Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky AmeriCorps members give program high marks
Kentucky AmeriCorps members consistently rank their satisfaction with their programs higher than the national average, according to a recent survey.
The federal Corporation for National and Community Service released findings of a national survey of AmeriCorps members that gauged satisfaction with state programs and service experiences.
In Kentucky, the AmeriCorps is administered by the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). Nine local programs are in operation across the state, providing services to meet community needs.
“While many factors contributed to the outstanding results of Kentucky’s AmeriCorps member satisfaction survey results, leadership very likely played a significant role in members’ attitudes,” said CHFS Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell. “From the state director’s office through the local AmeriCorps programs, great leadership keeps Kentucky consistently among the states making the greatest investments and reaping the greatest rewards from community service and volunteerism.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the Urban Institute and Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted the latest AmeriCorps State and National Member Satisfaction Survey using a random sample of current and former members.
Kentucky AmeriCorps members indicated a high level of overall satisfaction - 70 percent rated their overall satisfaction as excellent while 56 percent of AmeriCorps members nationally rated their overall satisfaction as excellent.
AmeriCorps members who complete their required terms of service receive an education award worth $4,725 to use at any accredited institution of higher education or to help pay off student loans. More than half of the Kentucky AmeriCorps members participating in the survey said the education award was a significant incentive to join and remain with the program. Nationally, 34 percent of members indicated the education award was a significant incentive.
Satisfaction with program training received an excellent rating from 49 percent of Kentucky members, compared with 44 percent of members nationwide. On a measure of satisfaction with program supervision, 72 percent of Kentucky AmeriCorps members rated supervision excellent, while 56 percent of members nationally said their program supervision is excellent.
“Our member satisfaction survey results are an important tool in our program development, recruitment and continuous improvement efforts,” said Eileen Cackowski, KCCVS director. “The most successful service programs require participants who value their experience and receive personal benefits from it. We have worked hard to make sure Kentucky AmeriCorps not only helps communities address unmet, vital needs, but also provides a meaningful, enjoyable service experience for members we hope leads to a lifelong commitment to volunteerism.”
During the 2005-06 program year that ended Sept. 1:
More than 67,500 Kentuckians directly benefited from the service provided by AmeriCorps members through nine state programs.
AmeriCorps members, in turn, recruited nearly 9,000 community volunteers who provided more than 42,000 hours of service in their hometowns.
Kentucky AmeriCorps members helped build 56 new homes and rehabilitated more than 20 homes for disabled and elderly residents.
More than 4,050 children in grades 1-12 received academic tutoring.
Nearly 16,000 at-risk elderly and disabled received help with everyday living tasks so they could remain in their homes and continue to live independently.
Approximately 600 homeless individuals and families found permanent or transitional housing thanks to housing counseling and related assistance from AmeriCorps members.
About 3,000 Kentuckians benefited from information, activities, screenings and fellowship at 46 community events, including health and safety fairs, organized and staffed by AmeriCorps members.
Ninety-five public assistance recipients became gainfully employed after receiving help, including job counseling and skills mentoring, from AmeriCorps members.
More than 350 youth each completed 15 hours of leadership training and are on their way to making a difference of their own in communities all over Kentucky.
For more information on Kentucky AmeriCorps, call toll free (800) 239-7404 or visit the KCCVS Web site at www.volunteerKY.ky.gov.