Privatization in Practice: Case Studies of Contracting for TANF Case Management. The Contractors


A diverse array of private organizations provides TANF services on behalf of state and local agencies. Contractors in the study sites reflect this variety, differing in for-profit or nonprofit status, size and expertise, and geographic reach (Table II.4). In two of the study sites, the group of contractors also includes public organizations  community colleges in Delaware and county agencies in Wisconsin. (Public agencies also provide case management services in San Diego County and Hennepin County but are not contractors.)

Table II.4:
Number and Characteristics of Contractors in the Study Sites
Site Contractor Types(a,b) Number of Contractors Examples Faith-Based Contractors Sub-Contractors
Delaware Local nonprofit
Local affiliate of national nonprofit
Community college
5 Children and Families First
Salvation Army

Delaware Technical and Community College

Yes Yes(c)
Hennepin County Local affiliate of national nonprofit
Local nonprofits
State agency
20 Lutheran Social Services

Rise, Inc.
Minnesota Department of Economic Security

Yes No
Lower Rio Grande Valley For-profit/nonprofit partnership 1 The Valley Partnership: ACS and Texas Migrant Council No No
Palm Beach County For-profit 1 ACS No Yes
San Diego County Local affiliate of national nonprofit
3 Catholic Charities


Yes Yes
Wisconsin Local affiliate of national nonprofit
64 YW Works

Grant County


Some subcontractors are faith-based

ACS: Affiliated Computer Services
a Public agencies also provide some TANF employment case management services in Hennepin County and San Diego County but are not contractors.
b Some organizations partner with others. For example, RISE Inc. partners with the Opportunity Partners, Accessibility, Inc., and Tasks Unlimited.
c Although subcontractors do not provide case management.

Private contractors can be divided into three broad groups: national for-profit firms, affiliates of national nonprofits, and local and regional nonprofits. Nationwide, it is much more common for states to contract with nonprofits than for-profits; nearly three quarters of all state-level TANF contracts are with nonprofits (GAO 2002). For-profit organizations do have a sizeable presence in some places, however, holding half or more of the total value of state contracts in eight states (GAO 2002). In certain localities, including Palm Beach County, for-profits are the single provider of employment services for TANF clients.

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