||The examples and perspective in this Australia may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
A youth advocate is an adult who acts in the best interests of the youth that they are working with. The overall purpose of a youth advocate is to ensure that youth maintain their human rights while aiding in skill development in all areas of life such as education, health, housing, employment, relationships, etc. A youth advocate aims to prevent youth from experiencing diminished self-esteem while interacting with adults who hold professional authoritative roles in their life. Examples of these adults are judges, lawyers, teachers, etc. Travis Lloyd, a speaker on the subject, describes a youth advocate as one who plays a significant supportive role in the social and legal processes in the lives of young people, especially homeless and foster youth who lack family support. In consideration of the legal aspects, the National Association of Youth Courts describes a youth advocate as a person who provides support to a youth respondent or defendant during a hearing.