Evaluation of the Reconnect Program

Investigators:

Justin Barker, Peter Humphries, Morag McArthur, Lorraine Thomson

Funding Source:

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Aim:

This evaluation of 'Reconnect' assessed the appropriateness and effectiveness of responses and intervention strategies for working with young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It examined the extent to which Reconnect services implemented early intervention strategies that directly helped them to achieve their intended objectives. The findings from the evaluation will inform the future direction of Reconnect.

The project was guided by the proposed key evaluation questions outlined by FaHCSIA:

  • Which early intervention strategies are most effective for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness?
  • Which of these identified strategies are practically applied by Reconnect service providers?
  • Which, if any, of these strategies are more or less effective for specific demographics targeted by the Reconnect Program?

Using a mixed-methods approach, the evaluation incorporated both qualitative and quantitative methods. It drew upon existing data and reviews and collected new data for analysis. An international literature review was produced that outlines available evidence addressing strategies for working with young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Outputs:

Research monographs

Barker, J., Humphries, P., McArthur, M., & Thomson, L. (2012). Literature Review: Effective interventions for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Barker, J., Humphries, P., McArthur, M., & Thomson, L. (2012). Reconnect: Working with young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Association publications

Barry, E., & Barker, J. (2013). Interventions and practice principles for supporting young people who are homeless. Research to Practice Series, Issue 1, March. Canberra: Institute of Child Protection Studies, ACU.