Importance of Quality Assessment in Social Services from the Perspective of Stakeholders

Jan Siska, Jiri Kohout, Pavel Caslava, Zuzana Truhlarova

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to find out the perceived importance of individual domains of prevention and care types in social services across various stakeholders, as well as the preferences for including individual domains in social service quality standards and how they differ among stakeholders and types of service. THEORETICAL BASE: The research is based on Donabedian’s concept distinguishing quality indicators focused on the evaluation of processes, results or impacts of services on their recipients. METHODS: A questionnaire was designed to respect the quality of social service provision as a structural composition of diverse influences. The researched sample consisted of service users, social service providers and representatives of public administration. OUTCOMES: This study demonstrates the relative agreement among the respondents on the importance of the subjective assessment of the quality of clients. A low correlation was found between this perceived importance and the preference for inclusion in standards, primarily for social care services. In the case of social prevention, the values of the correlation coefficient were significantly higher. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The results demonstrate the need to discuss, design and empirically verify quality assessment strategies that would focus not only on the structure and processes, but also on the impact of the services on individuals.

social services, quality assessment, quality of life, perception of importance, quality standards

p. 27-42

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