The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) values a child-centred approach which puts children and youth at the centre of all questions and decisions. In practice this means MACY thinks of the viewpoint of the child or youth as the most important one.

In order to make sure child and youth perspectives stay at the centre, MACY has engaged young people from across Manitoba to provide input, advice, and feedback. The Youth Ambassador Advisory Squad (YAAS) works to create change and improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of services provided to children and youth in Manitoba including: child welfare, adoption, disability, addiction, mental health, education, victim support, and youth justice.

YAAS is made up of youth from across Manitoba who have current and past lived experience in the service areas for which MACY has responsibilities. YAAS members provide youth perspective and insight in all areas of MACY’s work from consulting on issues, summarizing reports, attending and participating in events.

YAAS is guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child their experiences, and the experiences of their peers.