Youth Program Specialist
Kristin Thorp, (YMN) has ten years of experience in advocacy, and youth leadership and program development with a special focus on the mental health and criminal justice systems. Ms. Thorp currently serves as a Youth Program Specialist where she is a national technical assistance provider on the development, implementation, and sustainability of quality youth programming and supports grantees develop meaningful and mutual partnerships with youth, young adults, and system leaders to advance best practices for youth engagement. In addition, she is an advisor on the System of Care Children's Mental Health Initiative and supports the implementation of national evaluation efforts by conducting qualitative and quantitative research, utilizing data to determine and define technical assistance needs for grantee communities. Ms. Thorp is the co-chair for the National Youth Best Practice Committee, a group dedicated to advising the field on the development and implementation of best practice approaches for engaging youth in local and national efforts to improve quality and responsive systems for those with behavioral health challenges. Prior to joining Youth M.O.V.E. National, Ms. Thorp was the Continuous Quality Improvement Coordinator for Maine's System of Care. In this role, she offered technical assistance, training, and consultation to government agencies, providers, and communities on incorporating and embedding trauma-informed principles and practices and developing a youth-guided system. Ms. Thorp was a strong advocate for disenfranchised populations experiencing disproportionate contact within the juvenile justice system, including LGBTQ youth and other minority populations. She recognized the unique impact of trauma on these populations and worked on the development of affirmative care and gender responsive policies and practices. She partnered with a local LGBTQ youth advocacy organization to adapt curriculum for juvenile probation officers to increase competence about sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Ms. Thorp has experience developing organizational assessments to support performance evaluation and building responsive technical assistance plans to encourage continuous quality improvement activities. Ms. Thorp has utilized her own lived experience, passion, and expertise in the field of positive youth development to bridge multiple perspectives to promote trauma informed approaches to recovery.