Author Lily Trimboli
Published August 2019
Report Type Bureau Brief No. 141
Subject Children, juveniles and young people; Statistical methods and modelling; Evaluation reports
Keywords Youth, randomised controlled trial, process evaluation, interviews

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To determine whether the Youth on Track randomised controlled trial is being implemented as intended and whether there are any unexpected consequences of the trial.


Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 52 stakeholders and available administrative program data were analysed.


While both the processes of referral into, and engagement with, the scheme were perceived to be operating well, some problems were identified with each process, for example, difficulties in contacting or locating the young person. It was noted that participants of the ‘control group’ (Fast Track) are primarily given referrals to, or linkages with, other service providers while young people allocated to the more comprehensive and longer-term Youth on Track intervention receive a variety of support. Stakeholders identified challenges in implementing each intervention. While some stakeholders stated that there were no challenges in referring young people in either intervention to external service providers, others noted a lack of services in the local area, as well as the effects of the service providers’ risk assessments and their waiting lists. Two recurring themes in the stakeholder interviews were the perceived negative ramifications of Fast Track’s shorter timeframe on re-offending risk and concern about the random allocation of young people to an intervention with no consideration of their background, circumstances or need.


Stakeholders believed that each intervention was being implemented as intended. However, the delivery of the two different interventions and the evaluation and randomisation processes had produced some unexpected consequences.

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