Portrait of Private Agencies in the Child Welfare System

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National Quality Improvement Center on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services

This report highlights the major results from the National Survey of Private Child and Family Serving Agencies. Nonprofit and for-profit private providers have taken on an expanding role in most states child welfare systems, and little has been done on the macro-level to learn about the finances and programs of these entities.

The survey found that the average provider was led by a CEO or executive director with 10 years at their current position and 24 years of experience in child and family services. Those leaders oversaw agencies that, on average, were 63 years old, had more than 100 full-time employees and provided more than one type of child welfare-related service.

The financial trends identified by the survey are cause for some concern as the federal government and states discuss large cuts to human services. Many private child welfare providers are large – the average budget was more than $20 million, the median was $7.5 million – and 69 percent of the current revenue fueling those budgets came from “government contracts for serving children and families.”

Free, 52 pages. Click here to read the report.