Promising Practice

PATCH Teen Consultant Program

State/Jurisdiction: Wisconsin
Setting: Community
Population: Adolescents & Young Adults
Topic Area: Family & Youth Engagement
NPMs: NPM 10: Adolescent Well-Visit NPM 12: Transition

o As an initiative of PATCH (Providers and Teens Communicating for Health), the PATCH Teen Consultant Program provides a foundation for integrating youth voice into adolescent health related programs, projects, policies, curricula, campaigns, and more! This program is designed to prioritize regular engagement of a small team of youth. It can be implemented in communities of any size and has options for virtual, in-person, or hybrid delivery. We want youth and organizations alike to grow in their knowledge, confidence, and ability to partner and ensure youth voice is incorporated into the decisions that affect them. Using an innovative, positive youth development approach, the PATCH Teen Consultant Program also aims to provide Teen Consultants the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that enable them to thrive and flourish into adulthood. The PATCH Teen Consultant Program is community-based in nature, so each PATCH Site develops and functions differently. However, each PATCH Teen Consultant Program has a Coordinator, a Teen Consultant team, a Coordinator Support Team, and guest speakers/local content experts. The Coordinator guides the Teen Consultant team through a 9-month program in which they meet bi-monthly for enrichment meetings to learn and grow in their understanding of complex adolescent health topics. In addition to attending enrichment meetings, the job of the Teen Consultants is to offer consulting sessions for a variety of clients to ensure youth voice is included in the decisions that impact them. This approach has enabled many organizations to gather youth feedback without the need to create their own structures, systems, or processes. By ensuring that young people's voices are heard and valued in decision-making processes, we have seen more impactful outcomes and solutions in youth-related initiatives.

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