Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Privatized Child Welfare in Nebraska - Another Failure


In his article, Privatization Fails: Nebraska Tries Again to Reform Child Welfare, Kevin O’Hanion offers an inside look into Nebraska’s efforts to privatize its child welfare system and the problems it has inspired. O’Hanion argues that the privatized system’s failure stemmed from inadequate funding and planning, as well as poor execution. After years of problems with Nebraska’s child welfare system, the state implemented a privatized system in an effort to better the public system in 2009. Within six months of Nebraska’s transition to a privatized system, three companies ended their contracts with the state citing financial issues. The Legislative Fiscal Office also reported that Nebraska exceeded their budget for child welfare services by $50 million during the two-year budget period, with the majority of the funds going towards private contracts. The transition to a privatized system has also hurt the children affected by the welfare system on a personal level. The article cites multiple instances of child neglect, as well as instances that reflect the system's poor management of the children. Although the author hints at a personal distaste for privatization, O’Hanion seems more focused on learning from Nebraska’s errors in its implementation of a privatized system. 

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