UK’s first social impact bond to fund foster placements for children in care

The charity will find specialist foster placements for young people who are currently living in residential care homes. The foster carers will be trained to provide multi-dimensional treatment foster care (MTFC), which helps young people with challenging emotional and behavioural difficulties move back into family settings. The UK’s latest Social Impact Bond, launched today in Manchester, is the first to fund foster placements for children in residential care.

The ambitious project has been commissioned by Manchester City Council and will be run by Action for Children and funded by the Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund.

Bridges Ventures has been working closely with Manchester City Council and Action for Children to structure this five-year programme. The Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund will provide £1.2m working capital for the scheme.

Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member Children’s Services, Manchester City Council, said: “All the evidence suggests that foster care is the best option for the majority of children and young people who need care – although some children will continue to need to live in residential placements.  However some young people who go into residential care do so because there isn’t the right type of specialist foster care available for them.  Multi-dimensional treatment foster care seeks to address this.

“We believe we can identify those young people in residential care who are likely to benefit from this specialist foster care where they will receive intensive one-to-one support. This will provide them with the right family setting and the right kind of support to overcome their complex behaviours and achieve their full potential.

“In the long run, this new scheme will improve outcomes for children and young people in the city as well as costing less public money.”

Action for Children already runs a successful MTFC service in Hampshire. For those young people who completed the three to five month programme, results showed a 94 per cent reduction in offending, 96 per cent were not taking drugs, and 96 per cent were in education, employment or training.

David Derbyshire, Director of Practice Improvement, of Action for Children said: “We believe that all young people, however troubled can be helped. This type of foster care is specialised and intensive, working with both the young person and the whole family. Our experience running a successful multi-dimensional treatment foster care programme in Hampshire has shown us what can be achieved for young people.

“Action for Children is leading the way in using Social Impact Bonds to open up a valuable source of funding for children’s services and we are committed to working with more local authorities and funders in this kind of arrangement.”

Andrew Levitt, Investment Director, Bridges Ventures, said: “We have been working closely with Manchester City Council and Action for Children in structuring and launching this programme. It represents an excellent opportunity to support a high social impact intervention benefiting a vulnerable group, with the potential to improve life outcomes for young people and reduce the need for costly state care.”



About Action for Children
Action for Children is the service provider in the UK’s first children’s services Social Impact Bond, working with Essex County Council to prevent young people going into care by helping them stay safely at home through multi systemic therapy. The full reference for the results of the Hampshire MTFC programme can be found on page 13 of Action for Children’s 2014 Impact Report.

Action for Children works directly with more than 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers each year.  With 650 services throughout the UK we are in communities where you live and work. We help transform the lives of thousands of children and young people each year and we’ve been doing so for 145 years. For more information, visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @actnforchildren


About Bridges Ventures
Bridges Ventures LLP (“Bridges Ventures”) is a specialist fund manager dedicated to using an impact-driven investment approach to create superior returns for both investors and society at large. Bridges Ventures has raised eight funds to date which total £460m: Sustainable Growth Funds I, II and III, the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund, the CarePlaces Fund, the Bridges Property Alternatives Fund, the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund and the Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund.