(PEP) Training - Families Together In New York State

Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) Training
NYU – IDEAS Center
Families Together in New York State
New York State Office of Mental Health
Who Should Participate In PEP Training?
PEP Training is designed for family peer advocates. These advocates are parents or caregivers
(biological/foster/adoptive) of children (under 21 at onset of challenges) and had multiple service system involvement
with significant social, emotional, behavioral, mental health, medical, developmental disabilities, juvenile justice, and /
or substance use service needs. The family peer advocate role in a family support program, independent family-run
organization, or other setting is to work directly with families whose children are receiving services to support, empower,
educate and advocate with and for them.
What is PEP Training?
Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) is a training and consultation program that was developed over a number of years
through the collaborative efforts of researchers, practitioners, parents, parent advocates, and policy makers. PEP is based
on a conceptual framework that combines science and advocacy by integrating behavior change theory and principles of
parent support.
The 40 hour core PEP training is guided by a manualized training protocol, Improving Children’s Mental Health through Parent
and Community Empowerment. A book of the same title (Jensen & Hoagwood, 2008) accompanies the training. The PEP
Trainers Manual includes 7 modules (see below), each developed to provide Family Peer Advocates (FPA) with skills
training and content knowledge to effectively engage and empower the parents with whom they work. Training activities
include didactic presentations, group discussion and activities, and role rehearsals. Core training is followed by 6 months
of consultation conference calls to promote ‘real world’ integration of the training concepts.
PEP Training Modules
1. PEP Conceptual Framework
2. Listening and Engagement Skills
3. Priority Setting
4. Boundary Setting Skills
5. Group Management Skills
6. Mental Health System
7. Working with Schools
Principles of Parent Support
Model of Behavior Change
Active listening skills
Steps to engaging parents in children’s mental health
Prioritizing goals and objectives
Using strategies to overcome barriers to service
access and use
Developing actions plans
Sharing personal information
Role clarity
Creating groups
Understanding group development
Group facilitation skills
Understanding the diagnostic process
Information about service options
Preparing parents for what to expect
Collaborating with providers
Specific disorders and evidence-based treatments
Special education law
Partnering with teachers
What makes PEP Different?
The training is unique in that it is delivered by a training team comprised of family advocates and clinical partners. This is
done to model collaborative partnerships between providers and parent/caregivers, a hallmark of the training.
Clinical Partners are knowledgeable about children’s mental health. They work in practice settings in the community and
are champions of family driven care. Family Peer Advocates in New York State are parents or caregivers
(biological/foster/adoptive) of children (under 21 at onset of challenges) and had multiple service system involvement
with significant social, emotional, behavioral, mental health, medical, developmental disabilities, juvenile justice, and /
or substance use service needs. Family Peer Advocates have acquired the training, skills and experience to empower and
assist other parents or caregivers of children with complex service challenges to navigate various systems to obtain
appropriate and effective services. Family Peer Advocates work in a variety of settings to provide emotional support,
information, advocacy, referrals to other families. Family Peer Advocates also work to assure that a family perspective
informs decision-making at all levels.
What is the PEP Training Initiative?
This is a collaborative initiative of the New York State Office of Mental Health, Families Together in New York State, and
New York University’s IDEAS center. The demand for PEP Training is growing as communities, providers, and families
fully embrace the value of family-driven care and realize the power of engagement and empowerment. Over 500 Family
Peer Advocates have successfully completed PEP Training and the reviews have been very positive.
How do I sign up for PEP Training?
PEP Training is designed for Family Peer Advocates working in any capacity (paid or volunteer, in any system) with
families whose children have social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. If you are interested in participating or want
more information about PEP Training, please call, email or check out the FTNYS website www.ftnys.org or to register
for an upcoming training.
How does PEP fit in to the New York State Family Peer Advocate Training and Credentialing Process?
Families Together in New York State administers the Family Peer Advocate Credential program. The designation of
‘Family Peer Advocate’ is granted to individuals who meet (and maintain) certain requirements. To date, almost 300
Family Peer Advocate Credentials have been awarded. The intent of this credentialing process is to formally recognize
the expertise of Family Peer Advocates, to ensure all advocates demonstrate core competencies, and to provide
opportunities for professional growth and collaboration. Completion of the PEP training is a requirement of the
credential. For more information on the FPA Credential, please visit the FTNYS website at www.ftnys.org
For more information contact:
Nancy Craig [email protected] 716-432-6238
Susan Burger [email protected] 516-314-1143
Laurie Rivera [email protected] 518-432-0333 X 18
or visit www.ftnys.org.