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Youth Peer Advocate

Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services serves 12,000 New Yorkers every year from the South Bronx to Far Rockaway. Our goal is to foster a society where every child and family we serve will have the opportunity to succeed and thrive.  We address the effects of social inequity in the most challenged communities in New York City. Our innovative programs and compassionate services measurably enhance the education, well being and development of children, their families, and communities.  We have maintained an unwavering commitment to our mission since 1831. Joining our team is an opportunity to collaborate with hundreds of dedicated colleagues who represent diverse backgrounds and talents as we work together to make a measurable impact for the youth, children and families we serve. Every role at Sheltering Arms brings with it new opportunities for advancement and development so that team members can achieve their professional goals while helping others reach for theirs.

About Family Strong

In providing crucial and life-changing services in Jamaica, Queens, Sheltering Arms faces persistent gaps when working to reach and connect clients with a continuum of services from which they can benefit. We also face barriers to ongoing retention of clients and utilization of services. We believe that the most effective way to solve the outreach, engagement and retention puzzle is through hyperlocal community and peer engagement.  Community members are best situated to both persuade prospective clients of the value of seeking services and to provide ongoing peer support for sustaining engagement in services. Family Strong is a new outreach, engagement, and mentoring program for youth, individuals, and families that will allow us to more effectively retain the community members we currently serve, and to better integrate the services we offer to them.  Family Strong will also help us more effectively outreach to the Jamaica community and engage youth, individuals, and families who are not yet enrolled in our services.

Job Summary

Sheltering Arms is currently seeking the Youth Peer Advocates that will provide peer support, mentoring and system navigation to a case load of youth.

Essential Functions

  • Act as a credible messenger to assist program participants in connecting with and staying engaged with Sheltering Arms programs and services.
  • Complete Youth Peer Advocate training to become certified as a Youth Peer Advocate
  • Help at-risk youth to achieve and maintain high functioning by providing frequent coaching and peer to peer mentoring.
  • Support program participants in understanding the social service system.
  • Accompany program participants on appointment for mental health, health, education, employment, and other concrete needs.
  • Assist participants with concerns including housing, health care, social service and educational issues. 
  • Help youth to understand and follow their individualized plan. 
  • Advocate for the needs and best interest of program participants.
  • Act as a source of support for program participants and provide appropriate feedback to promote success.
  • Participate in treatment team meetings, service plan reviews, intake meetings and discharge conferences to represent the needs and best interest of program participants.
  • Document all interactions and meetings in progress notes.
  • Other duties that may be assigned.


  • Must have lived experience/knowledge of the mental health, foster care and RHY, justice and/or social service systems in NYC
  • High School diploma a plus
  • Track record of previous employment or volunteer work that demonstrates responsibility and mastery of basic employment skills
  • Ability to communicate well with others and motivate individuals towards personal goals
  • Knowledge of computer systems
  • Ability to travel throughout NYC



It is the policy of Sheltering Arms that the Agency wholly complies with the equal treatment of all employees and applicants for employment without unlawful discrimination as to an individual’s perceived or actual race, creed, color, national origin, alienate, citizenship status, gender, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, or veteran status in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, layoff and termination and all other terms and conditions of employment.

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