Building Bridges and Knocking Down Walls - The Role of the NSW Youth Homelessness Peak in Health Outcomes

"Community sector peak bodies are in a unique position to augment public health outcomes sought by government. These organisations bring legitimacy and agility to the work of health departments whilst endorsing public health interventions and campaigns to coalface workers. Yfoundations has made significant contributions to public health programs by: • contributing directly to program and policy development such as the NSW Sexually Transmissible Infection Strategy, • piloting service capacity building projects such as the Essential Youth Healthcare Skills training, and • providing NSW wide youth service capacity building training to act as a vehicle for resources and programs arising from the NSW Sexual Health Framework Support Program. • bridging gaps between service providers, young people and policy makers to improve local practice and contribute to policy development, for example the 2016 – 2022 NSW Youth Health Policy. Building Bridges and Knocking Down Walls will map the complex relationship between Yfoundations, government, youth and health practitioners and young people to explore the possibilities provided by connecting with agencies with a mandate for sector leadership. Key Messages 1. Non-government peaks occupy a unique position for health interventions that are integrated into sector activity. 2. Non-government peaks are a vital conduit for dissemination between government and non-government agencies. 3. Peak bodies provide ‘coalface’ legitimacy and act as a voice of conscience in the development of policy and intervention. Key Words Community and Environment Health Systems Influence in Health"

Colin Stokes


Colin Stokes is the Education Manager at Yfoundations, the youth accommodation peak for NSW. He has worked in a variety of settings including youth health services, local government and non-government youth agencies. Colin presents youth and health workforce capacity building training across NSW and contributes to government and service policy development.