Measuring the Performance of Human Service Programs

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SAGE, 1996 - Political Science - 139 pages
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Social service providers are under increasing pressure to demonstrate that their programmes work. Faced with this demand for greater accountability, providers are turning to performance measurement as a way of illustrating programme efficiency, quality and effectiveness.

The authors of this comprehensive volume discuss why and how performance measures have become an integral part of managing programmes in the social services. They explain the various types of performance measures - including numeric counts, standardized measures and client satisfaction - and assess their advantages and disadvantages. A case study and exercises are a special feature of the book.


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An Idea Whose Time Has Come
Determining the Number of Human Service Programs
Output Performance Measures
Quality Performance Measures
Outcome Performance Measures
Numeric Counts
Standardized Measures
Level of Functioning Scales
Client Satisfaction
Issues in Reporting Performance Measurement Data
Does Performance Measurement Really Make a Difference?
Answers to Exercises From
About the Authors

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Page 127 - Toward Useful Performance Measurement: Lessons Learned from Initial Pilot Performance Plans Prepared Under the Government Performance and Results Act.

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About the author (1996)

Lawrence L. Martin is Professor of Public Affairs, Social Work and Public Administration at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He was previously on the faculty of the Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City where he directed the program in social work administration. He is the author of 20 books and major monographs and over 100 articles and book chapters.

Peter M. Kettner is Professor Emeritus at the Arizona State University School of Social Work. He is the author of six books, 50 articles, monographs, and book chapters on the topics of purchase-of-service contracting, privatization, macro practice in social work, human services planning, and social work administration. Over his 30 year career in academia he served as a consultant to five different state human service agencies and dozens of local nonprofit agencies on their purchase of service contracting practices and in the design and implementation of effectiveness-based planning systems. In retirement he has continued his writing and consultation with local government and nonprofit agencies.

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