SBB Benefits Investors and Families
26 August 2015 at 11:09 am
Australia’s first Social Benefit Bond has successfully restored 66 children in out-of-home with their families while investors received strong financial returns, according to results from auditor Deloitte.
At the end of its second year, the New Parent and Infant Network (Newpin) Bond, also prevented a further 35 children from entering out-of-home care, according to the audit.
The cumulative restoration rate for children was 61.6 per cent, triggering an 8.9 per cent return to private investors. This is up from a 7.5 per cent return in the first year.
The Bond, a partnership between the New South Wales Government, UnitingCare and Social Ventures Australia (SVA), works with parents who have had their children removed from their care, or whose children are at risk of removal, to create safe family environments.
SVA raised $7 million from investors to run the seven-year program that restores children to their parents’ care once the Children’s Court NSW is satisfied that parents have developed the skills needed to provide a safe home.
“As a blend of both financial and social outcomes, we’re very pleased with how the Newpin SSB has gone,” SVA Executive Director, Ian Learmonth said.
“The positive social and financial returns from the Newpin SBB, for a second year in a row, are a promising sign for this new approach to social services funding.
“As a result of this social impact bond, UnitingCare has security of funding for the Newpin program for years to come, and rigorous data on outcomes to inform program improvements. At the same time, the NSW Government is benefitting from a stronger society.”
The Bond allows government to pass some of the risk of performance on to the private sector and pay on the successful social outcomes from government savings. Investors receive a financial return on their ethical investment, and service organisations get longer-term funding, greater certainty and capital to better plan and implement often preventative programs.
“These positive results show that many families, given the right type of support, can provide safe and loving homes for their children,” UnitingCare’s Children, Young People and Families Director Claerwen Little said.
“Just last week we launched the Wyong-based Newpin program funded entirely through this bond. The success of our partnership with the NSW Government and SVA has enabled us to expand the program so we can work with more families to create impactful social change.”
Learmonth said the success of Newpin is encouraging an expansion of Social Benefit Bonds to drive social change.
“The NSW Government has undertaken to do up to two impact investment transactions a year for the next four years and other states, such as South Australia and Queensland, have also publicly stated that they are to implement Social Benefit Bonds,” Learmonth said.
“The State Governments have tended to focus on areas that are most easily measureable, for example, recidivism – which is repeat offending – out-of-home care, homelessness and the health sector.”