The Young People's Health Service (YPHS) provides primary health care and opportunistic and strategic health interventions to adolescents and young adults (12-24 years) who are experiencing, or at risk of homelessness or marginalisation. The YPHS clinic is located at Frontyard Youth Services (Melbourne City Mission) on King Street in the Melbourne CBD. Co-located with other services designed to meet the physical, social and emotional needs of young people in this situation, YPHS nurses strive to improve their access to primary healthcare.
YPHS was established in 1991 following recommendations in the "Our Homeless Children" Report of the National Inquiry into Homeless Children by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1989). The social model of health acts as the foundation of YPHS practice and acknowledges social inequality as a key determinant of ill health.
Clinic hours are 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday
- No appointment.
- No GP referral
- No charge
- No Medicare card
Drop in to Frontyard and ask for the health service.
Because it is a drop in service, there may be a wait to be seen.
Location and contact
Telephone: 9453 8590 (you might have to leave a message)
Address: Frontyard Youth Services, 19 King Street, Melbourne
YPHS provides primary health care. Some of the areas that primary health care addresses are:
- Preventative Health Advice
- Skin conditions and infections (rashes, scabies, lice)
- Soft tissue injury and wound care
- Support with drug and alcohol issues (AOD) including Single Session therapy
- Basic Immigrant health screens
- Blood borne virus screening (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV)
- Linking to Hepatitis C treatment
- Screening and treatment of sexually transmissible infections (STI's)
- Contraception advice
- Implanon insertion and removal
- Contraception Injections
- Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)
- Pregnancy testing
- Referral for unplanned pregnancy/referral to ante natal care
- Sexuality concerns or questions
- Emotional and mental health support
The first visit includes an assessment using the HEADSS psychosocial health tool that provides an overview and identifies points for intervention and discussion. The nurses provide youth focused health assessments, screening, treatment, information and referral. A visit to YPHS can be up to 60 minutes to allow adequate time for the engagement and assessment.
YPHS provides Clinical Refuge Outreach to several youth refuges. Barriers such as lack of finance, transport, a support person, knowledge of services and negative past experiences with health professionals can contribute to a person not accessing health services. The goal of clinical
outreach is to improve access to health care for young people who may not access Frontyard Youth Services.
YPHS is run by a team of skilled and specialised nurses. Recognising adolescent health as a specialty area, the nurses are experienced and educated in this field.
- Dot Henning: Nurse Practitioner
- Charlie Bowes: Clinical Nurse Consultant
- Belinda Tominc: Clinical Nurse Consultant
- Susannah Kirby: Clinical Nurse Consultant - Immunisation Program
- Phia Khuong: Clinical Nurse Consultant - Immunisation Program
- Di Zoch: Administration Officer
- Tony Cassar: Administration Officer
In addition to the nurse team advanced paediatric medical trainees undergoing specialist adolescent training at The RCH attends for twice a week to provide consultancy and medical support including diagnosis, prescription and specialist referrals (These doctors are not General
Practitioners so not able to write Mental Health Care Plans.
YPHS offer immunisation history checks and catch-up vaccines for free to young people who may have missed routine childhood or adolescent vaccines. The immunisation service is located onsite at Frontyard and also conducts outreach immunisation clinics at youth refuges and flexible learning centres.
Primary health care is designed to be the first level of contact that individuals have with the health care system in Australia. It incorporates health promotion, illness prevention and community development.
A Young People’s Health Service program logic model was developed to articulate the various components of the service and the intended outcomes.
Why young people's health?
Young people are generally healthy. It is their behaviours, lifestyle or exposures that can put them at risk of poor health. Targeting interventions at these early stages can have a significant impact on their future health. Working with and educating young people to think
about modifying their risk taking behaviours - such as unprotected sex, binge drinking, and smoking - is an important step to improving their long term health.
Homeless young people have poorer health outcomes than their housed peers, yet are less likely and have greater difficulty accessing appropriate health services.
YPHS aims to improve the health of their client group to match that of their housed peers.
- Henning D, Parrott C, Read T, Bradshaw CS. International Journal of STD and AIDS - Homelessness, sex and a tale of two sexually transmitted infections
- Parrott, C. (2020) Young People's Health at the Frontline. Parity, 33(02), 25-26
- Tominc, B. (2020) Immunisations and Preventative Healthcare: Let's Improve Access for Our Community. Parity, 33(02), 25-26
- Parrott C, Henning D & Eade D. (2015) A Check Up. In: Under the Pump! Melb: John Cain Foundation
- Henning D. (2014) Homeless Youth. In: Sexual Health – A Multidisciplinary Approach. Melb: IP Communications
Awards & Scholarships
Australian Association for Adolescent Health - Outstanding Contribution to Youth Health 2019 - Stuart Cook
RCH Mary Patten Award 2019 - Dot Henning
RCH Elizabeth Fearon Scholarship 2021 - Belinda Tominc