UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The programme volunteer in leisure-time agencies : a study of the experiences and attitudes of a sample volunteers in fourteen building-centred agencies in Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, B.C. Pollock, John Orr

Abstract

Leisure-time agencies were planned and operated by-volunteers long before the profession of group work came into existence. They were the motivating force behind the establishment of many of the present day social services now enjoyed by citizens of the nation. Because of the entry of professional workers into the field of leisure-time activity, the importance of a clarification of function between volunteer and professional is apparent. All agencies realize the importance of the volunteer and are anxious to know the best manner by which to recruit, place, train, and recognize him. To obtain information regarding the extent of volunteer participation in leisure-time programmes, and to ascertain their current value in agencies, interviews were arranged with fourteen agency administrators. This information was used throughout the thesis as background material. The factual data, upon which the conclusions of the study are based, was obtained through the analysis of the answers to one hundred and twenty-two questionnaires returned by volunteers active in the fourteen agency programmes. To evaluate volunteer service the thesis is divided into sections, each of which represents an integral part of volunteer participation. Recruitment, selection, and placement are important areas in evaluating volunteer service; motivation and recognition are of vital importance in understanding the performance of the volunteer; in addition, training and supervision must be evaluated. From the general information, the current literature on the subject, and personal observation different kinds of volunteers have been defined and the essential responsibilities of agency and volunteer outlined. Some of the most important findings of the study are those that indicate who serves as volunteers. Information obtained regarding many factors which influence lay participation indicated one factor which has been denied or neglected by some agencies --- the consistent affirmation on the part of volunteers that they want an initial interview, training and supervision on the job, and recognition of their efforts by the agency. The thesis, in as far as it indicates who are programme volunteers, and how they function to meet group, agency, and community needs might prove a profitable basis for study and evaluation of volunteer services in any single agency.

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