An independent analysis of Queensland’s groundbreaking Transition 2 Success program has found it is getting great results.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer said the program helps troubled young people, including many with a history of offending, to reconnect with education, training, employment and life skills.
Ms Farmer said that of the young people who completed the program, three quarters of them had not committed any offences in the following six months.
She said more than half (57%) of the young people who had a history of offending and who then completed the program did not reoffend within six months.
“This is a vocational training and therapeutic service with voluntary participation designed to reduce offending by previous offending or prevent offending by at-risk young people,” Ms Farmer said.
“I know from having met some of the young people who have taken part in the program and from having attended graduations that it is having a major impact on their lives.
“It is inspiring how, with help from this program, many of these young people have completely turned their lives around.
“That’s why my Department engaged Deloitte Access Economics to undertake an evaluation of the program to assess how effective it is in reducing youth offending and achieving results.”
Ms Farmer said the evaluation started in September 2017 and focussed on outcomes from all T2S sites across the state. Interviews were undertaken with young people, families and community partners in Townsville, Caboolture, Western Districts, Bundaberg and on the Sunshine Coast.
“We know that T2S includes a large number of young people who have been in contact with Youth Justice and are often at a high risk of offending and have high levels of need due to disadvantage they have experienced in their lives,” she said.
“These young people are at a significant risk of disengaging from education and training and having continued contact with the justice system.
“I’m really pleased to say that the final report found T2S participants who successfully complete their course have much lower levels of re-offending.
“This means these young people can have the hope and opportunity of a better life, and it means out communities are safer because of reduced offending rates.”
The evaluation compared a sample of the Youth Justice population with T2S participants with prior offending history. The two groups were matched on a number of characteristics, including risk level, gender, age, offending characteristics, location and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status.
Ms Farmer said the completion rate for young people enrolled in the T2S program was 81%, while the completion rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people enrolments was 82%.
“T2S works closely with education, employment and training, and it was fantastic to see 95% of young people are transitioning into one of these pathways, or another T2S course,” she said.
“T2S is about doing everything we can to break the cycle of youth offending.
“We know for youth in detention the reoffending rates can be as high as 85 per cent so we want to back programs like T2S to help keep young people out of detention.”