The Resilience Research Centre // rrc@dal.ca // +1 902 494 3050

Local Evaluations

The Youth Advocate Program

The Youth Advocate Program targets youth between the ages of 9 – 14 who show a risk of gang-involvement and engagement in criminal behaviour in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The main goal of the YAP is to reduce youths’ involvement with gangs by addressing factors such as lack of school attachment and role models, self-esteem, engagement in anti-social behaviours, family relationships, bullying, and gang membership. The YAP uses an adapted WRAPAROUND approach to intervention, where they aim to connect disadvantaged youth and their families to a range of supports and resources that address multiple needs in a comprehensive manner.

The RRC’s evaluation team engaged in both quantitative and qualitative data collection to explore the program inputs, program activities and program outputs. As a means of evaluating the measurable outcomes of the program, the questionnaire youth complete upon entry into the program, is completed again once every six months while in the program and then upon exiting the program for the following two years. Qualitative data collection included one-on-one interviews with youth and parent(s)/caregiver(s)/legal guardian(s), file reviews of active and inactive case records of the YAWs and focus groups with stakeholders (e.g. management team, advisory committees and the YAP staff). Qualitative data helped review program inputs and program activities. This data also provided important understanding of the questionnaire data and program outcomes. Quarterly and annual reports of the evaluation were shared with the YAP to help improve the program over the course of the pilot project.

The Phoenix Youth Outreach Program

The Phoenix Youth Outreach Program (PYOP), in Halifax, targets youth aged 16-24 years who are at risk and who are not connected to any services or connected and not satisfied with the support they are receiving from these services. The main goal of PYOP is to provide meaningful service and support to youth where the youth are at; what this looks like will vary for each youth as the program is youth-led.

The RRC’s evaluation team engaged in both quantitative and qualitative data collection to explore the program inputs, program activities and program outputs. As a means of evaluating the measurable outcomes of the program, the questionnaire youth complete upon entry into the program, is completed again once every six months while in the program and then upon exiting the program for the following two years. Qualitative data collection included one-on-one interviews with youth and staff, file reviews of active and inactive case records of the Outreach Workers and focus groups with key stakeholders. Qualitative data helped review program inputs and program activities. This data also provided important understanding of the questionnaire data and program outcomes. The evaluation also included a comparison group from the Pathways to Resilience Project. These youth have a similar profile to youth in PYOP as they both are considered at-risk and most youth in the Pathways to Resilience study were not satisfied with the services they were connected with. Annual reports of the evaluation were shared with the PYOP to help improve the program over the course of the pilot project.

CeaseFire

CeaseFire targets youth between the ages of 16-24 who are interconnected with the drug trade and also enmeshed in a culture of high violence, with a specific focus on youth and young adults of African Nova Scotian heritage. The main goal of CeaseFire is to reduce and prevent gun and other types of violence within the HRM. CeaseFire is an International Replication site for the Cure Violence model which originally began in Chicago. 

The RRC’s evaluation team will engage in both quantitative and qualitative data collection to explore the program inputs, program activities and program outputs. As a means of evaluating the measurable outcomes of the program, the questionnaire youth complete upon entry into the program, is completed again once every six months while in the program and then upon exiting the program for the following four years. Qualitative data collection included one-on-one interviews with youth and staff, file reviews of active and inactive case records of the staff and focus groups with stakeholders (e.g. management team, advisory committees including police and probation officers, faith leaders, and local service providers). Qualitative data will help us review program inputs and program activities. This data also will provide an important understanding of the questionnaire data and program outcomes. Quarterly and annual reports of the evaluation will be shared with CeaseFire to help improve the program over the course of the pilot project. 

Souls Strong

Souls Strong targets young African Nova Scotian men between the ages of 15-20 who are involved in or at risk of engaging in gang and/or criminal activity. The main goal of Souls Strong is to prevent young men from engaging in gang related activities, anti-social and criminal behaviours while enhancing community safety. Souls Strong, an extension to the Youth Advocate Program, uses an adapted WRAPAROUND approach to intervention, where they aim to connect disadvantaged youth and their families to a range of supports and resources that address multiple needs in a comprehensive manner. 

The RRC’s evaluation team will engage in both quantitative and qualitative data collection to explore the program inputs, program activities and program outputs. As a means of evaluating the measurable outcomes of the program, the questionnaire youth complete upon entry into the program, is completed again once every six months while in the program and then upon exiting the program for the following five years. Qualitative data collection included one-on-one interviews with youth and staff, file reviews of active and inactive case records of the staff and focus groups with stakeholders (e.g. management team, advisory committees including police, faith leaders, and local service providers). Qualitative data will help us review program inputs and program activities. This data also will provide an important understanding of the questionnaire data and program outcomes. Quarterly and annual reports of the evaluation will be shared with Souls Strong to help improve the program over the course of the pilot project. 

 

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