Reducing Youth Reoffending: Qualitative outcomes evaluation

Published: September 25, 2023

This report explores the findings from a qualitative outcomes evaluation of the Reducing Youth Reoffending in South Auckland Social Bond Pilot (the Pilot), initiated in partnership with Genesis Youth Trust (Genesis).


The Reducing Youth Reoffending in South Auckland Social Bond Pilot (the Pilot) was initiated in partnership with Genesis Youth Trust (Genesis). The Pilot is part of an exploration of the use of social bonds in Aotearoa New Zealand, an initiative whereby private investment funds the delivery of programmes and services to improve social outcomes.

Oranga Tamariki commissioned a qualitative outcomes evaluation of the initiative. The evaluation design was informed by collaboration with Oranga Tamariki personnel (Youth Justice representation from the national office and regionally, the Evidence Centre team and the contracting staff) and VOYCE-Whakarongo Mai advocates. It was then fine-tuned in collaboration with the Genesis management team.

The evaluation was framed by 6 key evaluation questions:

  1. What are the aspirations of rangatahi and their whānau upon entering the Pilot, and to what extent are these being met?
  2. What outcomes or changes have rangatahi and their whānau experienced through their engagement with the Reducing Youth Reoffending in South Auckland Social Bond Pilot?
  3. To what extent do rangatahi and their whānau consider their mana and wellbeing to have been enhanced through their engagement with the Pilot?
  4. What are the features of the Pilot that made a difference? Which of these features should be retained and applied if the model is rolled out elsewhere?
  5. To what extent has the social bonds model:
    • Increased access to services for rangatahi and their whānau?
    • Contribued to the outcomes reported by rangatahi and their whānau?
  6. What changes could be made to the programme model to achieve the anticipated outcomes for rangatahi and whānau?

This work follows on from an earlier process evaluation of the Pilot, see here:

Reducing Youth Offending Social Bond Pilot: Evaluation report

Key findings

The service offered is a holistic, wraparound, rangatahi- and whānau-based service

involving 'a 2-year period of an initial intensive intervention phase and a less intensive follow-up phase. The service is delivered through a Multi-Disciplinary Team made up of a social worker, counsellor and mentor.'

In summary, the evaluation found that:

  • A total of 823 rangatahi were referred to the Service and 607 (74%) were successfully enrolled and engaged with Genesis.
  • Overall, the risk of offending for participants significantly decreased as they progressed through the programme.
  • Rangatahi and whānau achieved their aspirations across the domains of Te Whare Tapa Whā. Positive outcomes were generated across the domains of Te Whare Tapa Whā and these outcomes were sustained.
  • The programme helped to generate a positive and sustainable relationship between the provider, rangatahi and their whānau.
  • The findings provide useful insight as we continue to refine our approach to youth offending and how we contract for services.
  • Youth offending is a highly complex area and this evaluation helps to develop our thinking around how we can continue to work in partnership with communities to reduce youth offending, in the same way the Fast Track protocol is being implemented.