Unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 18 face many challenges in accessing health care, including COVID-19 vaccination, because they do not have a parent or guardian to consent for their care. Lack of clear guidance and understanding about the complexities related to minor consent issues have made it hard for service and housing providers, schools, and state agencies to help ensure that unaccompanied homeless youth are able to access the COVID-19 vaccine.
With funding from the Washington State Department of Health and in collaboration with many partners, Building Changes created flyers that show how school staff and youth housing and service providers can help unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 18 get the COVID-19 vaccine. In clear, easy-to-understand language, these flyers help explain informed consent and the Mature Minor Doctrine and outline steps schools and providers can take to support the COVID-19 health needs of young people experiencing homelessness. One flyer is designed for school staff, particularly McKinney-Vento liaisons, school nurses, and school counselors. The other flyer is designed for youth service and housing providers, such as youth shelters. Both flyers are available in English and Spanish.
Schools and youth service and housing providers are encouraged to download, copy, and share these flyers. Questions about the flyer may be directed to Megan Veith, Senior Manager, Policy, Advocacy & Research at Building Changes.