Evaluation of Selected Victorian Child Youth and Mental Health Reform Initiatives, Stage 1: Preliminary Investigation (Victorian department of Health)

Project Type - Mental health, Program evaluation and review


The Department of Health (the Department) appointed HOI to undertake the preliminary investigation (Stage 1) for the Evaluation of selected Victorian Child and Youth Mental health reform initiatives.


The following initiatives were within the scope of this evaluation:

  • Two child and youth mental health service redesign demonstration projects (Demonstration Projects);
  • Selected Health Services that have undertaken broader child and youth mental health reform/system redevelopment (two sites); and
  • Six youth early intervention teams (YEIT).


The principal goals of the evaluation were to: 

  • Develop a clear picture of what has been put in place and/or redesigned and why this approach was taken. This included how additional and existing resources were been utilised; and
  • Identification and assessment of the service development and reform processes used by services and their services partners to bring about the intended change.


Principal methodological components included the following:

  • HOI developed a detailed evidence based consultation framework to guide the investigation process and ensure evaluation objectives are addressed.  The development of the framework was informed by a review of documentation provided including the draft program logic models prepared by the Department specifically to assist the evaluation. The framework identified the key domains to be addressed, data to be collected to support the analysis, and the type of consultation to be used.  Preliminary consultations with key experts were conducted to confirm the relevance and review of program documentation.
  • Consultations were conducted with lead agencies (face-to-face), Department of Health regional offices (telephone consultations), and consortium member agencies and partners (focus groups).
  • The data collected from the stakeholder consultations was subjected to triangulation analysis against the preliminary investigation objectives and Lines of Enquiry
  • A final report was developed which involved synthesising the information from the documentation review, interviews and undertaking an analysis of performance of the CYMHS reform initiatives against the consultation framework.


Consistent with the consultation framework the assessment of the CYMHS reform initiatives, HOI produced a final report which focused on the following key result areas:

  • Key reforms and system impacts, with specific reference to appropriateness and effectiveness of governance structures; service reconfiguration; leadership and support; and reform actions
  • Enablers and critical success factors
  • The key local and systemic challenges
  • Implications for Stage 2 of the evaluation.