How do we know if the services we provide really improve the lives of the people we work with? How do we know if the people we work with are satisfied their experience of our work and / or our service?

The obvious answer is to ask them.

It is generally held that the reason services exist is to make the lives of the people they serve better. However, it is not always easy for services to know if the support they provide is optimal or even effective. It’s also difficult for funders to know if people are satisfied with the services they are funding.

It is common for services ask questions such as:

  • What do people really want/ need from us?
  • Are we really focusing our efforts in the right area?
  • Does what people want match with what we are funded to provide?
  • Are there gaps we don’t know about?
  • Are our services sufficiently flexible and responsive?

Services may report on units and hours delivered, however while these may speak to the nature and quantity of services, they do not necessarily tell us about the experience of those receiving services. Ultimately, the quality of the service is judged by the people who use them.

In the following pages, you will find a range of tools and resources that will assist you in finding out the best way to do this for your service and the people that use your service.

An Oxford University study that followed 3000 children from early childhood to age 16 has found that a child is more likely to have better grades and earn higher wages if they attended preschool. The results of the Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary project found that the effect of a...


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