Youth-Friendly Care

Why it matters

Improving Access to Youth-Friendly Services

Adolescence affords a key opportunity to administer counseling, anticipatory guidance, and health care services to help young people establish life-long healthy habits. Adolescents tend to be healthy, but participate at disproportionately high rates in risky behaviors that can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Consequently, the health care needs of adolescents are unique from other patient populations. Adolescents deserve access to high-quality, youth-friendly health care that is age and developmental stage-appropriate.


Mini-Grant Opportunity: Building the Capacity for Adolescent-Centered Health Care

The Adolescent Health Initiative is excited to announce a call for applications for our newest initiative: “Building the Capacity for Adolescent-Centered Health Care in Rural and Underserved Communities in HHS Region V”. As part of HRSA Health Tomorrows, AHI will be expanding our work throughout the Midwest to build the capacity of pediatric practices in rural and underserved communities to provide youth-friendly health care services for adolescents through engagement in our evidence-based Adolescent-Centered Environment Assessment Process (ACE-AP). We will also be equipping each state in HHS Region V with the ability to continue to build capacity of youth-serving primary care centers beyond the duration of the project by training individuals as coaches in each state in facilitation and dissemination of the ACE-AP.

Now Accepting Applications

We are now accepting applications for both health centers and coaches to be a part of this exciting project. Click the appropriate link below to learn more about each opportunity. Applications will be accepted until Friday, October 18th, 2019



Health Centers


Spark Trainings

Sparks are designed for providers or staff to deliver in 15-30 minutes at staff meetings or professional development opportunities. These trainings will “spark” discussion and reflection among your multidisciplinary team. All sparks include a PowerPoint presentation, a facilitator outline, and follow-up materials.

Being Youth-Friendly
Being Youth-Friendly

Introduce your teams to elements of an adolescent-centered environment and identify key staff and provider behaviors essential to providing you-friendly care.

Cultural Responsiveness
Cultural Responsiveness

Identify and discuss key concepts about providing culturally responsive health care to young people and reflect on various cultural norms unique to adolescence.

Strengths-Based Approaches to Adolescent Sexual Health
Strengths-Based Approaches to Adolescent Sexual Health

Consider how staff and providers can create a climate where adolescents are more likely to discuss their sexual health openly and honestly.

Being an Askable Adult
Being an Askable Adult

Discuss strategies adults can use to help youth feel comfortable asking for support. This Spark is intended for adults who may refer youth to services like health care or mental health.

Adolescent Brain Development
Adolescent Brain Development

Explore with your team how adolescent brain development impacts interactions between young people and adults in a clinical or community-based setting.


Hear directly from teens about how you can improve their health care experience. We encourage you to use these videos for training.

Drawing a Picture: Adolescent-Centered Medical Homes
Explore many of the ways that primary care and other health centers can make sure that their space is youth-friendly.

Health Experts, Meet Teen Experts
Hear directly from teens on their priorities for their healthcare.

Youth-Friendly Materials


Poster serving as a visual cue to welcome teen patients. Contact us to request a free printed copy.


Poster serving as a visual cue to welcome teen patients in Spanish. Contact us to request a free printed copy.


Sample health rights for teens poster to display in exam and waiting rooms. Contact us for a poster specific to your state!


Checklist to create a community resource guide for youth-friendly services.

Youth-Led Health Center Assessment, 2017

Assessment tool and facilitator guide used to engage young people in evaluating the youth-friendliness of health centers. Accompanying video available.


Manual to establish and sustain a Youth Advisory Council.  Additional Appendix found here.


Adolescent Champion Model

AHI implements the Adolescent Champion model in health centers throughout the country with the goal of making the health center an adolescent-centered medical home. The model includes multiple components to address a health center’s policies, practices, procedures, and environment.

Adolescent-Centered Environment Assessment Process (ACE-AP)

Our Adolescent-Centered Environment Assessment Process (ACE-AP) helps health centers become more youth-friendly. More than just a checklist, the ACE-AP is a facilitated, comprehensive self-assessment and guided improvement process that includes customized resources, recommendations, technical assistance, and implementation plans using Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) improvement cycles.


We Can Help!

AHI works with health centers and organizations across the country to improve the delivery of high-quality, youth-friendly care. Looking for support to improve youth-friendly care in your setting?