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Benevolent Society SBB Set for Strong Returns


16 December 2015 at 8:43 am
Ellie Cooper
A $10 million social benefit bond, managed by the Benevolent Society with support from the New South Wales Government, has reported positive results for both participants and investors.

Ellie Cooper | 16 December 2015 at 8:43 am


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Benevolent Society SBB Set for Strong Returns
16 December 2015 at 8:43 am

A $10 million social benefit bond, managed by the Benevolent Society with support from the New South Wales Government, has reported positive results for both participants and investors.  

The Resilient Families program, funded by Australia’s first SBB, said its work had resulted in 27 per cent fewer children entering foster care compared to the control group.  

Investors are also set to receive 5 to 8 per cent per annum. While returns will not be paid until the end of the five year bond term, the results were said to demonstrate a positive trajectory which was encouraging for investors.

Overall, in the second year of its operation, the program reported a 4 per cent increase on last year’s results.

The Benevolent Society’s Executive Director of Social Investment, Wendy Haigh, said the second investor report results, which detailed the progress of the program over its first 21 months, were promising.

“This is one of the first programs of its type in Australia where private investment is going to tackle entrenched social disadvantage, so we’re pleased to see the second year’s results show substantial gains,” Haigh said.

“Results from the Resilient Families program show that providing the right kind of help at the right time pulls families back from the brink and changes lives. While it is still early days, we are seeing great progress with 88 per cent of the families referred to the program still together.

“So far the program has been successful in safely preventing children in 75 families from entering foster care, which is a win for family unity. Coupled with the fact that the average cost to taxpayers of a child in foster care is $66,000 per child per annum, this is also a win for the social welfare budget.”

The Resilient Families program is an intensive family support service aimed at reducing the number of children entering out-of-home care, and aimed to benefit up to 400 families over the five year period.

NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said that the State Government was excited about the potential of the SBB model to deliver good returns.

“This is a win-win. The NSW Government is so pleased that those most vulnerable in the community are receiving best practice support. This type of investment allows the taxpayer dollar to go further,” Berejiklian said.

“It is a great example of collaboration between government, private investors and Not for Profit organisations.”

The bond was launched in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Institutional Bank.

It's one of two social benefit bonds in New South Wales. Pro Bono Australia News reported earlier this year that the Newpin SBB, also after its second year, had restored 66 children in out-of-home care to their families and delivered an 8.9 per cent return to investors.


Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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