Family & Youth Partnership
Family Partners and Youth Advocates offer their own personal experiences and advocacy skills as a valuable layer of support to the youth and families in all Stanford Sierra Youth & Families’ programs. Having similar experiences in their past, these important partners empower young people and their families to lead their own care teams to get their needs met. Family Partners are staff members who have personal experience in the child welfare, mental health or juvenile justice systems as a consumer and/or as a parent/caregiver. Youth Advocates are young adults also employed by Stanford Sierra Youth & Families who have personal experience within the child welfare, mental health or juvenile justice systems. The goal is to empower youth and ensure families have voice and choice in service delivery.
Family Partners and Youth Advocates help treatment teams provide services through a lens that is strength-based, outcome-driven, team-based, persistent, individualized, culturally competent, collaborative, community-based, inclusive of natural supports, and upholds family voice and choice.
Family Partners and Youth Advocates have four key functions within the agency:
- To make families equal partners — if not leaders — in the development and implementation of their service plans;
- To represent the needs and perspectives of families to internal and external stakeholders and decision makers within the system of care;
- To ensure families have access to a comprehensive array of prevention and support services that meet their individual needs; and
- To ensure services are family-centered, easily accessible, respectful of cultural, ethnic, and other community characteristics, and stigma-free.