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How do you become a youth advocate?

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Quick Answer

Criminal Justice Degree Directory notes that entering law enforcement, child protective services, counseling or social work are ways of becoming a youth advocate. Listening is an important skill for a youth advocate, since young people often feel ignored or abused by adults. Having diplomacy skills also helps.

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Criminal Justice Degree Directory further notes that a youth advocate must, in a sense, become a child's protector. Therefore, it is crucial that a youth advocate has thick skin and fights tirelessly on behalf of children. This includes going against individuals who may be abusive to a child.

Becoming a youth advocate calls for identifying troubled children and intervening when necessary. Bringing together various members of the community, such as parents, teachers, lawyers and counselors, is sometimes necessary for the sake of the child. However, there are times when these group members are the problem, so diplomacy and patience must come into play.

A youth advocate ensures that the child's human rights are being respected as well. This includes helping children secure housing, health care, education and employment opportunities. Helping homeless youth or children who lack family connections can be part of the job. Fostering healthy relationships for the child is important, but building self-esteem in a child is the primary role of a youth advocate.

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