Established in 2002, the Central Australian Youth Link Up Service (CAYLUS) supports community initiatives aimed at reducing the supply of, demand for, and harms associated with, substance misuse among young people across Central Australia (spanning approximately 900 square kilometres). Youth substance misuse remains a pressing concern in Central Australia. In particular, the work of CAYLUS focuses on the misuse of volatile substances (e.g., petrol sniffing, paint, aerosols), which includes liaising with retailers of high-risk products to assist with their management. CAYLUS also assists remote communities in the development, funding and implementation of youth programs.
To inform the continued improvement of its programs and ensure that its activities are responsive to community needs, CAYLUS is seeking to establish a rolling monitoring and evaluation process for the activities it runs through the CAYLUS Youth Worker Brokerage Program. The Centre of Research in Mental Health and Substance Use (CREMS) aims to generate new research to increase the knowledge base regarding the nature, prevention and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. In addition, a fundamental objective of the CREMS is to build research capacity in this area, and assist community agencies develop and conduct their own research. In keeping with this objective, researchers from the CREMS will assist CAYLUS establish a rolling monitoring and evaluation process for the activities it runs through the Youth Worker Brokerage Program, specifically examining the impact of its programs and activities on local level community crime and petrol sniffing. By improving the capacity of the CAYLUS staff to evaluate and monitor their service, the standard of youth programs may be informed and improved, and the enduring disability associated with substance misuse may be reduced.
Stage 1 of the evaluation was completed in February 2016. The Executive Report is available for download here.
Stage 2 of the evaluation of the CAYLUS Youth Worker Brokerage program commenced in June 2016, and will be ongoing until 2019. In stage 2, CREMS will continue to provide assistance to CAYLUS in maintain a rolling monitoring and evaluation process for the activities it runs through the CAYLUS Youth Worker Brokerage. The project will examine the ongoing impact and perceived impact of programs and activities supported by this brokerage on local level community crime (particularly crime involving young people) and petrol sniffing.”