Quality gifts: Issues in understanding quality volunteering in human services
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Australian Journal of Social Issues, 2005, 40 (3), pp. 411 - 425
- Issue Date:
Organisations providing human services are under increasing pressure to demonstrate quality from a range of sources such as new legislation and new requirements for government funding. Four dimensions for examining quality, derived from program evaluation theory, illustrated some of the contradictions surrounding these expectations. The research used a qualitative and grounded approach to exploring clients', volunteers' and coordinators' notions of quality service. The clients' and volunteers' perceptions of quality were highly experiential, related to the specific context and focussed on strong trusting personal relationships. Clients were also very conscious of their lack of power. Coordinators used a combination of approaches to try to satisfy the demands of clients, volunteers and bureaucracy.
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