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									                                                               For immediate release


                  SOCIAL SERVICES
Social service users gave a high satisfaction rate of about 80% for the various social
services and programmes run by Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) – this was
revealed in a survey commissioned by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS)
last year. This good score is well above the norm compared to similar client
satisfaction surveys from other sectors. The survey findings were shared with NCSS’s
members at the Annual General Meeting 2009 held on 24 July 2009.

Social Services Right on Track

In the last financial year, NCSS disbursed a total of $178 million, comprising funds
from the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Ministry
of Education, Tote Board and the funds raised by Community Chest to enable 160
VWOs to provide services through 602 social service programmes.

As an added assurance to stakeholders including donors, for the donations received,
NCSS commissioned a user satisfaction survey across seven key programme types
from the three main service sectors, namely the children, youth and family, eldercare
and disability services last year. The 74 programmes included a good mix of family
service centres, home help services agencies, elderly befriending service, social day
care centres for elderly, as well as sheltered workshops and day activity centres for
persons with disabilities. These programmes were selected as they have an immediate
impact and serve the basic needs of the service users or they serve the long-term needs
of the service users where lack of provisions will have adverse consequences on the
service users and the sector in the long run.

Funded by the MCYS, the survey, which was carried out for the first time in the social
service sector, set out to ascertain the level of users’ satisfaction with the programmes;
evaluate the effectiveness of the services provided; and identify the areas of service
that needed improvement in order to meet the desired service standards.
“The user satisfaction survey complements the existing client questionnaire which is
done after the completion of each service programme. In line with our focus to track
the impact of social services provided to the community and to enhance accountability
and assurance to stakeholders, this comprehensive survey provided insights into the
key drivers of user satisfaction,” said Ms Tina Hung, Deputy Chief Executive Officer,

Ms Hung added: “Another advantage of the survey is the invaluable feedback given
by the service users that will help social service agencies to identify key strengths as
well as areas for service improvement. Through this, we hope that social service
professionals would be given the recognition for the good work done.”

VWOs Scored High on Confidentiality, Staff Engagement and Cultural

74 programmes administered by 42 VWOs were surveyed and a total of 1,801 service
users and caregivers were interviewed via home visits, on-site visits and telephone
interviews. Across the various programmes, service users were satisfied with the way
the services were delivered and they gave high mean scores ranging from 4.81 to 5.46
out of 6.001 for the attributes measured.

Social service personnel in these programmes were given the recognition and
appreciation as reflected in the high satisfaction level. Areas that service users were
most satisfied included:
    Confidentiality – assurance that user’s information shared is kept strictly
    Staff Engagement – sensitivity to needs of user shown by professionals,
      courteous, respectful and helpful attitude shown by staff in VWOs in general.
    Cultural Sensitivity – respect for user’s religion, beliefs and culture.

Some service users commented that they were happy with the centre staff and
volunteers as they were friendly and showed concern for them.

Madam Agnes Png, a service user who suffers from spinal canal stenosis, is currently
under the Home Help Service programme provided by Dorcas Home Care. She is
provided with hot meals, laundry and escort services to the hospital for her medical
appointment. “I am grateful for the home help services provided, which allows me to
live independently in the community. I am happy with the services provided,” said
Madam Agnes.

“The feedback was helpful in strengthening my staff’s responsiveness to our clients
and raising our service standards. This is one way to benchmark our services with
other organisations. It will also be another important milestone for Fei Yue to seek
continual improvement in providing quality social services,” said Mr Leng Chin Fai,
Director, Fei Yue Family Service Centre (Yew Tee).

 A 6-point Likert scale was used to measure the respondent’s level of agreement. The midpoint of the scale is
at 3.50. Scores above 3.50 would be considered positive.
The key drivers of service user satisfaction identified in the survey included staff
competency and responsiveness, feedback channel, service product and staff
accessibility. Please refer Annex A for the attributes measured and key drivers of
service users’ satisfaction for the three sectors.

Another Round of Survey Underway

NCSS is currently conducting the second round of the service user satisfaction survey
where 36 programmes from six programme types including Hospice Home Care, and
Special Schools will be surveyed. Details of the survey findings will be available at
the end of the year.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms Kong Chui Fun                           Ms Goh Siew Hian
Corporate Communications Manager           Assistant Director
Corporate Communications Division          Corporate Communications Division
National Council of Social Service         National Council of Social Service
Tel: 6210 2636                             Tel: 6210 2638
Email:           Email:

Issued by:   Corporate Communications Division
             National Council of Social Service
             28 July 2009
                                                                            Annex A

Key attributes for measurement of user satisfaction

Attributes                Definition
Centre assessibility     - User is able to access information on the centre’s
                         - User can reach the centre easily
Staff assessibility        User is able to contact staff/ volunteer easily

Staff competency         - Staff explains programme’s objectives and benefits
                           clearly to user
                         - Staff explains services clearly to user
                         - Staff is able to communicate with user
                         - Staff has good knowledge about services/ where to
                           access services / where information is available
Staff responsiveness     - Staff discusses/ explores solutions/ recommend services
                           suitable for user
                         - Staff follows up with user’s requests/ queries/ comments
Staff engagement         - Staff is sensitive to user’s needs/ disabilities
                         - Staff treats user with courtesy and respect
                         - Staff is helpful to user in general
Cultural sensitivity       User’s religion, beliefs and culture are respected
Confidentiality            Staff assures user that information shared is kept
Feedback channels          User is aware of how feedback can be provided
Outcome                  - The agency’s programme has met/ catered to user’s
                         - The quality of the agency’s servicfes has met user’s
                         - User is likely to recommend others to make use of the
                           services provided by the agency
                         - Overall, user is satidfied with the services that the
                           agency has provided
Key Drivers of Satisfaction across the three key service sectors

Programme Type            Key Drivers of User Satisfaction
Children, Youth & Family Services
Family Service Centres    Staff     competency       and      staff
Eldercare Services
Day Care Centres          Feedback channels, staff competency
                          and centre environment/ facilities
Home Help Services        Staff responsiveness, service product,
                          centre accessibility, feedback channel
                          and cultural sensitivity
Befriending Service       Volunteer/ staff competency, feedback
                          channel and staff engagement
Disability Services
Sheltered Workshops       Service product, staff accessibility,
                          Feedback channel, service product,
                          cultural sensitivity
Day Activity Centres      Staff engagement/ empowerment, staff

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