Positive life pathways for vulnerable adolescents: The role of a life management program approach

image - Youth In Hoodie Square
Date Commenced:
Expected Date of Completion:
Project Supporters:

ARC Linkage

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Project Members: 
image - Marian Shanahan
Dr Marian Shanahan
Conjoint Senior Lecturer
Project Main Description: 

This project undertakes research to understand the pathways of vulnerable adolescents and the role of the Ted Noffs Program for Adolescent Life Management (PALM) in assisting young people to get their lives back on track. Young people in contact with the criminal justice system who have problematic use of drugs and alcohol often lack opportunities for social and economic participation in society and many continue offending into adulthood.

Project Collaborators: External: 

This research is being led by Dr Sally Nathan, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW

Associate Professor Andrew Hayen, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW

Dr Patrick Rawstorne, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW

Dr Joanne Bryant, Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW

Professor Eileen Baldry, School of Social Sciences, UNSW

Megan Willams, Muru Marri, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW

Mark Ferry, Ted Noffs Foundation 


The project will examine and analyse the short and longer term outcomes and pathways of young people who participate in PALM compared with similar young people who have not completed such a program.  In addition a cost consequence analysis between three cohorts within the overall study design 

Design and Method: 

Existing data, of over 4000 individuals, which comprises clients of the Ted Noffs Foundation from 2000-2014 will be linked to health and justice administrative records in NSW and the ACT. This will be complemented by a cohort follow-up study which will include a survey at baseline and 12 months post referral (n=approximately 400) as well as qualitative interviews (n=approximately 40) with young people referred to PALM over a three year period.


To date the study design has been finalised, letter of support from AH&MRC has been received.  Surveys to begin in January 2016.


The findings aim to directly inform policies and programs, including life management, drug and alcohol and other support programs to better address multiple needs among this vulnerable group.

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