Demonstrating Safe, Professional, and Ethical Behavior requires that Young Adult Peer Mentors adhere to practices that promote integrity and dignity while working with young adults. Safe practices include caring for physical and emotional health and safety for both YAPM and young adults. Demonstrating professional behavior centers around communication, accountability, and learning opportunities. Rigorous attention to professional boundaries and the rights and self-determination of others show ethical behavior. Best practices for using lived experience as professional YAPMs include:

  • Contributing to and abiding by young adults’ risk prevention and safety
    plans, and promptly communicating about emerging concerns, as part
    of a team;

  • Taking precautions to guard young adults and YAPM safety in potentially
    risky situations, homes, neighborhoods, and groups;

  • Attending to concerns about personal safety, including emotional health;

  • Seeking opportunities for professional learning;

  • Keeping realistic work commitments;

  • Fully considering the purpose and intent of all self-disclosure with YAs;

  • Balancing the expectations for teamwork with the laws regarding
    confidentiality at all times (when to share, when not to share);

  • Always disclosing any prior relationship with a referred young adult;

  • Resisting opportunities to “take sides” or engage in negative
    characterizations of others; and

  • Ensuring that peer support relationships are transparent and not confused
    with other possible relationships, such as friendship or romantic interest.

"It is important that the young adults don’t feel alone, because they might need additional support in thinking about different strategies and implement different techniques to stay safe…Supervisors have more experience with difficult situations and as Young Adult Peer Mentors it is important to work with your supervisor on the best way to handle certain difficult situations.” - Emmanuel Young Adult Peer Mentor