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July/August 2011Vol. 12, No. 6QIC Assesses Performance-Based Contracting Systems in Child Welfare

In 2005, the Children's Bureau funded the Quality Improvement Center on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services (QIC-PCW) to research and test innovative strategies for implementing performance-based contracting and quality assurance systems (PCB/QA) within a privatized context. The goal of the center was to present data to the child welfare field on research and practice about the best ways for public child welfare agencies to contract with private providers for core services. The QIC-PCW chose its demonstration sites through a competitive proposal process, and in September 2006 the QIC began evaluating the Florida, Illinois, and Missouri sites.

Recently, the QIC published the executive summary to its final report, Cross-Site Evaluation of Performance-based Contracting and Quality Assurance Systems in Child Welfare. The summary includes site descriptions, outcomes, and lessons learned, and it indicates elements for success and tips for the field. The summary identifies four factors that influenced PBC/QA, the public-private partnership, and outcomes:

  • Leadership
  • Resources, budgets, and political climate
  • Data systems
  • Concurrent initiatives

The complete executive summary is available on the QIC website: (645 KB)