Contracting for Welfare Services in Italy
Journal of European Social Policy
GB : SAGE Publications
495 - 513 p.
The 1990s witnessed the spread and broadening inEurope of different types of relationships between public administration and private organisations (both for-profit and non-profit), derived from the two main categories of contracting out and accreditation. These models, linked to the process of developing newmodes of governance, also focus on forms of contracting between providers and users of services. This contractual configuration of local welfare systems appears to encourage ‘civil society’ and recipients to play a more active role in designing interventions and putting them into practice. Nonetheless, several questions still remain to be answered, mainly concerning the different position adopted by the beneficiaries in the case of intervention theoretically aimed at ensuring or increasing their ‘freedom of choice’. This article sets out to analyse these questions with specific reference to the implementation of the Italian legal reformof social services. The field of observation covers interventions based on economic benefits looking to promote recipients’ independence. Our intention is to focus on whether and how the present structures incorporate and elaborate this impulse towards change, with particular reference to the new configuration of the users’ own position.