Evaluation of the ‘Setting positive challenges for new directions’ project

Researchers

  1. Ms Annette Byron, Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University
  2. Dr Stephanie De La Rue, Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University

Summary

In 2004, the Foundation granted funding to the KASH Aboriginal Corporation for the Setting Positive Challenges for New Directions project, a collaborative community effort to enhance the quality of services of four key agencies whose primary roles and functions were to support and assist people who suffer from alcohol and substance abuse in Mount Isa, Queensland.

The four service providers were Kalkadoon Tribal Council Night Patrol, Jimaylyla Topsy Harry Centre, Arthur Petersens Special Care Centre, and Kalkadoon Aboriginal Sobriety House.

The aim of the project was for the service providers to develop a strategic, coordinated approach to interventions, and to build and strengthen staff knowledge and skills in delivering a range of programs and interventions.

The Foundation commissioned the Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of the project.

Outcomes

The evaluation indicates that the project achieved its objectives in terms of building and strengthening the capacity of a number of key alcohol service providers in Mt Isa. In particular, the project achieved in the area of enhancing and strengthening capacity within staff of the four service providers, and in implementing a range of interventions towards achieving positive outcomes for the target group. These interventions included:

  • Resolving homelessness issues
  • Assisting people in crisis situations
  • Returning people to Country
  • Rehabilitation
  • Diversion from custody
  • Case management
  • Drug and alcohol awareness learning
  • Community awareness and education by staging open days and other community events

However, some of the aims of the project, such as facilitating a strategic, coordinated approach were not fully realised, due to a number of factors that are clearly documented in the evaluation. These factors included the varying levels of project partner input, and the lack of an independent body to facilitate and coordinate the partnership.

References

Byron, A & De La Rue, S 2007 Mount Isa Community Partnerships Project Setting Positive Challenges for New Directions: final evaluation report. Unpublished, Mount Isa: Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University.

FARE continues to fund and undertake research that contributes to the knowledge-base about alcohol harms and strategies to reduce them.

This research is used to inform our approach to evidence-based alcohol policy development, ensuring that the solutions we are advocating for are informed by research. FARE’s research is also often quoted by governments, other not-for-profit organisations and researchers in public discussions about alcohol, demonstrating that FARE is seen as a leading source of information.

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