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National Homeless Advice Service

Evaluate the effectiveness of your service

It is important to establish the criteria for assessing the effectiveness of the services.


When assessing the effectiveness of the services provided to young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, there are three criteria to consider:

  • Is the joint protocol clear, legally accurate and geared to the best possible outcomes for young people, including a focus on joint preventative work?
  • Is the assessment and options process performing within the timescales and information-sharing criteria established by the protocol?
  • Are the outcomes for young people the best that can reasonably be achieved?

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There are considerable challenges in each of these areas which need to be addressed, including:

  • establishing a shared vision, and commitment, to young people and their needs, and a shared (correct) interpretation of the law
  • sharing data and/or establishing systems which can be interrogated
  • recording outcomes for young people from the point of first contact onwards, in a consistent and longitudinal way

The process of preparing a joint protocol is likely to indicate the extent of each of these challenges in each locality. Experience so far has shown that in some areas these challenges have proved impossible to overcome. The government is monitoring the position.

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Shelter has published a benchmarking guide to joint working between services. It provides a useful model, examples and assessment criteria for achieving good outcomes for children and young people in housing need, including governance, strategy, processes and delivery. Further sources of information and guidance are listed in the bibliography.

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