Department of Education and Training - Victoria
About this project
The Geelong Project is a place-based model which works to identify and support young people who are at risk of disengaging from education, becoming homeless, experiencing poor mental health, and/or becoming involved with the justice system. The model uses population screening to identify at-risk students. For those who fall within its target cohort, the model offers youth-focused, family-centred casework.
The Geelong Project has an early intervention focus and aims to enable students to remain housed, engaged with education, connected with natural supports, and to manage and resolve issues that may lead to crisis.
In 2019 TGP expanded to four new schools in the Barwon Area. The Victorian Department of Education and Training managed the expansion funding and commissioned Lirata to conduct an independent evaluation of the expansion.
The main purpose of the evaluation is to develop a nuanced understanding of the model and its implementation and impacts in the expansion schools. The evaluation approach includes contribution analysis and a strong realist lens, analysing contextual influences. The methodology includes analysis of surveys, interviews and focus groups with a range of stakeholders including students, family members, school leaders and staff, and service provider representatives. The evaluation also has a substantial outcomes data analysis component, which involves linking de-identified datasets with assistance from the Centre for Victorian Data Linkage.
Lirata has worked closely with stakeholders including the Department of Education and Training, Barwon Child Youth & Family, Upstream Australia, and the seven Geelong Project schools to implement the evaluation, and thanks all of these organisations for their support. The final evaluation report will be provided to the Department of Education and Training in mid 2021.
The main purpose of the evaluation is to develop a nuanced understanding of the model and its implementation and impacts in the expansion schools.