Youth-adult partnership is the title of a conscious relationship which establishes and sustains intergenerational equity between young people and adults.
"Youth-adult partnerships happen when young people and adults become engaged together in their communities; they are relationships between youth and adults where there is mutuality in teaching, learning, and action." These relationships usually occur within youth organizations, where they are typified by youth voice, and in democratic schools, where they are typified by student voice. Youth/adult partnerships often display a high degree of youth rights and autonomy, and is often synonymous with meaningful youth participation.
According to the State of Texas, youth-adult partnerships have allowed young people to assume the roles of advisors and consultants to youth organizations, political lobbyists, community organizers, grant (money) decision-makers, nonprofit board directors, and as direct youth service providers.
Youth-adult partnerships are said to allow young people to
Research consistently shows that in addition to concrete outcomes, youth/adult partnerships require specific cultural and structural supports within organizations and communities in order to succeed. Youth voice is commonly recognized as an essential element of effective youth/adult partnerships.
By elevating the role of youth voice, the relationships formed by youth/adult partnerships are said to combat ephebiphobia and adultism. A broad number of parties benefit from said partnerships, including the organizations where the partnerships occur, adults who are involved, and youth themselves. Actual benefits range from increased commitment to higher feelings of self-efficacy, as well as increased organizational effectiveness and civic engagement. Youth/adult partnerships have been found to be particularly effective in addressing school improvement, promoting Global Health Initiatives, and integrating technology in the classroom.
Additional practice has identified significant roles for youth/adult partnerships in rural civic engagement projects and in creating effective outreach for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth.