STEP evaluation in New South Wales: Measuring outcomes at client, program, and system levels

Homeless young invalid man sitting in wheelchair on the street

In partnership with the Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre Australia and University of Melbourne, CEI was appointed to lead the four-year outcome and economic evaluation of the NSW Government's Supported Transition and Engagement Program (STEP).

The evaluation of the STEP program extends CEI's expertise in the homelessness and housing sector.

The NSW Government is investing $22.1 million over four years in the STEP, to provide strengths-based, wraparound housing and support for people experiencing primary and secondary homelessness in Inner City Sydney and across NSW. The consortium used its expertise to support the government to achieve continuous improvement goals by using evaluation findings to inform future commissioning, policy, and practice decisions. 

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Rapidly rehouse people experiencing primary or secondary homelessness with a plan for long term housing
  • Provide access to culturally appropriate health, mental health and wellbeing services
  • Rebuild family, community and cultural connections
  • Support the development of daily living and self-management skills
  • Facilitate engagement with positive structured activities such as social groups, education and/or employment

The robust evaluation, looking at the process, outcomes, and economic impact of the program, measured the impact of the investment, provided timely feedback about whether the program had been implemented as intended and measured outcomes at the client, program, and system level. The findings contribute to the evidence base on the feasibility, effectiveness, and economic benefit of delivering STEP in comparison to other interventions.