July 28, 2020

Youth and Peer Support

Monroe County SWAT (Spreading Awareness around Town)

SWAT Youth Council is a group of youth who have had personal experience in one or more of the child-serving systems – Mental Health, Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare, Public Schools.  The council gets together each month to learn from each other, from community leaders and from other professionals about topics and issues that youth care about.  Most importantly, SWAT is a way for youth voice to be included in these systems so youth can influence change and be heard.  The change that SWAT youth are seeking is to improve the services and supports these systems and community agencies provide youth and their families. SWAT is connected directly to the child-serving systems through the System of Care Leadership Team so there is a direct path of communication from SWAT members to system leaders.  SWAT is for youth and led by youth. Membership to SWAT is open to any youth who is interested in participating and leading the change through youth voice and empowerment.  There are many opportunities to become engaged in SWAT activities from planning wellness retreats, youth open mic nights, and the annual Got Dreams celebration.
As a SWAT member, youth will not only learn about topics like wellness, job seeking, and relationships but will also develop leadership skills.  SWAT youth council members work together in the community to reduce the stigma that surrounds youth who have mental health and behavioral challenges.
SWAT Youth Council meetings are based on topics that are important to youth and provide a space for youth to come together and share their voice. Please contact Aubry Ball (see below) to RSVP for these meetings before attending as meeting times and locations may vary.
To join, interested youth can obtain and complete an application by contacting Aubry Ball, Youth Engagement Specialist at 585-753-2638 or aubryball@monroecounty.gov.  
More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/SWATYouthCo

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