"We've been where you are and know how to help you through it, " says Ebony Chambers, Stanford Youth Solutions' Family Partner.
Family Partners and Peer Mentors offer their own personal experiences and advocacy skills as a valuable layer of support to the youth and families in Stanford Youth Solution's programs. Having similar experiences in their past, these important partners empower young people and their families to lead their own care teams and 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. Peer Mentors are young adults also employed by Stanford Youth Solutions who have personal experience within the foster care system.
Family Partners and Peer Mentors have four key functions within Stanford Youth Solutions:
To make families (parents, caregivers, and youth) equal partners -if not leaders- in the development and implementation of their service plans;
To represent the needs and perspectives of families (parents, caregivers, and youth) to internal and external stakeholders and decision makers within the system of care;
To ensure that families (parents, caregivers, and youth) 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.