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What do service users think of evaluation? Evidence from family support

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Programme evaluators increasingly strive to capture how service users experience child and family welfare programmes. Yet user involvement is rare in a more routine form of evaluation: performance measurement. This paper considers how service users' perspectives can help improve the performance indicators that inform child and family service funding, management and planning. Qualitative research, conducted in family support contexts in New South Wales, Australia, identifies five user-defined domains upon which indicators can be based. As well as showing how parents judge service quality and outcomes, the findings also show how they experience data collection, and how they prefer to participate in the routine performance measurement and monitoring that informs child and family welfare provision.

Keywords: evaluation; family support; performance measurement; service users; user involvement

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2206.2007.00495.x

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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