A vision statement is a statement of the future ideal you are working towards. For example "our community will be one where children's rights are respected, children are protected and parents have adequate knowledge, skills and links with family, friends and community to parent well".
A mission statement is a statement of purpose. It will usually answer in a creative paragraph or two the following questions:
is the organisation?
A mission statement is like a flag the organisation can hold up that gives the essence of what it is about.
Values are desirable qualities. When talking about values in human services they are often linked with our beliefs and commitments and what we see to be the rights of service users.
For example, values include: people having equal access to services irrespective of their country of origin, respecting the worth and dignity of each person, service users being involved in choices about available services.
values of individuals and organisations will affect
their approaches to service delivery and answers to
such questions as:
For example if a service's values were built around a core value of women should be subservient to men then a quality service might include encouraging women to do as they are told by their partners, service strategies might be highly structured and controlling, and the degree to which women do as they are told by men could be a measure of success.
Alternatively if a service's values were based around the core value of the empowerment of the individual then a quality service might include supporting parents in developing their self esteem, service strategies could include negotiation skills and a measure of success might be the degree to which parents are able to be self-directed.
In this example the first service would consider the second to be a failure and visa versa. Making an organisation's values explicit does not of course mean that these explicit values will be acted on all the time. Statements of values that are too general (too umbrella like) will not be as useful as more specific statements that identify your organisation's values as different from other organisations' values.
There are many different uses of the word need. In human services we are usually focussing on client needs (sometimes we refer to community needs).
A common difficulty in human services is to confuse client needs with strategies (what we do to meet the need).
Client's needs include, for example, the need for food, shelter, friends or self-esteem. In the context of human services a need is likely to be something you have experienced or can imagine experiencing.
Training and counseling are strategies. They are what we do to meet needs. For example we may have a need to gain new skills and undertake some training as a way of meeting the need or we may have a need to get on better with those around us and go to a counselor to help us meet our need.
examples of client needs are:
following are not really examples of client needs;
they are strategies:
Aims and goals are often use interchangeably. In human services aims are general statements of what we intend to achieve in relation to clients needs.
An example of a service aim is: For parents in families under stress to strengthen and enhance their parenting skills. This aim is a broad statement of what we are trying to achieve. Because of this aim/goals are not usually written in a way that we would know whether we have achieved them. (Objectives - see below - are more specific.)
A useful model for writing aims is: For ..........(such and such a group of people) to ...........(gain such and such a benefit). Some examples are:
To run parenting groups is not an aim. It is a strategy that could be used to achieve the aim above about enhancing parenting skills.
Objectives are specific statements of what you intend to achieve. Ideally objectives should be (SMART):
Measurable does not mean that it would be easy to measure but rather that it is possible to tell whether or to what extent the objective has been achieved.
Some examples of objectives are:
An alternative approach to setting objectives is to write objectives such as:
Who will do what, when, to implement the strategies?
its most general the action plan could include a list
of what staff and resources will be needed to implement
the plan and how they will be organised. For example
the action plan could include that the service requires
a Coordinator, Administrative Assistant and three support
workers, what days the staff will work, how many clients
they will see and so on.
The resources used to produce outputs. Inputs include: staff time, cars, capital equipment, buildings, etc
The transformation of inputs to outputs(which ultimately lead to outcomes). In human services we are often referring to the service delivery process. For example counseling is a process where inputs such as staff time and client time are used in such a way as to counsel clients and ultimately achieve some outcomes for clients.
The products or services which are produced or delivered by a program in order to achieve the program's outcomes.
They are what keeps workers busy - activity counts. Examples of outputs are: Number of groups run, number of counseling sessions, number of referrals taken.
Outcomes are what we have achieved. Once we have achieved our aims and objectives they will be outcomes. In human services there should be very close links between client needs, aims and objectives and outcomes. Outcomes should be meeting client needs.
Outcomes are all the impacts or consequences of the services or program (beyond its outputs). Outcomes are often delayed or long term and they may be intended or unintended.
Although programs work towards brining about various outcomes, the outcomes are often beyond the direct control of the program. This makes it difficult to show cause and effect links between the services provided and the outcomes achieved.
Performance information is evidence about performance. Sometimes we use the term performance indicators. This term is used in many different ways. In developing performance indicators two useful questions are: