The DCYHC has been a vital community resource and
asset since it began. Its vision has always been to promote the health
and well-being of youth, which in turn yields a healthy and dynamic
community of responsible adults."
-Carol Forest, DCYHC Founding Director
The Daly City Youth Health Center (DCYHC) is a school-linked program of the Jefferson Union High School District (JUHSD), with year-round health and youth development programming for in and out of school youth ages 12-24. Our clinic is a satellite facility of the San Mateo Medical Center (SMMC). The Health Center was founded in 1990 following the completion of a youth health needs assessment conducted by local community members. The needs assessment demonstrated significant disparities in the health status and ability to access health services among low-income teens in Daly City. DCYHC started as a safety net primary care clinic in a small office serving 100-150 teens per month sprouted into a comprehensive health and youth development program serving over 600 teens per month.
We have learned that many of the teens we work with have complex problems and needs that require a range of creative solutions, interventions and options. Our youth often struggle with English language acquisition, learning disabilities, unplanned pregnancy, domestic violence, alcohol/drug abuse, unemployment, crowded housing and a lack of health insurance. Since the opening of our clinic, we have launched three carefully designed major programs to address these complex problems and needs. These programs are: Behavioral Health Counseling Services (established 1993); Project PLAY (Peer Leadership Alternatives for Youth), a reproductive health education program (established 1996); and Elements for Success (Elements), a school-to-career/college transition program (established 2002).