Insights

Research and Evaluation

Our research agenda is guided by the needs of our clients, the priorities of our services and gaps in contemporary knowledge on the issues affecting the lives of young people.  

 

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Indigenous Participation In The Construction Industry

Published: 07/2018
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People

This report presents the first publically available evaluation of an Indigenous Participation Plan (IPP) within the Australian construction industry.  It examines what happened at one of the Gold Coast’s most significant urban renewal projects, the Parklands Project (completed September 2017, main contractor Grocon) and identifies what worked well and what could be done differently though interviewing six stakeholder groups involved in the project.  In addition, we offer a unique piece of research – The First Australian’s Work Engagement Model, which was developed through co-design.  This model offers the beginnings of a theoretical underpinning to IPPs, which may help develop greater stakeholder buy-in and higher quality Indigenous participation plans and implementation. 

'Don't just listen: Tell me what to do!'

Published: 03/2018
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Kids Helpline

Kids Helpline is an Australian child and youth focused telephone and online counselling service with a long term view of what “helping” looks like. This paper describes how the service challenges young clients to see beyond the immediate gratification of receiving instantaneous “answers” to problems, and to value more highly the process of learning problem solving and decision-making skills, transferable from issue to issue over the course of a lifetime. This paper was published in the peer-reviewed journal - the Queensland Review, and has been made available here with the permission of Cambridge Press.

What would we use and how would we use it?

Published: 12/2017
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Kids Helpline, Mental Health and Wellbeing

Putting therapeutic tools for wellbeing directly into the hands of vulnerable young people, on their phones and devices, seems to make good sense. This paper shares key learning emerging from youth consultation research into how young people accessing support services, understand wellbeing, and view the potential use of online tools for both therapeutic benefit and to enhance connection to support. This paper was published as a recommended reading in the 2017 the MHS conference proceedings.

SMS Counselling For Young People: Expanding Kids Helpline’s Counselling Platforms

Published: 11/2017
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Kids Helpline

Kids Helpline consulted with 1,411 young people using an online survey to gather information and ideas about their use of technology and help-seeking. The consultation answered a number of questions Kids Helpline had about whether to add another type of technology – Short Messaging System (SMS) - to our suite of counselling platforms, which already include telephone, WebChat and email. 

yourtown's Submission On The Child Protection Reform Amendment Bill 2017

Published: 09/2017
Categories: Kids Helpline, Advocacy

The Queensland government is driving a program of long-needed and significant reform of Queensland’s child protection system with the aim of improving the experiences and outcomes of the children, young people and families who come into contact with or live their lives supported by child protection services.

yourtown has responded to the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee’s Inquiry into a step in this reform agenda – the Child Protection Reform Amendment Bill 2017.  

This Bill introduces a number of key legislative changes that aim to support positive long-term outcomes for children in the child protection system, the safe care and connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with their families, communities and cultures and a contemporary information sharing regime for the child protection and family support system.

Indigenous Participation Strategies - Practice Insights

Published: 03/2017
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People, Employment

Within the construction industry, as elsewhere, organisations develop strategic plans for increasing the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – but what makes for a good plan? Eighteen people with significant Indigenous economic participation or social procurement experience from industry, government and academia were consulted for this report, offering practice insights into these strategies. Contributors offered their perceptions of an Indigenous Participation Plan (IPP) which could be considered illustrative of the sorts of plans that may be used by Tier 1 construction companies on large development projects within Australia. They also shared with us their experience of what they have seen work well, and what they know are factors that undermine the success of Indigenous participation.

Kids Helpline Annual Client Satisfaction Survey 2017

Published: 02/2017
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Kids Helpline

The Kids Helpline Annual Satisfaction Survey for 2016/17 revealed high levels of satisfaction amongst the 625 young people who responded. This was especially so for those using the full range of counselling offerings available (web, email and phone counselling), along with the online information and self-help assistance. Young people told us they appreciate Kids Helpline counsellors because they are caring and non-judgemental and have the time to listen to them and to really hear as they discuss their problems. They appreciate that the counsellors use skilled counselling techniques to assist them to develop strategies for dealing with their problems.

Parentline Client Satisfaction and Service Outcomes 2011 - 2016

Published: 02/2017
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Parentline

This report focuses on the results of the Parentline client satisfaction and outcomes survey over a six year period from 2011-2016. Each year the results are part of a feedback loop to Parentline management and service delivery staff. The purpose of the survey is to assess the overall effectiveness of, and satisfaction with, the service over that period. In addition, the survey measures the perceptions of parents regarding Parentline's assistance with specific areas of parenting effectiveness.

 

Parentline Annual Client Satisfaction and Service Outcomes 2016

Published: 01/2017
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Parentline

A report on the key issues that parents, carers and family members sought help or support for through telephone, email and web counselling in 2016.

Exploring the impact of romantic relationship breakdowns on youth mental health

Published: 05/2016
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Mental Health impact of romantic relationship breakdown on young people can be extreme, leading to self harm and suicide. We're proud to be working with our partners to find new (and better) ways to support young people in Australia. First published in the Journal of Behavioural Sciences, this research is the outcome of partnership between Kids Helpline, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre (YWRC).

Kids Helpline @ School Optus Year 2 Evaluation Report 2015

Published: 05/2016
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Kids Helpline

This report details the findings of the second annual evaluation study of the early intervention and prevention program Kids Helpline @ School (KAS). This program, funded by Optus, offers primary schools a professional counsellor-facilitated classroom session to discuss topics that can potentially affect students' emotional and mental health, and develops their skills, resilience and ability to reach out for help when needed. Particular emphasis is placed on issues that may arise from their engagement with online environments, assisting them to understand and model positive digital behaviours, and to speak out when negative online experiences occur.

Tackling long-term youth unemployment: Discussion paper

Published: 03/2016
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Employment, Advocacy

The incidence of young people in long-term unemployment continues to increase, however, contemporary research and discussion is lacking in detailed strategies and interventions to specifically assist this group. This paper highlights the experiences and issues of young people in long-term unemployment by presenting data trends, reviewing relevant literature, and posing questions to promote discussion and further exploration of this topic.

Woodridge State High School Community Hub - Final Evaluation Report 2016

Published: 02/2016
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Education and Training, Employment

The Woodridge Community Hub program aimed to increase the engagement of at-risk Woodridge State High School Year 12 students and their families in education, training and employment pathways between 2013 and 2015. This final evaluation report provides short-term outcome data for Year 2 clients, plus post program follow-up data for clients from both Years 1 and 2. The report summarises output data over both years, including case management activity, and identifies potential factors impacting on the variation in rates of employment and training achieved by clients of The Hub in Year 2 compared to Year 1.

Youth Engagement Program Evaluation Summary

Published: 02/2016
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Education and Training

yourtown's Youth Engagement Program (YEP) is a youth support service designed to assist young people who are disengaged, or at risk of disengaging, from mainstream schooling to re-connect with the community, learning and work. The program has a dual focus; supporting young people struggling to stay at school, and supporting existing early school leavers to make a successful transition to other training or education. yourtown delivers YEP in the Redlands, Logan and Ipswich areas of Greater Brisbane. This summary presents the key findings of yourtown's internal evaluation of YEP, undertaken in 2015.

Aboriginal youth mentoring in employment services: An urban case study

Published: 12/2015
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People, Education and Training, Employment

yourtown (previously BoysTown) conducted three evaluations of its Indigenous Mentoring program over the years it operated in the youth employment sector in Inala, Queensland between 2012 and 2015. This paper, published on the Analysis and Policy Observatory website, draws together the findings of each of these studies into a single case study, extending existing explorations into the range of barriers to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s long-term employment prospects. The paper focuses particular attention on the impact of extended kinship obligations on work attendance and the unique role that Aboriginal mentors are in a position to play in bridging communication breakdowns between employer and employee. It also challenges government policy settings which determine that employment “success” should be measured in terms of six months job retention in a labour market environment of short-term and casual work

yourtown Employment Services Inala Indigenous Mentor Program Year 3 Final Evaluation

Published: 05/2015
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People, Employment

The third and final annual evaluation of the yourtown Employment Services' Indigenous Mentoring program continues to explore the strengths and challenges of mentoring as a strategy to increase sustainable employment for young Indigenous people in the extremely socio-economically disadvantaged area of Inala, Queensland. Surveys were conducted with 14 young Indigenous people who had experienced at least one employment placement, and 14 additional stakeholders including employers, trainers, client family members and other local agency staff servicing shared clients. This study contributes to the sector's growing understanding of the range of barriers to young Indigenous people achieving long-term employment and examines these issues alongside the larger structural shifts occurring in the labour force within the current commercial environment.

Parentline Annual Client Satisfaction and Outcomes Report 2014 Archive

Published: 10/2014
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Parentline

In 2014, yourtown reported on client satisfaction with the Parentline service. The annual survey also focused on effectiveness of the service and how it assists parents with a number of factors. yourtown is committed to ensuring that all services meet client needs and are evidence-based in their practice.

Kids Helpline@School Optus Year 1 Evaluation Report 2014 Archive

Published: 08/2014
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Kids Helpline, Parentline

This report details the findings of an evaluation study of the early intervention and prevention program Kids Helpline@School (KHL @ School). This program, funded by Optus, offers primary schools a professional counsellor-facilitated classroom session to discuss topics impacting on the lives of students and aims to increase mental health literacy and help-seeking behaviours.

Parentline Client Satisfaction and Service Outcomes 2011-2014 Archive

Published: 07/2014
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Parentline

This report focuses on the results of the Parentline client satisfaction and outcomes survey over a four your period from 2011 to 2014. Each year the results are part of a feedback loop to Parentline management and service delivery staff. The purpose of the survey is to assess the overall effectiveness of, and satisfaction with, the service over that period. In addition, the survey measures the perceptions of parents regarding Parentline's assistance with specific areas of parenting effectiveness.

Evaluation of BoysTown's Expressive Therapies Intervention: 2012-2014

Published: 05/2014
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Families, Mental Health and Wellbeing

yourtown's Expressive Therapies Intervention (BETI) is a trauma and attachment informed creative arts and play therapy intervention. The initiative is targeted at young children with emotional and behavioural problems stemming from exposure to traumatic life and family experiences, including attachment trauma. This report describes BETI's therapeutic model and presents the findings of a two-year evaluation. The findings suggest that BETI, delivered in the context of holistic family support programs, contributes to improvements in the quality of preschool-aged children's attachment relationships with their caregivers and helps to address a range of emotional and behavioural impacts of developmental trauma.

yourtown Employment Services Inala Indigenous Mentor Program Year 2 Evaluation

Published: 05/2014
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People, Employment

Continuing the first year's study, this report examines more closely both individual psychosocial factors and organisational case management strategies influencing longer term Indigenous employment placements and retention.

Evaluation Report Project Job Ready Sep 2013 Archive

Published: 09/2013
Categories: Employment

This report follows on from the 2012 Project Job Ready Evaluation, with a new cohort of Year 12 students being supported to make the transition from High School to work or further study. This final evaluation provides an overview of the outcomes of the 53 young people involved in the 2012/13 Project Job Ready pilot Program. This report outlined the employment and training outcomes for young people, as well as examining their levels of self esteem and general wellbeing throughout the 12 month program. At the end of the second year, 60% of participants reported engaging in either full time education or training in the 6-12 months after they finished formal schooling.

Alternative education and transition pathways for early school-leavers Archive

Published: 08/2013
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Employment

This report presents the findings of a twelve month evaluation of yourtown's Flexible Learning Options (FLO) program in regional South Australia. The clients are young people (12-17 years) who are at risk / have disengaged early from mainstream education, many of whom present complex barriers to learning. The report identifies the programs ability to influence positive change for clients in relation to social, education and employment outcomes. It also identifies nine factors found to be key enablers in the program's success.

Woodridge State High School Community Hub - Year 1 Evaluation Report Archive

Published: 08/2013
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Education and Training, Employment

This report presents the findings of an evaluation of the first year of the Woodridge High School Community Hub. The program is funded under a partnership between the Federal Department of Human Services Better Futures, Local Solutions Fund, yourtown, Woodridge State High School and the Queensland Salvation Army. The Woodridge High School Community Hub seeks to promote the engagement of diverse and potentially at risk members of the Woodridge community including school leavers and their families, in activities that progress them towards employment. The report summarises the Year 1 results of those activities, including progress towards agreed outcomes.

Help-seeking among Indigenous Australian adolescents: Exploring attitudes, behaviours and barriers

Published: 05/2013
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People, Mental Health and Wellbeing

This study provides insight into the barriers facing Indigenous young people from seeking professional help for emotional and/or psychological problems, and the strategies that youth counselling services can take to encourage formal help-seeking among this group. The findings draw on qualitative feedback from 60 Indigenous young people, aged 10-24 years, from metropolitan, regional and rural Australia. Research findings were also published in the peer-reviewed Youth Studies Australia Journal. (This peer-reviewed article is made available with the permission of the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies).

yourtown Employment Services Inala Indigenous Mentor Pilot Program Year 1 Evaluation

Published: 05/2013
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People, Employment

This local study was conducted as part of the national rollout of a 3 year employment focused pilot offering culturally appropriate mentoring to unemployed Indigenous people. This first year's study focuses on exploring the key drivers to engaging highly disadvantaged young Indigenous people in job seeking behaviours as a prerequisite to their future achievement of sustainable employment outcomes.

Reconnecting Disaffected Youth Through Successful Transition to Work

Published: 08/2012
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Employment

This report presents the findings from a five-year Australian Research Council linkage project between yourtown and Griffith University. The report focuses on the social and employment outcomes for 542 young people as they progress through yourtown's social enterprise programs in south-east Queensland, Western Sydney in New South Wales and northern Adelaide and Port Pirie in South Australia. Other research participants include yourtown staff and the businesses that provide the work for young people as part of the program and those who employ graduates of the program. The report also identifies key variables that assist long-term unemployed young people to achieve positive outcomes and make the transition to mainstream employment.

Progressing the dialogue about a framework for Aboriginal evaluations: sharing methods and key learnings

Published: 05/2012
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People

How are Indigenous projects evaluated, by whom and for what purpose? What do Indigenous people want evaluated and how might this be measured? How can non-Indigenous evaluators effectively and respectfully respond to these issues in their evaluation of Indigenous programs? This paper draws on recent experience conducting evaluations with Indigenous groups to address these questions and the important cultural and community factors which have influenced yourtown's evaluation designs and dissemination of findings. This paper was published in the peer-reviewed Evaluation Journal of Australasia.

Evaluation Report Project Job Ready Sep 2012 Archive

Published: 01/2012
Categories: Employment

This report presents the findings from the first year of the Project Job Ready Pilot program; a joint initiative of the Queensland Department of Education Brisbane South Region and Training and yourtown. The aim of the pilot program was to target 50 Year 12 students identified by school staff at four State High Schools in the Brisbane South region. Students were selected on the basis of being at high risk of not making a successful transition from school to work. Findings in this report focus on the social, education and employment outcomes of the young people engaged in the program.

 

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