Skip to main content
An empirical typology of private child and family serving agencies.
Children and Youth Services Review (2014)
  • Emmeline Chuang, University of California - Los Angeles
  • Crystal Collins-Camargo, University of Louisville
  • Bowen McBeath, Portland State University
  • Rebecca Wells
  • Alicia C. Bunger, Ohio State University - Main Campus
Differences in how services are organized and delivered can contribute significantly to variation in outcomes experienced by children and families. However, few comparative studies identify the strengths and limitations of alternative delivery system configurations. The current study provides the first empirical typology of private agencies involved with the formal child welfare system. Data collected in 2011 from a national sample of private agencies were used to classify agencies into five distinct groups based on internal management capacity, service diversification, integration, and policy advocacy. Findings reveal considerable heterogeneity in the population of private child and family serving agencies. Cross-group comparisons suggest that differences in agencies' strategic and structural characteristics correlated with agency directors' perceptions of different pressures in their external environment. Future research can use this typology to better understand local service systems and the extent to which different agency strategies affect performance and other outcomes. Such information has implications for public agency contracting decisions and could inform system-level assessment and planning of services for children and families.
  • Child welfare,
  • Management,
  • Strategy,
  • Private agencies
Publication Date
March, 2014
Citation Information
Emmeline Chuang, Crystal Collins-Camargo, Bowen McBeath, Rebecca Wells, et al.. "An empirical typology of private child and family serving agencies." Children and Youth Services Review Vol. 38 (2014) p. 101 - 112 ISSN: 0190-7409
Available at: