1st Edition

Human Services Contracting A Public Solutions Handbook

Edited By Robert A. Shick, Lawrence Martin Copyright 2020
    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the last 35 years, governments around the globe have increasingly contracted with nonprofit and for-profit entities designed to provide a portion of the public sector’s portfolio of goods and services. 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. 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. Although there is strong evidence to suggest that human service contracting is growing over time, scholarship continues to lag on topics related to human service contract management, policy implementation and innovation, performance-based contracting and evaluation.

    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 includes the fields of history, growth, innovations, results and outcomes, best practices and the future of government human service contracting. Chapters in this book examine specific human service contracts, both in the U.S. and abroad, geared to 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.

    List of Tables

    List of Figures

    Introduction Robert A. Shick & Lawrence L. Martin

    PART I: Foundation Chapters

    1. A Brief History of Human Serviced Contracting Robert A. Shick & Lawrence L. Martin

    2. Performance-Based Contracting Lawrence L. Martin

    3. Pay-for-Success Contracting Tamara Dimitrijevska-Markoski & Lawrence L. Martin

    PART II: Contracting for Specialized Human Services

    4. Contracting for Child Welfare Services Crystal Collins-Camargo & Bowen McBeth

    5. Contracting for Mental Health Services Melissa Hirschi & Sarah Bachman

    6. Contracting for Employment and Training Programs Burt Barnow & Shayne Spaulding

    7. Contracting for Human Services in New York City James Krauskopf

    PART III: Contracting for Human Services in Other Countries

    8. Contracting For Children & Youth Mental Health Services in Ontario, Canada Using a Modified Lead Agency Approach Rosemary Vito

    9. Results-Based Funding for Youth Care in the Netherlands: From Conditions and Challenges to the Outlines of a System M. S. deVries

    PART IV: The Future of Human Services Contracting

    10. Where Has Human Services Contracting Been & Where is it Going Robert A. Shick & Lawrence L. Martin


    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, he 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.

    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