Privatization in Practice: Case Studies of Contracting for TANF Case Management. Conducting the Case Studies


Information for this study was gathered through site visits and telephone interviews conducted between March and July 2002 by researchers from Mathematica and its subcontractor, The Roper Group. To develop a more complete picture of privatization, researchers interviewed staff with a variety of perspectives, including staff at public and private agencies, management and line staff, and advocates for TANF recipients and public agency employees. Information was also obtained from reviewing requests for proposals, proposals, contracts, auditors reports, and program manuals.

The first interviews were conducted with staff at the public agency administering the contract (Table I.3), including senior program managers and managers responsible for procurement and contract monitoring. Interviews were also conducted with any public agencies that are not responsible for the TANF case management contracts but are involved in TANF administration or in related functions, such as food stamp and Medicaid eligibility determination (Table I.3).

Table I.3.
Public Agencies Involved in the Administration of TANF, Food Stamps, and Medicaid
Site Public Agency Administering the Contract Other Public Agencies Involved in Administering TANF, Food Stamps, or Medicaid
Delaware Delaware Department of Labor Delaware Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services
Hennepin County Hennepin County Training and Employment Assistance and Minneapolis Employment and Training Program Hennepin County Economic Assistance Department
Lower Rio Grande Valley Lower Rio Grande Valley Workforce Development Board Texas Department of Human Services
Palm Beach County Palm Beach County Workforce Development Board Florida Department of Children and Families
San Diego County San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency None
Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development County Human Service Departments

The number of contractors visited during the site visits varied from one to five, depending on the number and types of contractors in the site, as well as logistical issues. (A list of the contractors and other service providers visited during the site visits is provided in Appendix B). Where more than one contractor provided services, several different types of contractors were included in the study. In San Diego County and Hennepin County, county agencies also provide employment-related TANF case management but were not contractors. Interviews were conducted with one county agency case management provider in each of these two sites.

At each contractor and public agency that performed TANF case management or case processing functions, interviews were conducted with groups of case managers. Researchers also questioned representatives of groups advocating for welfare recipients, including legal aid associations, and staff at local chapters of labor unions representing public employees, for example, the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

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