States, provinces, territories, and tribes have a fundamental responsibility, which must never be relinquished, to ensure that children and youth in foster care are safe and secure and find permanent families as quickly as possible. While these government entities may choose to contract with private organizations to enhance services to foster children and their families, these contractual arrangements should not diminish the public responsibility toward the foster children. Children’s best interests must never be sacrificed for financial gain or efficiency.
Policy and Practice Recommendations
NACAC opposes privatization efforts in which the public agency abdicates responsibility to a private entity.
Public and private partnerships are the best way to ensure accountability for outcomes for children and youth while taking advantage of the flexibility and efficiency that are sometimes found in private agencies. In such arrangements, all lines and levels of accountability need to be clearly documented and readily available to parents (birth, foster, adoptive, and kin), advocates, and the general public. Critical to the success of public-private partnerships is true collaboration, along with monitoring, measuring, and linking payments with successful outcomes for children and youth.