Developing an evaluation framework for Youth Treatment Orders

October 2019

Professor Ann Roche
Dr Janine Chapman
Mr Allan Trifonoff

Project description: 

The South Australian Government has introduced legislation into Parliament to mandate treatment for a young person under the age of 18 years who are experiencing drug dependency. The Youth Treatment Orders initiative will enable the Youth Court to require identified young people to be assessed medically to determine whether they are drug dependent, a danger to themselves or others, and unlikely to seek treatment voluntarily.

NCETA has been commissioned by Drug and Alcohol Services SA (DASSA) to develop a comprehensive Evaluation Framework to be used to evaluate the South Australian Youth Treatment Orders Initiative.

In developing the Evaluation Framework, NCETA will draw on its extensive experience in developing comprehensive evaluation methodologies. In doing so, we will utilise a detailed, multi-tiered methodology which will:

  1. Examine the legislation, Model of Care and related policy / procedural documents
  2. Identify the most appropriate Evaluation Framework approach and incorporate existing quantitative and qualitative evaluation tools
  3. Identify new data or qualitative information required.

NCETA will consult with DASSA and other key stakeholders to ensure that the evaluation approach reflects the initiative’s goals, and assesses all relevant components of the initiative, as well as any unintended outcomes.

Once developed the Evaluation Framework will address the following elements:

  • Process (e.g. nature of the Youth Treatment Orders initiative and its implementation, strengths and weaknesses)
  • Impact (e.g. number of young people referred to the Youth Court, number of assessment orders, number of treatment orders)
  • Outcome evaluation measures (e.g. using clinical outcome measures via client follow-up).