Targeted Age Group(s)
- 18 or older
QIC-EY Engagement Model Components (i) The engagement model components were identified through the QIC-EY Environmental Scan as critical to the support of youth engagement in the attainment of permanence.
- Support Youth Empowerment
- Prioritize Legal, Relational and Cultural Permanence
BraveLife Intervention (BLI) is a youth-centered, strengths-based initiative that uses peer-to-peer navigators to increase the ability of youth to articulate goals (for housing, education, permanence, social well-being, employment) and to work toward achieving them. This program also helps youth to interact with professionals and to become able to initiate connections to resources on their own. The program targets youths ages 14 through 21 who have interactions with the child welfare or juvenile justice system and are at risk of homelessness. Peer-to-peer navigators — trained and employed young adults with lived experience in the foster care system — use a three-phase model to reach the youths served in the BLI program. The three-phase model includes engagement, empowerment and connections.
BLI has an intervention manual that serves two distinct purposes:
- to document lessons learned during the planning and initial implementation phases and
- to describe the comprehensive service model in full detail to support future implementation.
A number of essential staff is needed to administer this program. All staff involved, including the BLI coordinator, the coach/supervisor and peer-to-peer navigators, receive a weeklong training specifically about the work of the BLI before they are assigned to work with youths participating in the intervention. In addition to any organizational orientation, peer-to-peer navigators also receive subsequent refresher training every six months. The refresher trainings review ethical issues and boundaries as well as operational issues regarding forms and documentation. Initial and ongoing support are provided to staff and are described in detail in the program manual.
An essential element of BLI is regular contact between each youth and the youth’s peer-to-peer navigator, at least twice monthly. It is important to remember that each youth is an individual who has unique needs and desires. Different youths are often at different places in their lives. Some may be attending school; some may be employed; some may be unemployed; some may be homeless or in a combination of these situations.
Implementation support is available from the purveyor.