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.