About the program
Resilient Families is an intensive family preservation service designed to prevent children from entering out-of-home care (OOHC) by improving family functioning and creating a safer environment for children.
The program is delivered by The Benevolent Society who work with at-risk families for up to a year, with an initial intensive 12 week period, where staff build trusting relationships and address immediate family crises.
Resilient Families uses a Resilience Practice Framework, which incorporates professional practices and approaches proven to be effective. The initial phase of the service has strong similarities to the US model, Homebuilders.
Where we are now
In 2018, Resilient Families was the first social impact bond in Australia to reach maturity.
The program supported 303 families over five years, and showed positive results of families being supported to stay together, with the results recording 32% fewer children entering out-of-home care compared to the matched control group (i.e. those who received a business-as-usual service). Read the final evaluation report (PDF 3.9MB).
Based on cumulative performance over the 5 year term, the results delivered capital-protected investors a 6% return on investment and capital exposed investors a 10.5% return per annum. For more information on the structure and details of the bond, see the information memorandum (PDF 1.7MB) or investor presentation (PDF 3.84MB).
At the end of the 5 year term, Resilient Families continued under a payment-by-results contract. From July 2021 the program continued under a Human Services Agreement with the Department of Communities and Justice based on Resilient Families' consistent positive outcomes.
Outcome metrics should be meaningful, objective and reliable.
The Resilient Families evaluation found that the number of entries into OOHC was the most appropriate outcome measure as it reflects the primary goal of the program. This outcome measure is an established and independently verified indicator of child safety status and is easy to interpret due to its binary nature.
The evaluation found that children supported through Resilient Families experienced lower OOHC entries, however had more Helpline Reports and SARAs than the control group. A possible reason suggested by the evaluation was detection bias as families in Resilient Families were under greater observation due to the intensive, home-based service compared to other parts of the child protection service system.
While the number of Helpline reports and SARAs could be used as additional indicators for monitoring and evaluation purposes, they were found to not be suitable for outcome payment purposes.
- Resilient Families Evaluation Plan (PDF 1.24MB)
- Resilient Families Evaluation Preliminary Report (PDF 1MB)
- Resilient Families Evaluation Mid-Term Report (PDF 1.91MB)
- Resilient Families Evaluation Interim Report 2016 (PDF 1.31MB)
- Note on Resilient Families Performance Measurement Framework 2016 (PDF 169.33KB)
- Resilient Families Evaluation Progress Report 2017 (PDF 4.31MB)
- Resilient Families Final Evaluation Report 2020 (PDF 3.9MB)