Evaluation of the CAYLUS youth worker brokerage program

image - Caylus Logo Square
Date Commenced:
04/2014
Expected Date of Completion:
06/2019
Project Supporters:

Contract research for Central Australia Youth Link-Up Service (CAYLUS), Tangentyere Council Inc.

Project Members: 
image - Christina Marel
Research Fellow
Ph 02 9385 0155
image - Maree Teesson Square
Professor
Ph EA Jasmin Bartlett: 02 9385 0167 / j.bartlett@unsw.edu.au
image - Kath Mills Sq
Senior Res Fellow (NH&MRC)
Ph +612 9385 0253
Project Main Description: 

The Central Australian Youth Link Up Service (CAYLUS) supports community initiatives aimed at reducing the supply of, demand for, and harms associated with substance misuse among young people across Central Australia. Researchers will assist CAYLUS establish a rolling monitoring and evaluation process for the activities it runs through the Youth Worker Brokerage Program, specifically examining the impact of its programs and activities on local level community crime and petrol sniffing.

Project Collaborators: External: 

Dr Fiona Shand
Black Dog Institute

Rationale: 
Youth substance misuse remains a pressing concern in Central Australia. CAYLUS wishes to establish a rolling monitoring and evaluation process for the activities it runs through the CAYLUS Youth Worker Brokerage Program, which tackles this problem, to ensure continued improvement of its programs and responsiveness to community needs.
 
In addition, a fundamental objective of the Centre of Research in Mental Health and Substance Use (CREMS) based at NDARC is to build research capacity regarding the co-occurrence of mental health and substance use disorders. This includes assisting community agencies to develop and conduct their own research. In keeping with this objective, researchers from CREMS will assist CAYLUS to establish a rolling monitoring and evaluation process for the activities it runs through the Youth Worker Brokerage Program. 
 
Aims: 
To assist CAYLUS establish a rolling monitoring and evaluation process for the activities it runs through the CAYLUS Youth Worker Brokerage. The project will examine the impact of programs and activities supported by this brokerage on local level community crime particularly crime involving young people and petrol sniffing.
Design and Method: 
The evaluation will be based on a series of pre- and post-test measures. Specifically NDARC will work with CAYLUS staff to improve existing data collection tools and methods. Data will be collected by frontline youth workers as a part of brokerage funded activities. Where possible, data will be collected prior to the implementation of youth programs and at program completion. Additional crime and substance use data will be obtained from external agencies.
 
Data will be analysed to gain insight into: 
  • Community members’ perceptions of the impact of the programs on community level crime and substance misuse
  • The popularity of programs, participation levels and demographics of program participants
  • Changes in crime trends data and its relationship to the implementation of program activities
  • Changes in substance misuse data and its relationship to the implementation of program activities
  • The degree to which program activities are supported by current research and evidence
 
Progress/Update: 

Stage 1 of the evaluation was completed in February 2016. The Executive summary is available for download here.

Stage 2 of the evaluation of the CAYLUS Youth Worker Brokerage program commenced in June 2016, and will be ongoing until 2019. In stage 2, CREMS will continue to provide assistance to CAYLUS in  maintain a rolling monitoring and evaluation process for the activities it runs through the CAYLUS Youth Worker Brokerage. The project will examine the ongoing impact and perceived impact of programs and activities supported by this brokerage on local level community crime (particularly crime involving young people) and petrol sniffing.

Findings: 

The Executive summary from Stage 1 can be downloaded here.

Benefits: 

By improving the capacity of the CAYLUS staff to evaluate and monitor their service, the standard of youth programs may be informed and improved, and the enduring disability associated with substance misuse may be reduced.

Project Status: 
Current