The Phoenix Youth Outreach Program (PYOP), in Halifax, targets youth aged 16-24 years who are at risk and who are not connected to any services or connected and not satisfied with the support they are receiving from these services. The main goal of PYOP is to provide meaningful service and support to youth where the youth are at; what this looks like will vary for each youth as the program is youth-led.
The RRC’s evaluation team engaged 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 two years. Qualitative data collection included one-on-one interviews with youth and staff, file reviews of active and inactive case records of the Outreach Workers and focus groups with key stakeholders. Qualitative data helped review program inputs and program activities. This data also provided important understanding of the questionnaire data and program outcomes. The evaluation also included a comparison group from the Pathways to Resilience Project. These youth have a similar profile to youth in PYOP as they both are considered at-risk and most youth in the Pathways to Resilience study were not satisfied with the services they were connected with. Annual reports of the evaluation were shared with the PYOP to help improve the program over the course of the pilot project.