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Youth Safety Net Project

The Youth Safety Net Project (YSNP) supports community health centers that serve children and adolescents to address social and economic conditions that profoundly affect the health, well-being, and success of young people through school and community partnerships. Through support since 2008 from the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC), the YSNP project provides training and technical assistance to safety net providers serving children and adolescents in the following focus areas: 

  • Adolescent Relationship Abuse  screening, prevention, and intervention strategies that promote prosocial norms, reduce exposure to violence, and support healthy relationships 
  • Childhood Diabetes Prevention in partnership with schools to improve nutrition and physical activity counseling  
  • Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) screening, care coordination and referrals, and sustainable best practices to influence population-level health outcomes 
  • Youth Development principles and practices to advance youth agency within health centers and cultivate youth-led approaches to health care delivery
A kid in the classroom


Social and economic conditions—such as food, housing, family supports, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)—have a profound effect on the health, well-being, and success of our nation’s young people. Safety net providers are clinicians who serve vulnerable populations—individuals who live in medically underserved communities who could be experiencing poverty, underinsurance or lack of insurance, homelessness, and discrimination—regardless of financial circumstances, insurance status, or health conditions. These facilities are most often located in or nearby the communities they serve. “Core” safety net providers include community health centers, school-based health centers, rural clinics, and local health departments. We can promote positive outcomes for youth by creating approaches to health that push upstream of disease and take on the public health lens of whole child, comprehensive care. If successful, safety net providers can extend their influence beyond the school and clinic walls and into the community to influence population-level health outcomes.

The Youth Safety Net Project helps school-based and community safety net providers find that success using a social determinants of health (SDOH) approach. Through a diverse set of activities, The Youth Safety Net Project translates the science of population health into practical clinical tools and competencies that get to the root cause of poor health for our nation’s youth.

Products from this initiative (including toolkits, blogs, and more) are organized around three topic areas. 

In addition, the Youth Safety Net Project has pushed us to keep an SDOH frame in mind across our trainings (webinars and convention), needs assessments, technical assistance, and in our literature database.

A doctor with a girl

School-Based Health and Medical-Legal Partnerships

SBHA most recently partnered with the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership to create a fact sheet that describes common social and legal needs that affect the health of youth and ways that integrated legal services can help meet those needs. It also examines medical-legal partnership programs at two school-based health centers and how they operate, and it shares stories of students benefiting from medical-legal partnership services. Download the fact sheet here.

Addressing Diabetes Risk Factors In Elementary School Children Through Community Partnerships

The National Nurse-Led Care Consortium and the School-Based Health Alliance are convening this learning collaborative to assist health centers that collaborate with an elementary school(s) to enhance their work by providing targeted interventions for students with pre-diabetic indicators or school-wide interventions to prevent diabetes. This learning collaborative is designed to enhance pre-existing health center/school partnerships. Participants will learn from experts as well as each other throughout the learning collaborative.