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The Benevolent Society Social Benefit Bond
The Benevolent Society Social Benefit Bond was jointly developed by the government in partnership with The Benevolent Society, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Institutional Bank.
The bond is funding The Benevolent Society’s Resilient Families service which is an intensive, therapeutic program that helps families deal with issues such as domestic violence and substance misuse, mental health, and unstable housing and aims to improve family functioning and relationships. The Benevolent Society has a successful track record in working with vulnerable children in NSW.
The $10 million bond began operating in October 2013. Over the five year term of the bond, The Benevolent Society expects to deliver Resilient Families to up to 400 at-risk families in Sydney’s south west, inner west and inner city.
Resilient Families will work with families for up to 12 months to keep their children safe, with an initial twelve week intensive period where caseworkers build trusting relationships and address immediate crises in the family.
The purpose of the service is to keep children out of the child protection system and keep families safely together.
Longer term, Resilient Families works with families to ensure that changes last. Caseworkers help families to make sure they are able to cope with future challenges and use other services to help them address their problems.
The rate of helpline reports, child protection assessments and entries into care for children who enter the program are the key performance indicators which will produce the interest rate and repayment obligations of the bond. The bond targets a financial return between 6 to 30 per cent at the end of the five year bond term, depending on the performance of the service and the investment tier.
To participate in this program, families must have at least one child under six years of age and must have been recently reported to Family and Community Services. The department 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.
Families eligible for Resilient Families are identified and referred by Family and Community Services.