Privatization in Practice: Case Studies of Contracting for TANF Case Management. Client Advocates Role


Advocates for low-income families, such as legal aid societies, help uphold the accountability of public agencies and contractors by focusing on clients rights to fair treatment. Advocates can aid public agencies monitoring, particularly in the areas of service quality and policy compliance, by keeping watch over the way contractors deliver services, and drawing attention to instances where clients do not receive appropriate services or benefits.

Privatization has made it more difficult for advocates to monitor welfare services in some places. To fulfill their role, they must have access to information about clients cases and the operations of private service providers. Private contractors legal obligation to share such information with advocates is not always clear, however (Bass and Hammitt 2002). The division of services between public agencies and private contractors further complicates the situation, as advocacy groups may have to target multiple organizations to get results.

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