• Dec 2007/Jan 2008
  • Vol. 8, No. 11

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Assessing Readiness for a Privatized Child Welfare System

A new paper developed by the Child Welfare Privatization Initiative, Assessing Site Readiness: Considerations About Transitioning to a Child Welfare Privatized System, helps child welfare administrators consider key issues before making the transition to a privatized system of service delivery. The paper is organized around 12 questions that encourage agencies to explore the reasons why they are considering privatizing services and whether or not privatization will help them meet the goals of reduced costs and improved outcomes. Some of these questions include:

  • What is the level of stakeholder support for privatization?
  • Is there viable competition in the marketplace to deliver target services?
  • Are roles and responsibilities clear between the public and private sectors?
  • Will privatizing services alone bring about improved outcomes, or will the agency need to implement other reforms in tandem with privatization to improve systems performance?

This paper is the first in a series funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The project will produce five more technical assistance papers on a range of topics to provide insight on factors that should be considered when approaching or improving upon privatization efforts. Research is drawn from a number of sources, including the work conducted under the Quality Improvement Center on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services, funded by the Children's Bureau in 2005.

Assessing Site Readiness was written by Elizabeth Lee and Karl Ensign of Planning and Learning Technologies, Inc., in partnership with the Urban Institute, and is available online:

http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/CWPI/site/report.pdf (PDF - 185 KB)

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