Why AMP?

  • Many interventions and approaches fail to meaningfully engage youth and young adults in planning and building self-determination skills that will support them throughout their lives.
  • Traditional training approaches for providers can be ineffective at creating lasting practice change and application of skills.
  • Research shows that outcomes for youth and young adults improve when providers are equipped with specific skills for youth-driven and strengths-based practice that are reinforced through individualized coaching and feedback.
  • Research shows that better outcomes for youth and young adults occur when they are engaged as active drivers of their own planning processes.

AMP was originally developed and tested as an enhancement to Wraparound, which is a team-based planning and intensive care coordination process for children, youth and young adults who experience the highest levels of mental health and related needs. Wraparound is intended to be guided by the perspectives of the young people who participate in it. However, previous research showed that young people often did not participate actively in Wraparound, but that they would do so given the right preparation and supportive team facilitation. These challenges related to engagement are seen across all youth-serving systems and intervention types.

The AMP enhancement for Wraparound aims to increase young people's satisfaction, active engagement, and self-determined participation in care planning, as well as their alliance with their treatment planning team. Findings from a randomized study of AMP showed that, relative to youth who received "as usual" Wraparound, young people who received Wraparound with the AMP enhancement participated more – and in a more active and self-determined manner – with their teams. They also rated their alliance with their Wraparound teams significantly higher. Furthermore, adult team members rated team meetings as being more productive, and they were more likely to say that the AMP meetings were "much better than usual" team meetings.

Over the last few years, AMP models have been used to enhance providers' practice within other interventions that include a focus on youth/young adult voice, strengths, and self-determination. Evidence from a study of training for AMP and AMP-TF shows that the training and certification have been effective in creating significant improvements in trainee competencies for working with youth/young adults as assessed by their practice in video recordings, and as assessed subjectively by the trainees themselves. Trainees have also been highly satisfied with the training/coaching experience. A separate study has shown similar positive impacts for the AMP+ training for peer support providers.

Research on training and skill development for human service providers has shown the shortcomings of traditional training approaches, particularly workshop-based training, with or without the use of manuals and other informational materials. These types of training approaches have been shown to have limited effectiveness in terms of the transfer of training into practice. To ensure that AMP training will be applied most effectively and optimally in practice, each group learning session is followed up with individualized coaching that incorporates observation of a trainee’s work with young people and the provision of objective, practice-focused feedback over time. This approach also allows trainees to learn and practice more basic skills (with coaching and feedback) before moving on to progressively more advanced skills.

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