Privatization and purchase of service contracting (POSC) are generally considered to be two of the most important factors that have helped shape the human service system during the 1970s and 1980s (Gilbert, 1983, 1986; Kammerman, 1983; Demone and Gibelman, 1984, 1989; Weddell, 1986; Kettner and Martin, 1985; Termell, 1987; Rein, 1989). Therefore, as we enter the decade of the 1990s, it would seem both appropriate and worthwhile to reflect on the original expectations for privatization and POSC and to assess the extent to which these expectations have been realized.

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