ERIC Number: ED236489
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
The Utilization of Volunteers: A Comparative Study of London and New York City.
McClam, Tricia; Spicuzza, Frank J.
Both British and American social welfare systems rely on volunteers during the financially constrained years of the 1980's. To investigate how London and New York agencies recruit, screen, train, use, and evaluate social services volunteers, surveys were completed by 44 New York agencies (a 46 percent response rate; 17 public, 27 private), and by 55 London agencies (45, or 28 percent were adequate for data analysis; 12 public, 32 private). An analysis of the results showed that more New York agencies (89 percent) used volunteers than did London agencies (66 percent). Overall, recruitment, screening, orientation/training, and evaluation/recognition methods were similar. For recruitment, both agencies used personal contact, churches, religious organizations, and brochures. Prospective volunteers were asked for basic identifying information as well as interests and references. Agencies screened applicants by interview, application forms, and letters of reference, and in London through probationary periods. Orientation programs, consisting of on-the-job training and meetings/lectures, were provided in all London agencies, and by 32 of the 39 New York agencies recruiting volunteers. Out-of-pocket expenses were reimbursed in London but not New York. Volunteers were predominantly female and were supervised by a designated member of the professional staff; they provided direct services to clients and some clerical services. Observation was the primary method of performance evaluation and a letter of appreciation was the most popular method of recognition, although New York agencies provided such recognition more frequently than London agencies. Future volunteer programs should take into consideration these variables in developing satisfying programs for their volunteers. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York; United Kingdom (London)