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Uncharted Terrain

The Intersection of Privatization and Welfare

By Henry A. Freedman, Mary R. Mannix, Marc Cohan & Rebecca Scharf

One of the many ways in which welfare reform radically transformed cash assistance for low-income families was to transfer responsibility for many program functions from government to private agencies, both for-profit and nonprofit. This shift is the subject of intense, ongoing debate and has received minimal evaluation, but private agencies will be major players for the foreseeable future. To represent clients effectively, advocates must adapt to this changed landscape. Because little law is established, the opportunity is great to contribute to the development of new legal doctrine.

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