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The Advocate model is the foundation of YAP’s actual intervention with youth and families. Advocates are paid, trained and weekly supervised caring adults recruited from the same communities as the youth and families they serve. Advocates are positive role models to whom young people can easily relate. Their shared cultural identity is a natural bridge to developing the trusting relationship that is essential in engaging youth and families in a positive change process.
Advocates help implement the individual service plan that is developed with each family. Available 24/7, Advocates provide services at times and locations when they are most needed, allowing for highly individualized and effective intervention. During their assigned hours—up to 30 hours per week—advocates provide intensive supervision, mentoring, coaching, brokering and modeling through purposeful individual, family and, at times, group activities.
Advocates help youth and families meet their obligations to judges, probation officers, case managers and other referring entities, thus avoiding further penetration into the system. Advocacy services also include assistance with part-time employment, constructive use of leisure time, community service and connections with appropriate community resources. Advocates help young people and families expand their horizons and inspire them to set and achieve new goals.