training and Credentialing.

Are You Interested in Becoming a Credentialed Youth Peer Advocate?
You can become a Credentialed Youth Peer Advocate in 6 steps! Find out more information on the credential, the qualifications, and how to become a Credentialed Youth Peer Advocate HERE . To begin the first step, the Level One YPA training can be accessed HERE .

The training modules are hosted by our partners at the Community Technical Assistance Center (CTAC) on their Self-Learning Center. Click here for the Self-Learning Center Getting Started Guide. This Guide will walk you through the process of creating a user profile and accessing the YPA Training modules.  
The process is easy, but if you encounter any technical problems at all, contact CTAC using the Help Button in the Self-Learning Center or by email at .

For questions regarding credentialing, you can check out the YPA Credentialing FAQ sheet or contact us at .

What's Next?
In the next few weeks, we will host a webinar with CTAC, outlining the new YPA training and the YPA Credential.  This webinar will be announced through the YOUTH POWER! eNews. If you have questions before then, please feel free to reach out to us.

We extend our thanks to the Youth Peer Service Advisory Council and Youth Peer Advocates across NYS who participated in the development of this training, our partners at Families Together in NYS, the Community Technical Assistance Center, Youth MOVE National, and Ithaca Content Architecture & Design LLC . This work would not have been possible without their support and expertise.

We hope that you enjoy the training modules,
Black background - UNIVERSITY OF YOUTH POWER_ in all caps
The premiere youth peer leadership conference is on its way! Save the date for #UYP19 

UYP is a unique opportunity for Youth Peer Advocates and change agents to build skills and expand their professional network. Young people ages 18 to 30 can register with a major of Peer Advocacy or Systems Advocacy.  

This year, UYP will also feature a Recovery Track hosted by Youth Voices Matter.

When: June 22-25, 2019
Where: The College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY 

Stay tuned for the call for professors! More information about this event is available at

NEW NAME - NEW VENUE But Still Free!
FED save the date. transparent background previous FED pictures. 2.12.19 is the date of FED. Registration starts at 10am_ free lunch at 11_30_ program starts at 12. FTNYS logo in the center of the image.

WHEN: February 12, 2019
55 Eagle Street, Albany, NY 12207

As a family member or young person, have you wondered:
  • Why is it important to engage politically?
  • Does my story matter?
  • Can I make a difference?
  • How can I influence policy makers?
  • How can I become empowered?
  • How can I empower others?

If so, join us in Albany for Family Empowerment Day and make your voice heard!
  • Network with other families and young people with lived experience.
  • Hear powerful speakers and awardees.
  • Engage with legislators and government officials.
  • Learn about important policy issues and get involved!
  • Discover how you can make a difference in your community!

Click here to register - green button image

Last year, hundreds of families, youth and advocates from across the state gathered together in Albany to deliver a crucial message to our state leaders: put children first in this budget. Together, we prevented cuts to child welfare preventive services and prevented further delay of the children's behavioral health Medicaid expansion. This year, we return to Albany to remind our elected officials that budgets are a moral document and children are our future. Together, we will demand that the state budget reflects that. Put children first. No Cuts. No Delays. Children's Services today.

For more information on FED, click here.
For Albany Capital Center Parking Map,  click here!

If you have questions, please contact :
Brad Hansen: 518-432-0333 x 28 
Volunteer at Family Empowerment Day!
Family Empowerment Day volunteer graphic with green and blue shapes as the background. Black text centered. Contact information bottom left corner. FTNYS logo bottom right corner.
Help out FTNYS with Family Empowerment Day 2019!

Choose from: 
  • Sending thank you letters
Sign up here to volunteer! 
For questions, contact Olivia Fried 
518-432-0333 ext. 10

More than $9 Million to Secure Opioid Addiction Treatment Services!
SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced more than  $9 million in federal funding has been secured to expand opioid addiction treatment services across the state. This funding includes $5.7 million to  expand access to medication assisted treatment , $2.1 million  to develop new recovery centers in areas of high need , and over $1.3 million  for specialized treatment and recovery programs . These initiatives are being funded through the State Opioid Response Grant, which is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
"As the opioid epidemic continues to impact communities across the state, we are as committed as ever to expanding and enhancing programs that provide critical options for treatment," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to take aggressive action to combat this crisis and work to ensure these lifesaving services are available to any New Yorker who needs them."
"This funding is crucial to our efforts to address addiction in communities throughout the state," New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. "These projects will build on the nation-leading work that we have already done here in New York, and result in more services, and more lives being saved."
To see where the following initiatives included in the funding click here!
Peer Support Line 24/7
MHEP Peer Support Line - You are not alone. We are just a phone call away. We are there to listen_ strengthen your hope and share information. Call 24_7 1-800-MHEPINC _1-800-643-7462_ All calls are confidential. The MHEP _Mental Health Empowerment Project_ Inc._ Peer Support Line is a service provided by The R.I.S.E. Center of Mount Vernon_ NY.  The R.I.S.E. Center is a peer support program dedicated to offering self_help strategies and peer support that encourages people to find their personal power_ use their own unique voice and set direction that will help them to achieve their goals and reclaim their lives
The MHEP (Mental Health Empowerment Project, Inc.) Peer Support Line is a service provided by The R.I.S.E. Center of Mount Vernon, NY. The R.I.S.E. Center is a peer support program dedicated to offering self-help strategies and peer support that encourages people to find their personal power, use their own unique voice and set direction that will help them to achieve their goals and reclaim their lives.


Learn About Coordinating and Accessing Transition Services - Capital Region
This presentation will demystify peoples_ fears about transition and coverage_ and encourage school districts and guardians to work together in securing these services. Panel members will address what obligations school districts have in helping students secure services_ what obligations parents or guardians have in helping students secure services_ what programs are available_ and the interplay of household income with these services. Presenters_ Debra K. Belkin_ Ph.D._ Licensed Psychologist and Eligibility Coordinator_ NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities_ Region 3 _ Capital District DDRO Pam Brehm-Pisaillon_ Vocational Rehabilitation Coordinator_ New York State Education Department _ ACCES-VR Albany District Office Michelle Martin_ Special Education Teacher and Transition Coordinator_ Guilderland High School Date_Time_ Thursday_ January 31_ 2019 Registration_ 9_00 am _ 9_30 am Program_ 10_00 am _ 12_30 pm Location_ Clifton Park - Halfmoon Library  475 Moe Road Clifton Park_ NY 12065 http___bit.ly_1TePIae  Registration_ Online at https___goo.gl_forms_83nv1FZCgc7ie8u53  Need additional information_ Contact Helen Charland at DRNY. or 518.512.4927
This presentation will demystify peoples' fears about transition and coverage, and encourage school  districts and guardians to work together in securing these services. Panel members will address what  obligations school districts have in helping students secure services, what obligations parents or  guardians have in 
helping students secure services, what programs are available, and the interplay of
household income with these services.

Presenters: Debra K. Belkin, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist and Eligibility Coordinator,  NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Region 3 - Capital  District DDRO

Pam Brehm-Pisaillon, Vocational Rehabilitation Coordinator, New York
State Education Department - ACCES-VR Albany District Office

Michelle Martin, Special Education Teacher and Transition Coordinator,
Guilderland High School

Date/Time: Thursday, January 31, 2019
Registration: 9:00 am - 9:30 am
Program: 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Location: Clifton Park - Halfmoon Library 475 Moe Rd, Clifton Park, NY 12065 

Need additional information? Contact Helen Charland at DRNY. or 518.512.4927
As Raise the Age Starts, Juvenile Cases Have Dropped
by Rick Carlin, Albany Times Union, December 3, 2018
ALBANY - New York's long-sought Raise the Age law is a reality. The first phase of the new law took effect in October, increasing from 16 to 17 the age at which someone can be tried on criminal charges as an adult. That age will be upped to 18 in 2019.
The law was several years in the making. And while advocates and lawmakers pushed for its passage, something else was going on as well -- a sharp drop in the number of youths being declared as juvenile delinquents.  Fewer and fewer youngsters over the past several years have been arrested and adjudicated as juvenile delinquents.
The number of youths being locked up, either in local facilities before their court hearings or in youth centers, has fallen from 5,066 to 3,654 or 28 percent between 2014 and 2017, according to statistics kept by the state Office of Children and Family Services.  Likewise, the number of intakes, in which new juvenile cases are opened, fell from 12,683 to 9,616, or 24 percent.
Arrests of 16- and 17-year-olds fell from 30,197 to 21,344, or 29 percent. By comparison, in 2010, 46,623 16- and 17-year-olds were arrested.  OCFS officials outlined the trend earlier this fall during a state Board of Regents meeting.  The numbers actually started dropping in 2010 when OCFS, which oversees juvenile-related issues and detention centers, began working to find alternatives for troubled youths.
Raise the Age NY in blue with white background.
"New York state has dramatically reduced juvenile detention by more than half since 2010," OCFS spokeswoman Monica Mahaffey said, adding that the agency spends nearly $8.4 million annually through its Supervision and Treatment Services for Juveniles Program.  That program provides county alternatives to detention such as mental health support and mentoring. Under Raise the Age, the same strategies will be applied to 16- and 17-year-olds, she said.  Most of the effort to steer youngsters away from juvenile delinquent status is at the county probation level, noted Elizabeth Gaynes, President and CEO of the Osborne Association, a New York City-based organization that focuses on criminal justice reform.
That involves programs to help kids find jobs and career training as well as social services they may need. Additionally, many of the kids that Gaynes' group deals with aren't living with their biological parents.
"There's been a focus on working with kids in the foster care system who have been on what used to be the school-to-prison pipeline," she said.  In Albany County, the probation department has a number of programs in place to divert kids from prison or youth centers, said Probation Director Bill Connors.  That includes job placements and vocational training through a "Career University" program as well as weekly meetings with probation officers who help youngsters think through and act on the changesthey need to make.
The probation department will bring youngsters to the meetings if they have to and they can offer respite housing for kids who may be facing a turbulent home life.
"We have to change their thinking," Connors said.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said the services save money in the long run by keeping people out of the prison or jail system.
To read the FULL and original article, click here!

2019 Annual Advocacy Day!
Flyer for 2019 Network for youth success annual advocacy day - Jan 23_ 2019 NYS Capitol. Join us for our Annual Advocacy Day in Albany on January 23_ 2019 from 9_30am to 4_30pm. We will arrange your meetings with elected officials_their staff and give you all the information you need to have a successful day advocating for afterschool_ summer_ and expanded learning opportunities.   Please contact us at with any questions.
Join NYS Network for Youth Success for their Annual Advocacy Day in Albany on J anuary 23, 2019 from 9:30am to 4:30pm. They will arrange your meetings with elected officials/their staff and give you all the information you need to have a successful day advocating for afterschool, summer, and expanded learning opportunities.
Where: New York State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224

Please contact us at with any questions.

New Training for YOUth!
MHANYS - Supporting Mental Health _ Wellness in Schools logo. Text in white_ dark blue background all centered.
The School Mental Health Resource and Training Center is excited to announce that our self-paced online training module Supporting the Mental Health and Wellness of Students is now available for educators, administrators, and other school personnel. 
This module is eligible for one CTLE credit hour.

Access the module here!

Browse MHANYS Resource Center and available trainings at
The views and opinions expressed in third party messages and external links included in this eNews are those of the organization or individual mentioned. They do not necessarily reflect the official positions of YOUTH POWER!.
YOUTH POWER! is the New York State network of young people who have been labeled and are seeking change.  Together, we have decided to speak up about our experiences because no one knows what it is like for us better than we do.  Through peer-to-peer mentoring, we empower young people to be active citizens who are aware of government operations, their rights and the ability to use their voices to influence policies, practices, regulations and laws.  We are young people helping other people, ensuring availability of self-help and peer support while changing systems so that young people get the support they need with the respect and dignity they deserve.  Nothing About Us Without Us!

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