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Interorganizational disparities in foster care service provision

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  • McBeath, Bowen
  • Meezan, William
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    Abstract

    Performance contracting and managed care have recently migrated from the behavioral and physical health care sector into child welfare, and are being introduced under the premise that the financial incentives embedded in market-based models will motivate agencies and their workers to improve the cost-effectiveness and quality of care to children and families. These models, however, have been associated with disparities in service provision and client outcomes. This paper reports new findings from a longitudinal natural experiment that examined the effects of a performance-based, managed care contracting mechanism on service provision to 243 foster children and families served by nine nonprofit agencies. It finds dramatic differences in the intensity of agencies' foster care service provision, both between agencies in different financial environments and among agencies within similar contracting regimes. While the finding of service disparities between contracting environments is similar to results from studies of the effects of market-based models in the health care sector, the identification of considerable interorganizational service disparities within the same contracting environment is novel in child welfare. This paper thus provides the first estimates of distributive inequities in foster care service provision both within and across contracting environments, and introduces questions of equity and fairness in how child welfare agencies organize services to foster children and families in market-based contracting environments.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 5 (May)
    Pages: 513-525

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:31:y:2009:i:5:p:513-525

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

    Related research

    Keywords: Foster care Managed care Performance contracting Service disparities Equity;

    References

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    1. Kohl, Patricia L. & Edleson, Jeffrey L. & English, Diana J. & Barth, Richard P., 2005. "Domestic violence and pathways into child welfare services: Findings from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 1167-1182, November.
    2. Howard S. Bloom & Carolyn J. Hill & James A. Riccio, 2003. "Linking program implementation and effectiveness: Lessons from a pooled sample of welfare-to-work experiments," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4), pages 551-575.
    3. Burt S Barnow, 2000. "Exploring the relationship between performance management and program impact: A case study of the job training partnership act," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 118-141.
    4. Faver, Catherine A. & Crawford, Sharon L. & Combs-Orme, Terri, 1999. "Services for child maltreatment: Challenges for research and practice," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 89-109, February.
    5. Guo, Shenyang, 2005. "Analyzing grouped data with hierarchical linear modeling," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 637-652, June.
    6. Smith, Brenda D. & Mogro-Wilson, Cristina, 2007. "Multi-level influences on the practice of inter-agency collaboration in child welfare and substance abuse treatment," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 545-556, May.
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    8. Chaffin, Mark & Friedrich, Bill, 2004. "Evidence-based treatments in child abuse and neglect," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 1097-1113, November.
    9. McCullough, Charlotte & Schmitt, Barbara, 2000. "Managed care and privatization: Results of a national survey," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 117-130, February.
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    11. Meezan, William & McBeath, Bowen, 2008. "Market-based disparities in foster care outcomes," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 388-406, April.
    12. Frank, Richard G. & Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 2000. "Measuring adverse selection in managed health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 829-854, November.
    13. Wulczyn, Fred W., 2000. "Federal fiscal reform in child welfare services," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 131-159, February.
    14. Unrau, Yvonne A. & Wells, Michael A., 2005. "Patterns of foster care service delivery," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 511-531, May.
    15. E. S. Savas, 1978. "On Equity in Providing Public Services," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(8), pages 800-808, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. Stanley, Nicky & Austerberry, Helen & Bilson, Andy & Farrelly, Nicola & Hussein, Shereen & Larkins, Cath & Manthorpe, Jill & Ridley, Julie, 2013. "Turning away from the public sector in children's out-of-home care: An English experiment," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 33-39.
    2. McBeath, Bowen & Collins-Camargo, Crystal & Chuang, Emmeline & Wells, Rebecca & Bunger, Alicia C. & Jolles, Mónica Pérez, 2014. "New directions for research on the organizational and institutional context of child welfare agencies: Introduction to the symposium on “The Organizational and Managerial Context of Private Child We," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 83-92.
    3. Steen, Julie A. & Smith, Sarahlin, 2012. "An organizational view of privatization: Is the private foster care agency superior to the public foster care agency?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-858.
    4. Robertson, Roni Diamant, 2013. "The invisibility of adolescent sexual development in foster care: Seriously addressing sexually transmitted infections and access to services," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 493-504.
    5. Chuang, Emmeline & Collins-Camargo, Crystal & McBeath, Bowen & Wells, Rebecca & Bunger, Alicia, 2014. "An empirical typology of private child and family serving agencies," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 101-112.

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