Staying Afloat Amidst the Tempest: External Pressures Facing Private Child and Family Serving Agencies and Managerial Strategies Employed to Address Them

Crystal Collins-Camargo, Portland State University
Emmeline Chuang, Portland State University
Bowen McBeath, Portland State University
Selene Mak

copyright 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC


Private child and family serving agencies operate within a turbulent environment characterized by changing client needs, interorganizational competition, resource scarcity, and demand for accountability. Qualitative data regarding external pressures experienced by private agencies across six states, and managerial strategies to address them, were collected from a 2016 electronic survey of senior agency administrators (n = 182). Specific themes were organized into the following categories: funding; operations and practice-related issues; staff recruitment and retention; laws, regulations and licensure; contracts and contractual expectations; and, interorganizational relationships. Implications for management practice and research regarding how private human service organizations navigate different external pressures are discussed.