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Positive results unveiled for social benefit bond

The Benevolent Society's Social Benefit Bond Investor Report released on 8 December 2015.

The Benevolent Society recently announced that its Resilient Families program - funded via a $10 million Social Benefit Bond launched in partnership with Westpac Institutional Bank and CBA - had delivered positive results for both program participants and investors.

The program is an intensive family support service aimed at reducing the incidence of children entering out-of-home care, and will benefit up to 400 families over a five year period. In its second year of operation, the program delivered a four per cent increase on the previous year's results.

In a media statement The Benevolent Society's Executive Director Social Investment, Wendy Haigh, said: "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.

"Results from the Resilient Families program shows 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.

"In the first 21 months of operation, 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," Ms Haigh said.

NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian, said: "The NSW Government is excited about the potential this innovative model has 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. It is a great example of collaboration between government, private investors and not-for-profit organisations," Ms Berejiklian said.

Using the formula to be applied at the term of the Bond, the Performance Percentage for the 21 months ended 30 June 2015 is 12%, which would result in compounded returns to investors of 5% per annum for the capital protected bond holders and eight per cent per annum for the capital exposed bond holders.

Westpac Institutional Bank's Executive Director and Head of Structured Finance, Craig Parker said, "As we head into the third year of the Resilient Families initiative, it's pleasing to see results emerging which show the value of this unique program to the families involved.

"These early results provide an excellent indication of the potential power of social impact investing, where positive outcomes can be achieved collectively for our community, investors and governments. At Westpac, we recognise that in mobilising finance to back these types of initiatives, we can play a vital role in helping address the big issues that face our communities.

"We're confident that, with ongoing support, the Resilient Families program will achieve its goals over its five year term, and most importantly to make a positive difference in the lives of at-risk families," he said.

Read the full media release