State Programs:
New York
Youth Power! is a network of young people with disabilities and social/emotional challenges. Youth Power! believes strongly in the power of peer support. There are Youth Advisory Councils in local communities, inpatient facilities and government bodies. Youth Power! provides technical assistance for youth involvement, empowerment, peer support and peer advocacy.

The Youth Leadership Academy is a program for young adults that build peer networks and social connections to empower YIT. The Academy provides youth with the skills and supports to work as a team to offer input on how services are offered.

Expert Recommendations:
Tunnels and Cliffs Report
Youth Leadership must be implemented and should include mentoring opportunities, peer-to-peer mentoring, meaningful opportunities to develop management and the opportunity to self-direct treatment expansion to positive youth development (exercise, nutrition, etc.).

Wehymer Study
Increase strategies for teaching self-determination. Self-determination in high school is related to positive transition outcomes.

Youth Mentoring Web Site
Self-determination strategies should include YIT. Not only by participating in their Individualized Evaluation Plan (IEP) but also that the youth should lead the IEP meeting.

Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth in Juvenile Justice Report
Strategies are needed to combine self- determination skills in the youth with services focused on the unique needs, interests, strength and barriers of youth.

Experts Consensus Report from Center for Mental Health Services
All programs need policy language that encourages/mandates the meaningful involvement of youth in development of services.

New York State Children’s Plan
Youth peer support should be offered that reflects youth leadership, a youth forum and a strength-based philosophy. Youth peer support should be funded across all systems.