Human Services Contracting: A Public Solutions Handbook, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Human Services Contracting

A Public Solutions Handbook, 1st Edition

Edited by Robert A. Shick, Lawrence Martin


170 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138498020
pub: 2019-12-19
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 19th December 2019
Hardback: 9781138498013
pub: 2019-12-19
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 19th December 2019

FREE Standard Shipping!


In the last thirty-five years, governments around the globe have increasingly contracted with non-profit and for-profit entities to provide a portion of the public sector’s portfolio of goods and services. In the United States, child welfare services adopted a pro-contracting approach early, and a variety of other human services have followed suit, including mental health care, job training, homeless services, and others.  This trend can be traced to a variety of factors, including perceived or actual economic efficiencies in outsourcing goods and services, values concerning the role and size of government in society, and the financial and organizational constraints of many government entities. This new volume in the Public Solutions Handbook series is the first volume-length treatment of human services contracting issues, integrating both policy and practice, and exploring a broad range of issues that comprise the field: history, growth, innovations, results and outcomes, best practices, and the future of government human service contracting.

Although human service contracting is a growing public sector phenomenon, little has been written on human service contract management, policy implementation and innovation, performance-based contracting, and evaluation. Chapters in this book examine real human service contracts as case studies, incorporating examples from the US and abroad.  The book is specifically geared toward practitioners in the public sector, from local government service contractors to municipal employees, as well as MPA students and those enrolled in courses on intergovernmental relations and nonprofit management.


The federal government has been dependent on the nonprofit sector to provide human service delivery for decades. This relationship or transactional activity has become a complicated proposition for policymakers, taxpayers, and service providers at the state and local levels, as the funding for health and human services continued to grow despite economic declines. This book lays out the challenges and opportunities to better understand how to assess human services delivery and judge the appropriate rate of return on public investment for good & services delivered. This text should be required in all fiscal management courses for human service professionals.

David Rudder, Springfield College, USA

Co-editors Robert Shick and Lawrence Martin have made a seminal contribution to the literature on human services contracting in terms of its history, current state, and future evolution. The range of innovative contracting policy and practice examples utilized by various chapter authors is national (e.g., Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Utah), as well as international (e.g., Canada and the Netherlands) in scope. Moreover, in-depth case examples of contracting for specialized human services such as child welfare, mental health, and work force development services, helps to make the challenges and rewards of contracting accessible, informative, and thought-provoking.

Karun K. Singh, Rutgers University, USA

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction

1. Overview Robert Shick and Lawrence Martin

2. A Brief History of Human Services Contracting Robert Shick and Lawrence Martin

Part 2: Contracting for Specialized Human Services

3. Contracting for Child Welfare Services Chrystal Collins-Camargo

4. Contracting for Mental Health Services" (to be determined)

5. Contracting in Drug Abuse Services" (to be determined)

6. Contracting in Job Training" (to be determined)

Part 3: Contracting Using Incentive & Performance Approaches

7. Performance-Based Contracting (PBC) Lawrence Martin

8. Social Impact Bonds Tamara Dimitrijevska-Markovski and Lawrence Martin

Part 4: Human Services Contracting in Other Countries

9. Human Services Contracting in Ontario, Canada Rosemary Vito

10. Human Services Contracting in the Netherlands Marsha de Vries

Part 5: The Future of Human Services Contracting

11. Where has Human Services Contracting Been & Where is it Going? Robert Shick and Lawrence Martin

About the Editors

Robert A. Shick is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at John Jay College for Criminal Justice and an

Affiliated Faculty member at Rutgers-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA).

At SPAA. Dr. Shick was the Director of the Executive Master’s in Public Administration Program.

Dr. Shick has extensive experience as a senior manager in New York City government in the

contracting of government services. He is the editor of Government Contracting, (Routledge,

2015), a volume that provides a foundation for all aspects of government contracting. Dr. Shick

served on the Editorial Board of the Journal for Health and Human Services Administration for 15

years, until December 31, 2018.

Lawrence L. Martin is Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida, USA.

Dr. Martin also taught at the Columbia University School of Social Work, where he directed the specialization in social work administration. He has published 42 books and major monographs

and more than 100 professional articles and book chapters.

About the Series

The Public Solutions Handbook Series

The Public Solutions Handbook series is designed to help public sector practitioners build the necessary competencies needed to respond to emerging issues, deliver services that policymakers have promised to the public, carry out their missions efficiently and effectively, and work in partnership with their stakeholders. The series is also geared towards students in graduate-degree programs who are seeking succinct, pragmatic, grounded guidance that will help them succeed in their public administration careers. This includes students in master of public administration (MPA), master of public policy (MPP), master of nonprofit management (MNPM) and even some master of business administration (MBA) and doctor of law (LLD) programs.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare