Social impact investment
Social impact investment enables government, non-government organisations and private investors to work together to fund initiatives to address some of the biggest social challenges that face our community. The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) manage social impact investments through different financial mechanisms, social benefit bonds (SBB) and performance based contracts.
Social Benefit Bonds
A social benefit bond (SBB) also known as a social impact bond, is a financial instrument that assists to bring together capital and expertise from the public, private and not for profit sector. In 2013, the NSW Government pioneered Australia’s first two SBBs (Newpin and Resilient Families) seeking to deliver better services and results for families at risk. Under SBB’s, investors fund the delivery of services, targeting an improvement of a particular social outcome. Due to the success of the initial bonds, the NSW Government is committed to finding other opportunities to use social impact investment to deliver better services and results. DCJ works with the Office of Social Impact Investment (OSII) in NSW Treasury to identify opportunities and oversee social benefit bonds we manage with our partners.
Performance Based Contracts
Under a Performance Based Contract, DCJ enters into an agreement with a service provider to provide funding to provide outcomes that have a social impact to the community. The payment is generally broken up into two types. The standing payment and the outcome payment. The standing payment covers the majority of operating expenses for the organisation delivering the service. The outcome payment is performance payment to the provider should they reach or exceed measureable and agreed service outcomes. This financial incentive aims to deliver value for money programs and enable partners to be responsible for delivering their service and drive their own performance.
In 2017 DCJ entered into the most recent SBB, Foyer Central. Uniting and their partners Social Ventures Australia and St George Community Housing (SGCH) provides accommodation and support services to young people aged between 18 and 22 years of age, who have had an lived experience in Out of Home Care (OOHC).
Foyer Central is a purpose built block of 53 self-contained studio apartments and includes communal areas, importantly it is a safe place for personal development, health and wellbeing and education and employment support. Following the construction phase of Foyer Central the building opened early 2021.
Students accepted into Foyer Central sign an agreement to engage with personal development goals, supported by Uniting and a Residential Tenancy Agreement with SGCH. Young people can stay for approximately 18 months, working toward their goals and an independent future.
Read more about Foyer Central.
Uniting’s Newpin Program is a centre-based, therapeutic restoration program for families where restoration is the goal of the child’s permanency case plan. Parents and their pre-school children attend a Newpin centre between two to four times per week for approximately 18 months. The program includes a combination of therapy, parenting courses and parent/child relationship building. Newpin is an important contribution towards the Premier’s current priorities to increase permanency for children in out-of-home care.
After seven successful years, where Newpin recorded a 61% restoration rate with families, DCJ recommitted to the Newpin restoration program. In 2020, DCJ and Uniting signed a Performance Based Contract to replace the SBB. The PBC provides funding for Uniting to deliver its Newpin program and enables them to receive a performance payment based on the restoration rate that they achieve.
The Newpin PBC provides funding for six Newpin Centres. The geographic location of the centres allows for support to be provided to families located in (or near) Sydney, South Western Sydney, Western Sydney, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, the Central Coast and Newcastle.
To read more about the Newpin program.
The Resilient Families SBB was jointly developed by the NSW Government in partnership with The Benevolent Society, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Institutional Bank in 2013. In 2021, DCJ’s commitment to the Resilient Families program was reaffirmed with the SBB being replaced via a Human Services Agreement and the service continuing to work with families.
The Resilient Families service managed by The Benevolent Society, is an intensive therapeutic family preservation program that works with families, with the aim to ensure the children are able to stay safely in the care of their parent/s and not enter OOHC.
To participate in this program, families must have at least 1 child under 6 years old, or be expecting a baby, and must have been recently reported to DCJ. DCJ will have investigated and confirmed that the child is at risk of significant harm, but can remain safely with his or her family if identified problems are addressed. Eligible Families are identified and referred by DCJ. The program is currently available to families in South West Sydney, Sydney and Eastern Sydney DCJ Districts.
For further information about these programs please contact: OOHCSocialBenefitBondPilots@facs.nsw.gov.au