One of the key developments over the past decade in the foster care system is privatization. In states across the country, there is increased discussion towards shifting all prevention and foster care placement services to children towards private agencies.
Concurrently, the Administration for Children and Families in Washington, D.C. has encouraged states to seek a IV-E waiver to support a flexible funding approach that would expand family preservation and aftercare services within a capped federal funds allocation.
While foster care privatization has been successful in some states, there are numerous pitfalls that must be avoided to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. There are critical nuances that vary from state to state: foster care privatization is NOT a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter proposition.
Mark A. Washington, Managing Partner, and Jay Pruett, the Washington Group's Practice Director for Foster Care and Juvenile Justice, have worked in leadership roles in government and private provider settings. Their experience with foster care privatization enables The Washington Group to serve both government and provider agencies as they navigate the challenges and opportunities entailed in this complex system reform.