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National Evaluation of On Track Phase Two

Tracking Strand

Lead organisation: Policy Research Bureau

A consortium led by the Policy Research Bureau was commissioned to conduct the National Evaluation of Phase Two of On Track, a major initiative funded by the Derpartment for Education and Skills, as part of the Children's Fund, aimed at reducing youth crime. The other consortium members were the National Centre for Social Research and the Jill Dando Institute for Crime Science, University College 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 was 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 consisted of six 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 home-school partnerships; plus a sixth 'specialist' category. 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?

This strand of the evaluation collected data to provide central monitoring information about each of the 24 On Track areas individually, and about On Track as a whole. The data collected were both descriptive and interpretative, giving a picture of the 'shape' of On Track. They provided information critical to the analysis of the impact of the programme as a whole - for example, by indicating what services were provided by the projects, and how many users were reached.

What did the research involve?

Data were collected from projects at two main levels:

Data on interventions that exist within each project - descriptive data on the nature of each intervention;

Data on the users of each intervention - descriptive data on the numbers, demographics, referral routes and service history of users.

Data were collected by projects using a bespoke database designed by the research team. Anonymised returns to the research team were then analysed at project level and in aggregate.

Timescale and final products of the research

The work programme for this strand of the On Track evaluation consisted of two main components:

  • Analysis of Phase One data up to March 2003.
  • Develop and implement a system for collection and analysis of data from Phase Two.

The full report was published in May 2006.

See Publications for details

Last updated February 2008