Introduction to outcomes

If you manage a community service organisation in Queensland, your first encounter with outcomes may be when negotiating your next service agreement.  This might lead you to think outcomes are only about reporting back to your funding body.

Outcomes for clients and their family are the reason we deliver services!  They are also the way we show accountability to our clients, staff and government for the funding we receive.

A useful definition from Robert Penna (2014) is

An outcome is the direct, intended beneficial effect on the stakeholders or interests our work exists to serve.  Outcomes may be hard or soft but all require measurement using appropriate tools and processes.

From a funding body perspective, outcomes are a statement of what they are buying from your service and they will form part of your contract. 

From an organisational perspective, outcomes are a statement of what your service offers.  They specify what you deliver, to whom, over what time and place, to what standard.  They should be definable, measurable and easily understood by both funding body and client.

From a client or family perspective, outcomes should directly match the goals you have indicated you need assistance with.

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