Taking health care to vulnerable children 0-12 years: Nursing leading the way

Yvonne Parry, Pauline Hill, Wendy Radbone

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The aim of the research, and subsequent health care innovation, was to improve health outcomes for some of Australia’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. The numbers of children aged 0‐12 years attending homeless services is increasing both in Australia and globally. Access to adequate primary health
care services is a major problem for homeless children needing care. The children have little or no access to appropriate and timely health care. Workers in the sector have little or no child development knowledge therefore children miss out on vital milestones in their development leading to developmental delay. Homelessness is a time of increased developmental risk for children resulting in the development and exacerbation of lifelong ill‐health. The families rely on Emergency Department adhoc care.
Mixed methods design entailed questionnaires and interviews with staff and parents to identify the extent of the health service delivery gap in phase 1. The nursing intervention used student nursing placements, sector staff education sessions, and paediatric clinical nurses. Phase 2 data collection using pre and post placement questionnaires and interviewing students, clinical supervisors and sector staff.
There was a profound lack of links to nursing and health care which impacted on children’s normal development. The education program for staff and new methods of health care delivery has gone someway to addressing the need. There improved rates of referral uptake and engagement with health services.
More child focused services are needed in this sector to improve health services delivery and health uptake for vulnerable children.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAustralian College of Child & Young People's Nurses: Heading west: focus on children & young people's health - Perth Children's Hospital, Perth, Australia
Duration: 24 Oct 201826 Oct 2018


ConferenceAustralian College of Child & Young People's Nurses
Abbreviated titleACCYPN 2018 Conference


  • Nursing
  • young people
  • homelessness


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