Interim Evaluations Report

Executive Summary

The COSS Model is underpinned by research

The ‘community of schools and services’ model or COSS Model is conceptually robust and underpinned by a diverse body of research evidence.


There is evidence of a significant prevention of homelessness

Between 2013-2016, the number of adolescents entering the Specialist Homelessness Service system in Geelong declined by 40 percent from a 10-year base line of 230 to a new post-TGP base line of about 100 cases.

106 young people presenting as homeless at the Youth Entry Point during 2016; only six were students from the three pilot schools; another 22 were early school leavers from the pilot schools who became homeless after leaving school; 80 percent of young clients came from other areas and schools. The three pilot schools were selected because about 60% of homeless youth seemed to come from these schools and their catchment areas.

On average, about 1.6 percent of students are highly at-risk of becoming homeless while another 4.3 percent are in situations where risk is indicated.

In total, following the AIAD in 2016, 185 students were screened and decisions made as to the level of support warranted in each case at that point in time in 2016.

Six months later, nine out of ten of these students (89%) were still living at home with their families; only six students from the pilot schools turned up at the Youth Entry Point seeking help for homelessness.

In 20 percent of cases, there was a significant improvement in the home situation, while for 70 percent, it remained stable; deterioration was evident in 3 percent (6) of cases.


There is evidence that school engagement is improving, supported students tend to stay in school or move to TAFE

The school disengagement indicator has showed a shift to improved school engagement since 2013 – from 8.9 percent at high risk of school disengagement or an estimated 197 students to 4.6 percent of about 100 students. This was a 50 percent improvement for this cohort.

After six months, 85 percent of the identified at-risk students remained at school; 14.8 percent had left school early, but some had moved into TAFE.

In 27.9 percent of case there was evidence of improvement, while nearly half of the students (49.2%) remained stable; in 14.8 percent of cases there was deterioration and in 7.1 percent of cases there was significant deterioration in their engagement at school.

Early school leaving has been reduced by about 20 percent for the three pilot schools. In 2013, more students left school early from the three pilot schools than the other nine state secondary schools in Geelong. By 2016, that had been reversed – the majority of early school leavers came from the other schools.


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