High-need neighbourhoods in each of Delaware’s three counties.


2012 – 2015

The local context

More than a third (33.4%) of youth in the US were overweight or obese in 2013-14.1 Young people living in high-need neighbourhoods were especially vulnerable to a range of health and learning risks and susceptible to negative behaviours such as smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, unprotected sex, violence, and bullying.

Our objectives

Promote improved health behaviours such as physical fitness and better nutrition, and reduce the burden of disease from smoking, substance abuse and early sexual activity.

Promote better school attendance, academic performance and behaviour.

Build communities that support positive adolescent health and school performance and broaden access to health resources for youth.

Create a model of positive youth development that can be used in other communities.


Our focus

Behaviour change amongst 12 to 15 year olds in disadvantaged communities.


Our programme

Young people were mobilised to become YHP ‘Champions’ and engaged in designing and implementing critical aspects of the programme.

Key stakeholders including families, teachers, health providers, youth-serving professionals, community leaders and volunteers were trained to provide supportive relationships, accurate information, and skill building opportunities for young people.

Civic and government leaders were educated in the health needs of young people and encouraged to increase resources to foster good health and academic success.

The programme connected teachers, parents, clergy and other adults to existing programmes and resources that promote positive youth development and reduce risky health behaviours, and that help young people achieve academic success.

Our achievements

More than 730 community-based and youth-serving organisations have embraced or embedded YHP.

Nearly 16,000 young people have been engaged through special youth-focused activities that the YHP has conducted or participated in - on training, leadership and civic engagement.

More than 22,000 adults attended training and other activities learning about the support available from Prevention and Behavioural Health staff of DHSS, YMCA Camp Counsellors, Alternative School staff, community volunteers, and YMCA Youth In Government participants.

YHP USA partnered with Nemours Health and Prevention Services and kidshealth.org to create an adolescent health toolkit and provide access to online resources.


Our Partners

United Way of Delaware (UWD) brings together people and resources to tackle complex issues and drive sustainable positive change in order to help communities thrive in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties.



1. Fryer CD, Carroll MD, Ogden CL, 2016, Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents Aged 2–19 Years: United States, 1963–1965 Through 2013–2014. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_child_13_14/obesity_child_13_14.htm, accessed 9 April 2018.