The Benevolent Society Social Benefit Bond
The Benevolent Society bond is a joint venture of the Benevolent Society, Westpac Institutional Bank and the Commonwealth Bank . Over five years, the $10 million bond funded the Resilient Families Program to deliver services to 303 families and their children in NSW. The service is delivered by the Benevolent Society.
It works with at-risk families for up to nine months, with an initial six week intensive period where staff build trusting relationships and address immediate crises in a family. Together, staff and families deal with issues like:
- unstable housing
- debt problems
- regular income
- domestic violence
- substance misuse
- family functioning and relationships.
Over the long term, they work together so that changes will last, and families are able to cope with future challenges and use other community services to help them.
The Benevolent Society uses a Resilience Practice Framework, which incorporates professional practices and approaches that have been proven to be effective. In addition, the initial phase of the service has strong similarities with the successful US model, Homebuilders. Research shows Homebuilders has achieved significant improvements for families whose children had previously been in care or who had prior substantiated child protection reports.
In 2018, the Benevolent Society bond became the first social impact investment in Australia to reach maturity. The five years showed positive results of families being supported to stay together, with the results recording 32% fewer children from families entering out-of- home care than children from the matched control group of families (i.e. those who received a business as usual service). The final evaluation can be found here.
The results delivered capital-protected investors a 6% return on investment and capital exposed investors a 10.5% return. Returns to investors were calculated at the end of the Bond (in December 2018), based on cumulative performance over the full term of the investment (all years). For more information on the structure and details of the bond, read the information memorandum or the presentation to investors, which summarises the memorandum.
The program is continuing as a payment by results contract with the NSW Government, with the current contract ending in 2021.
For more information on the Benevolent Society bond, please contact The Benevolent Society or:
Westpac Institutional Bank (investment information)
+61 2 8254 9116