Proposals to encourage greater cooperation between government and faith-based organizations have drawn considerable discussion within the social service, religious, and policymaking communities. Questions about the legal implications of such partnerships, the capacity and effectiveness of religious groups to deliver services, and the effect of these partnerships on religious life in America are at the heart of the debate. This policy brief reports on a one-day seminar held in May 2001 and sponsored by the Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy and the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard University, in which religious leaders, government officials, social service providers, and academic researchers examined the political and social questions sparked by the White House Initiatives. It examines various points of contention and suggests future steps that can shed light on this important public policy discussion.
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