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Premier’s Youth Initiative — Service Improvement Study
Last registered on November 07, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Premier’s Youth Initiative — Service Improvement Study
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002563
Initial registration date
November 02, 2017
Last updated
November 07, 2017 2:13 AM EST
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Melbourne
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Centre for Evidence and Implementation
PI Affiliation
Centre for Evidence and Implementation
PI Affiliation
Behavioural Insights Team
PI Affiliation
University of Melbourne
PI Affiliation
Centre for Evidence and Implementation
PI Affiliation
Behavioural Insights Team
PI Affiliation
Centre for Evidence and Implementation
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2017-11-27
End date
2020-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Youth homelessness is a significant problem in New South Wales, Australia, where young people aged 15 to 24 years constitute a substantial share of Specialist Homelessness Services clients. This is especially concerning because homelessness itself has significant impacts on young people's education, physical and mental health, as well as involvement in social networks.
The Premier’s Youth Initiative is a major undertaking developed by the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) that aims to prevent homelessness among at-risk young people leaving care and divert them from the homelessness service system altogether.
The Initiative service model has been designed to provide a combination of personal advice, education and employment mentoring, transitional accommodation support and long-term accommodation. At the core of the initiative is the concept of a personal advisor who can co-ordinate adolescents' transition from care into adulthood.
This evaluation will employ a randomised controlled trial design, in which eligible participants are allocated to either receive the Premier's Youth Initiative (the treatment condition) or FACS's Business As Usual (BAU) services (the control condition). The intervention will be compared to FACS’s usual service offering for youth leaving the out-of-home care system. The use of a randomised experimental design is an important part of this project, as it will provide the most robust evidence in a field where little evaluation currently takes place.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Albers, Bianca et al. 2017. "Premier’s Youth Initiative — Service Improvement Study." AEA RCT Registry. November 07. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2563-3.0.
Former Citation
Albers, Bianca et al. 2017. "Premier’s Youth Initiative — Service Improvement Study." AEA RCT Registry. November 07. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2563/history/22965.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The Premier’s Youth Initiative aims to prevent homelessness among at risk young people leaving care and divert them from the homelessness service system altogether. The Initiative service model has been designed to provide a combination of
- mentoring-like support through personal advisor, who can co-ordinate adolescents transition from care to adulthood,
- education and employment mentoring,
- transitional accommodation support and long-term accommodation.

The initiative was designed by FACS and will be further developed using a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) process.

Intervention Start Date
2017-11-27
Intervention End Date
2020-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Homelessness, reduction or delay of risk factors and consequences for homelessness
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Homelessness:
• Whether or the participant was homeless at any time during the trial period
• The number of days that the participant was homeless during the trial period (0 to total number of days in the trial)

Prevention or delay of risk factors and consequences of homelessness:
• Number of contacts with Specialist Homelessness Services
• The Personal Wellbeing Index (aggregated score across 7 items)
• DSM 5 cross-cutting symptom measure (aggregated score across 23 items)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes will be measured along the domains home, health, education, economic outcomes, safety and empowerment.
Service use and intensity as well as academic achievement will be assessed using administrative data.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The secondary outcomes will be tracked using validated measures:
• Home: Housing Instability Questionnaire from the California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study
• Social and Community: Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale; Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire
• Empowerment: General Self Efficacy Scale
• Health: DSM-5 Self-Rated Level 1 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measure - Adult
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Participants will be young people leaving out of home care in New South Wales (NSW) regions Central Coast, Hunter New England, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Nepean Blue Mountains, South Western Sydney, Southern NSW and Western NSW.
In addition to location, participation criteria are:
- the young person is between 16.5 and 18 years old,
- the young person is leaving Statutory out-of-home care
- the young person is at risk or likely to be homeless upon leaving care.

All youth in the target locations who are, or will turn, age 17 during the study recruitment period (FY 2017-2019) and who meet one or more of the four inclusion criteria above will be eligible to participate. All young people who meet these criteria will be invited to participate in the trial and join the evaluation.

Participating young people will be randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Immediately after consent has been received but latest within 30 days, a baseline assessment will be conducted by a dedicated consent worker.

Outcomes will be tracked using validated measures. The measures will be taken at a minimum of three time points that correspond to the age of the young person:
1. Initial assessment: Within 6 months of their 17th birthday
2. Second assessment: Within 2 months prior to their 18th birthday or 2 months prior to exiting out-of-home care
3. Third assessment: Within 2 months prior to their 19th birthday or 12 months after transitioning from out-of-home care

These time points were chosen as they correspond to the beginning of the intervention (Initial assessment), when the young person is still in OOHC (Second assessment), and when the anticipated effect of the intervention is most likely to be felt (Third assessment and admin data).

To augment the information collected through surveys the evaluation will also employ administrative data collected continuously for the duration of the study.

Experimental Design Details
Since all potential participants will be residing in out-of-home care, eligible youth can be identified using administrative data provided by FACS. In order to avoid delays in case management processes and unnecessary burden for participants, young people will be randomly assigned to intervention or control group prior to their consent. However, the participants’ case worker (and anyone involved in the allocation process) will not know the allocation result for the participant prior to consent and administration of the baseline assessment. After the client's case worker has completed the consent process and baseline assessment, FACS and providers will be informed about whether a youth was allocated PYI or BAU so they can begin delivering each of these services.
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Randomization will be conducted at the individual level, i.e. young people will be randomly assigned to the intervention or control group.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Minimum of 250 young people leaving statutory out-of-home care. Based on preliminary analyses, we anticipate approximately 1000 youth to participate in this study over the duration of two years.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Minimum of 250 young people leaving statutory out-of-home care. Based on preliminary analyses, we anticipate approximately 1000 youth to participate in this study over the duration of two years.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum sample size:
Treatment condition: 125 young people.
Control condition: 125 young people

Expected sample size:
Treatment condition: 500 young people
Control condition: 500 young people
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We estimate the power for our key outcome variable, the proportion of those leaving out-of-home-care that become homeless within the first year of leaving out-of-home-care using the following assumptions: • The baseline rate of those leaving out-of-home-care becoming homeless within the first year is 30 per cent • We will have 1,000 individuals in the trial • Our analysis will be clustered at the region level, and include controls for the region • Conservative assumptions on the variation in outcomes and between regions (standard deviation of 10 per cent at both levels) Based on these assumptions, we estimate that we will be able to detect a treatment effect of approximately 8 percentage points at 80% power. This shows that we are powered to detect a difference if the treatment group has a homelessness rate of 22 per cent or less after the first year.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Behavioural and Social Sciences Human Ethics Sub-Committee at The Univeristy of Melbourne
IRB Approval Date
2017-10-16
IRB Approval Number
1749520
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS