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Adoption Social Impact Bond

Fund size | £
Big Society Capital investment | £

It's All About Me

Social Impact Bond to enable targeted interventions to support families adopting harder to place young people.

Social impact 

It's All About Me is delivered in a social impact bond (SIB) structure, aimed at creating more stable and therapeutic family placements for vulnerable children who would otherwise be looked after within the care system.

In the UK, approximately 3,000 children seeking adoption each year do not find a permanent home. Many of these children have suffered from neglect, developmental disruption and traumatic experiences and need additional support to rebuild a normal developmental pattern and deal with their traumas, making it more difficult to find suitable homes for them. 

It's All About Me will support increased placements of children who are “hard to place”, by:

  • Building awareness of the social issue and educating parents as to the range of children seeking adoption;
  • Inverting the current approach to find parents for specific children in these hard-to-place groups, rather than approving parents generally and hoping they will select these children;
  • Giving them the information necessary to develop a deep understanding of the child’s needs, and to tailor their parenting styles to these;
  • Training them to support the children’s developmental and trauma needs, with or without additional outside intervention.

Financial rationale 

If successful, local authorities will pay around £54,000 per child for the service to the Voluntary Adoprtion Agency. The Local Authority will pay for the families found when the successful placement emerges. Payments are made across 4 stages:

  • Registration – when the LA agrees that the plan formulated between it and the VAA is an appropriate one and delivers value. The VAA agrees to train parents to a given plan for that child (Payment of £8,000)
  • Placement – when the LA agrees that the parents have been trained and are ready to meet the child’s needs (Payment of £23,000)
  • One year in – the placement is on track and delivering value (Payment of £6,800)
  • Two years in – the placement is continuing, has already delivered value, and on track to succeed. (Payment of £15,800)

In addition, the Cabinet Office’s Social Outcomes Fund will contribute £10,000 in outcomes payments for the first 100 children registered under the SIB, recognising the wider long term social impact generated by successful adoptive placements.

Market development

It's All About Me changes the market dynamics by seeking parents for children, allowing families to consider and take on children that they might not otherwise have considered and by providing intensive support to the family to sustain placements.

The SIB is aimed at improving efficiencies in the current adoption model and creating value for money for the local authorities. The total outcome payment of £54,000 represents around half the amount it would cost to keep a child in care over the same two year period. Outcomes payments from the local authority are therefore made from the cashable savings realised through the reduction in expenditure on foster services.

Investment details

  • Fund size: £2 million (with capital drawn down proportionately to the number of children registered onto the scheme)
  • Big Society Capital investment: £1 million (with capital drawn down proportionately to the number of children registered onto the scheme)
  • Co-investors: Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund, Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund
  • Key partners: Baker Tilly and Council of Voluntary Adoption Agencies
Last updated | 
20 January 2016