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Bibliography expanded and updated to reflect recent research, and a new paragraph on preferred services supported by the federal government.

Updated on 3 September 2013. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Privatizing social services has taken a new turn as America enters the 21st century. Although it was once possible to separate private and public social services, the growing trend toward public–private partnerships has made such earlier distinctions meaningless since more and more private social services are supported with public money. There are advantages and disadvantages inherent in the mixing of public and private social services, but perhaps the greatest problem may be the support of a growing trend for all levels of government to dissociate themselves from their longstanding public social service responsibilities.

Keywords: social policy, social welfare history, public–private partnerships, voluntary organizations

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