Event Details

Charitable choice at work


Author: Sheila Suess Kennedy, Wolfgang Bielefeld
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Publication Place: n\a
Pages: 234
ISBN: 9781589011328
Category: n\a


Too often, say its critics, U.S. domestic policy is founded on ideology rather than evidence. Take "Charitable Choice": legislation enacted with the assumption that faith-based organizations can offer the best assistance to the needy at the lowest cost. The Charitable Choice provision of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act —buttressed by President Bush Faith-Based Initiative of 2000— encouraged religious organizations, including congregations, to bid on government contracts to provide social services. But in neither year was data available to prove or disprove the effectiveness of such an approach. Charitable Choice at Work fills this gap with a comprehensive look at the evidence for and against faith-based initiatives. Sheila Suess Kennedy and Wolfgang Bielefeld review the movements historical context along with legal analysis of constitutional concerns including privatization, federalism, and separation of church and state. Using both qualitative and, where possible, statistical data, the authors analyze the performance of job placement programs in three states with a representative range of religious, political, and demographic traits—Massachusetts, Indiana, and North Carolina. Throughout, they focus on measurable outcomes as they compare non-faith-based with faith-based organizations, nonprofits with for-profits, and the logistics of contracting before and after Charitable Choice.

Table of contents

Part I: Setting the Stage 
1. Introduction and Background: A New Faith in Faith 
2. Asking the Right Questions 
Part II: What We Have Learned 
3. The Implementation of Charitable Choice in the States 
4. The Role of Faith-Based Service Providers 
5. The Management of Faith-Based Service Providers 
6. Measuring Effectiveness 
7. Constitutional Concerns 
Part III: Summing Up 
8. Talking Past Each Other Appendixes A: Methodology and Data B: Survey Questions References Index