Overview of the National Evaluation of On Track Phase Two


For a comprehensive overview of the theoretical background to the On Track programme and the key principles of the National Evaluation study click Theoretical paper



A consortium led by the Policy Research Bureau was commissioned to conduct the National Evaluation of Phase Two of On Track, an initiative now part of the Children’s Fund and administered by Department for Education and Skills.  The other consortium members for the evaluation were the National Centre for Social Research and Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science (University of London).  

On Track, established in 24 areas across England and Wales, was originally devised by the Home Office in 1999 as a pilot or ‘demonstration’ programme as part of their wider Crime Reduction Programme (CRP). The aim of the CRP is to reduce crime by designing preventative and responsive measures based on researched and evidence-based initiatives that demonstrate what works in crime prevention. The On Track model consists of five “core” types of intervention with families and young people aged 4-12 years old: home visiting, pre-school education, parent support and training, family therapy and family/school partnerships. There was also a further "specialist" category of intervention. The aim was to target risk factors for youth crime and boost protective factors. The first phase of the On Track evaluation was conducted by the University of Sheffield. 

What did the research focus on? 

The overarching aims of Phase Two of the National Evaluation were: 

How well did On Track work to reduce known risk factors for crime and related poor outcomes?  How well did it bolstered potential protective factors for the children, families and communities it served? 

What shape and form did On Track take? What has been the experience of On Track practitioners in setting up and delivering the services?  What have been the experiences of On Track users? 

What did the research involve? 

Phase Two consisted of seven strands of research: 

Timescale and final products of the research 

Each strand of the evaluation provides a final stand-alone report. In addition, a report synthesising the findings of all strands will be available in early 2008.

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National Evaluation of On Track Phase Two

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