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Abstract from

Learning Backwards, Thinking Forwards: An Attempt to Understand the Perspectives of Both Government and Non-government Participants in a Service Contract Arrangement

Rhonda Stien, Robert Urquhart and Dianne Nixon

Contractualised service delivery is a recent development in the NSW child and family welfare sector, and is an approach to welfare service delivery imposed through external economic and political forces. Funding of the non-government sector had previously been through a system of grants and recurrent funding, which had expectations and relationships well-established, if not always explicit, of both the funder and the fundee. These players are now grappling with new sets of relationships and expectations contained within the contractual models, often with inadequate understanding and commitment to the models. The authors draw on research conducted within UnitingCare Burnside to explore issues surrounding the adoption of contractualism in the NSW Child Welfare field. The principal findings emphasise the need for each side to understand and respect the work of the other, in order for the contract process to become more effective. In addition, the findings highlight barriers to mutual respect and effective contracts.

(2001) 18(2) Law in Context 154
Keywords: Human Services; Child Welfare

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