Skip to main content Skip to main navigation
Skip to access and inclusion page Skip to search input

Media releases

The Benevolent Society’s social benefit bond delivers exceptional results to families and investors

31 October, 2017 


The Benevolent Society, Australia's first charity, today announced the exceptional fourth year results of its Social Benefit Bond, a five-year Intensive Family Support service, funded by private and institutional investors and developed in partnership with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Institutional Bank, NSW Treasury and the NSW Department of Family and Child Services (FACS).

The Benevolent Society's Social Benefit Bond meets the highest international standards and industry best practice with its Resilient Families Program. The Performance Percentage reported at 30 June 2017 is 24 per cent compared to the indicative 19 per cent reported in the previous Investor Report. This result would theoretically provide returns of 7 per cent for capital protected class investors (Class P) and 15 per cent for capital exposed class investors (Class E) at the end of the five year bond next year.

The life of the bond thus far covers the first three annual cohorts and the partial fourth cohort, from 3 October 2013 to 30 June 2017. Actual returns will be calculated on cumulative results paid at the maturity of the bond in 2018, the first Social Impact Bond to mature in Australia.


Measure Actual/Deemed performance Weighting
Improvement Percentage1 24% 94%
Unmatched children percentage2 15% 1%
Guaranteed Referrals Shortfall percentage3 40% 5%
Performance Percentage 24%4 100%


The focus of the Resilient Families program is designed to keep children out of out-of-home care and with their families where possible, ensuring children are safe and well. Over the Reporting Period of 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, Resilient Families has supported 59 per cent more families to stay safely together compared to a matched Control Group of similar families.

Over the life of the Bond, Resilient Families is delivering an 89 per cent preservation rate for families referred to the program. This makes Resilient Families among the strongest performing intensive family preservation services in the world.

The Benevolent Society's Executive Director of Child and Family Services Matt Gardiner said, "The Resilient Families team has done an incredible job. Through our program of Intensive Family Support, they have powerfully and positively impacted hundreds of families and changed the life trajectory of the children."

"It underscores our strategic focus of ensuring children remain safe and well with their families and avoid unnecessary removal into out of out-of-home care, because research indicates time and again that children do better in their own homes where it’s possible to keep them there."

Resilient Families has improved the safety and wellbeing of 289 families referred to the program by FACS since 2013. These results indicate intensive, family support services provided to vulnerable families at the right time can make a significant difference and reduces the damage of unnecessary removal into out-of-home-care.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet launched the report at the event at Barangaroo and said the collaboration across sectors was the key to the program's success. "As the first state to pilot social impact investing, NSW is leading the way in working with business and the non-government sector to tackle longstanding social issues in new and effective ways. The program Resilient Families is made possible through this partnership and over the life of this bond, we have seen the lives of many children changed for the better."


The collaborative partnership between Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NSW Treasury, NSW FACS and The Benevolent Society has developed an innovative, workable, successful framework that is industry best practice and provides an approach that can be applied by other programs to achieve similar results. The willingness to work together and collaborate with government departments like Treasury helped create improved circumstances for children.

Westpac Institutional Bank’s Executive Director and Head of Structured Finance, Craig Parker said, "This partnership is a great example where Westpac has been able to contribute to improving the outcomes of families that are part of the Resilient Families programme, funded by this Social Benefit Bond. We are very pleased with the outcomes and we congratulate the Benevolent Society on the progress to date."

Commonwealth Bank Managing Director Debt Markets, Simon Ling, said, "We are proud to be working with The Benevolent Society on this important project. This innovative funding structure was designed as a pilot project and our success to date helps to further illustrate that the concept of social impact investing works for all stakeholders. The challenge we all face now is how best to take this pilot and scale it to help more communities in the future."



1 The Improvement Percentage for the Bond is determined by results generated from the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) data system. The progress made by families referred to the Program, called the Intervention Group, is compared against the progress made by a Control Group who share similar characteristics and receive standard services from FACS that may include family support and intervention at varying levels of intensity.

2 Unmatched Children Percentage – where children referred by FACS cannot be matched with a similar control child

3 Guaranteed Referrals Shortfall Percentage – where FACS is unable to fill vacancies notified by The Benevolent Society within the agreed period of time up to a guaranteed minimum

4 The Average Improvement Percentage is used to calculate the weighted Performance Percentage. As at 30 June 2017, the indicative Performance Percentage is 24% (the same as the Average Improvement Percentage by coincidence only).