Evaluating the NSW Homeless Youth Assistance Program

The Centre for Evidence and Implementation (CEI) is working with the Department of Family and Community Services of the NSW Government to evaluate the Homeless Youth Assistance Program.

The Homeless Youth Assistance Program provides support and accommodation for young people, seeking to reunify them with their families or transition them to independent living.

But, how effective is the program and is there room for improvement?

CEI is working with the University of Melbourne and Behavioural Insights Team to answer this important question. Together, we are:

  • Refining the program’s service model based on current best evidence and user feedback
  • Seeking to determine whether the program has been implemented by service agencies as intended
  • Assessing the program’s impact in the lives of young people through an in-depth analysis of administrative data
  • Undertaking a cost analysis to determine the program’s longevity

Research shows that children and young people who are homeless, or at-risk of homelessness, are more likely than their peers to experience abuse, neglect, family violence, and/or mental illness. They may also be more inclined to engage in criminal activity, misuse drugs and alcohol, or disengage from education. CEI’s work will play a critical role in improving support for this vulnerable group across NSW.