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Title: An examination of the voluntary provision of care for adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems, physical disabilities and older people : Grampian, Highland and Edinburgh
Author: Wardell, F. A.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
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Recent government social policies, including those promoting community care and active citizenship, and specific volunteering policy (such as Millenium Volunteers and Project Scotland) have outlined an extended role for volunteers and voluntary organisations in the planning, design and delivery of services. In broad terms, these initiatives assume an untapped pool of volunteers ready and willing to be actively and meaningfully engaged. This research comprises two naturalistic studies which examine the assumptions underlying government policies including engagement, placement, organisation, management and retention of volunteers. Evidence was gathered by direct consultation with active volunteers (n=117) and their managers (n=72). Participants were recruited from organisations working with adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems, physical disabilities and older people across Scotland. This research found that volunteers become involved for many reasons: some young people consider their voluntary work as a ‘stepping-stone’ to employment, others, who feel themselves socially isolated for a number of reasons, report that volunteering is a useful way to gain social support. Volunteers require different levels of training, support and supervision. Tensions may inevitably arise between volunteering as a freely chosen activity by an individual and volunteering as part of contracted service provision by an increasingly professional voluntary organisation. For agencies to meet the demands of contracted service provision clearly defined procedures for selection, induction, training and supervision may be required. Given the inevitable resource implications this has for volunteer-engaging organisations is it unlikely that such an expansion in roles for volunteers would be cost-free. Organisations face a challenge to adapt effectively to the requirements of social policy while maintaining the enthusiasm and commitment of a diverse pool of volunteers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available