The Transformation of Social Services in the United States

  • Steven Rathgeb Smith
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)


For many citizens, nonprofit social service agencies are the nonprofit sector. The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, homeless shelters, child welfare agencies, and soup kitchens are just a few of the many social service agencies that evoke images of private charity, community involvement and voluntarism. The September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have reinforced these images as hundreds of millions of dollars were donated to an array of nonprofit service agencies. Nonprofit social service agencies have also found themselves in the spotlight as a result of recent changes in public policy, including the 1996 welfare reform legislation, the devolution of some federal social welfare grant programmes to state and local government, and the Bush Administration’s support for a more prominent role for faith-based agencies in addressing social need. Arguably, nonprofit social service agencies are receiving widespread, almost unprecedented, attention and scrutiny by policymakers and citizens.


Social Service Service Agency Social Service Agency Nonprofit Organisation Private Donation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

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  • Steven Rathgeb Smith

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