SAMHSA: The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is a national effort that promotes partnerships among residential and community providers, families, youth, advocates, and policy makers to achieve positive outcomes for youth and families touched by a residential intervention.
The BBI produced a handbook, Peer Youth Advocates in Residential Programs, to provide a conceptual framework and links to specific tools and technical assistance resources for organizations interested in expanding youth voice and adding Peer Youth Advocate (PYA) positions to their teams. The recommendations contained in the handbook are largely based on the positive experiences of eleven residential provider organizations. Over 250 hours of interviews were conducted, with Peer Youth Advocates, clinicians, agency executives, researchers, provider association directors, and leaders in youth services policy. Youth who had lived or who were currently living in a residential program provided input through several focus groups. Link to pdf Handbook