Breaking the cycle of over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Islander children in out-of-home-care is the focus of Queensland’s first social impact investment initiative, announced by Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt in Cairns today.
The ‘New Parent Infant Network’ (NEWPIN) service is the first Social Benefit Bond (SBB) to be contracted in Queensland.
Mr Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government was delighted to be associated with UnitingCare Queensland, who will establish NEWPIN to complement existing child and family services.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are nine times more likely to be subject to protective orders than non-Indigenous children so developing alternative pathways for our most vulnerable Queenslanders is a high priority for our government,” he said.
“Approximately 200 families across the three centres are expected to be referred by government to the NEWPIN program.
“The first service centre will open in Cairns by the end of this year with two other centres planned in both urban and regional locations.
“Social Benefit Bonds are an innovative new way of tackling complex social problems and improving outcomes for those in our communities most in need.
“By attracting new sources of private sector funding and allowing the social service sector to develop new service innovations we are creating potential for cost savings for taxpayers and delivering a return to investors when agreed outcomes are acheieved, rather than when the services are delivered.
“Our Social Benefit Bonds initiative will not involve outsourcing of any government services, with its sole focus being on delivering new additional services that government doesn’t currently provide.”
Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said her department had worked closely with Treasury on the Pilot Program.
“NEWPIN offers hope to troubled families, with a program that works to safely reunify children who are living in out-of-home care with their families,” she said.
“Once up and running the department will be referring families to the service.”
Social Ventures Australia will market the bond to potential investors to secure capital for the Bond by June 2017.
Announcements will be made soon on two other Social Benefit Bonds, focusing on homelessness and youth reoffending.
For further information on Social Benefit Bonds see the Program webpage