On any given day, the US Administration for Children and Families estimates that 402,000 children are being served within the United States foster care system. On average these children will remain in state care for nearly two years.  

The annual costs of  caring for these children is significant. Subsidized medical care, welfare benefits, and child care payments to the foster families and group homes impact federal and state budgets. 

There are longer-term societal costs due to disciplinary problems, incarceration and development risks stemming from child maltreatment and family disruption.  Often, intensive family stability services to support parents struggling with substance use and other issues could help these children avoid foster care entirely.

More broadly, decades of research has demonstrated the importance of stable home and family environments for healthy physical, cognitive, and social and emotional child development. Supporting parental mental and physical health and economic stability will help strengthen families and give children a better start, from the very beginning. When we expand programs and build a society that supports children and families, we improve outcomes across the board—in health, education, criminal justice, workforce and more.

Our Work

Advising Connecticut Office of Early Childhood

Develop a roadmap for the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, in partnership with the Department of Social Services, to implement Medicaid financing for evidence-based home visiting.

Active Performance Management in Marion County

Social Finance will support Marion County, OR to reduce out-of-home placement for at-risk youth through an evidence-based family support program, using a two-phased approach to define program success and use real-time program data to manage toward those results.

Connecticut Family Stability

The Connecticut Family Stability Pay for Success Project expands an intensive, in-home treatment program to approximately 500 families involved with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), with the goals of eliminating parental substance use and keeping families together. The project deploys $11.2 million over 4.5 years to expand the work of Yale Child Studies Center’s Family-Based Recovery, an intensive in-home treatment program that has a track record of success in reducing involvement with DCF and in keeping families together through intensive support. This is the first Pay for Success project focused on family stability and substance use disorders. Services launched in September 2016.

National Partnership with Nurse-Family Partnership

Social Finance and Nurse-Family Partnership’s National Service Office work together to expand Nurse-Family Partnership’s home visiting services for low income, first-time mothers. Currently, the two organizations are developing and exploring Pay for Success projects in multiple jurisdictions throughout the United States.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grantees

Social Finance partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to provide four of its early childhood and family economic security grantees – Family Independence Initiative, the Center for Urban Families, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) and AVANCE – with rigorous economic and strategic analysis to better articulate the value they generate for society. The resulting publication, New Tools to Amplify Impact: A Pay for Success Guide to Building Nonprofit Capacity, shares lessons learned and functions as a how-to guide for nonprofits interested in Pay for Success.

Road Map for Pay for Success in Philadelphia

Working with the office of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Social Finance explored the feasibility of improving recidivism and child welfare outcomes through a Pay for Success transaction.

Improving Maternal and Child Health Outcomes in Cincinnati

In partnership with the Every Child Capital (ECC) Venture Fund, Social Finance is exploring innovative performance-based contracting options to build the bridge between tested programs improving maternal and child health and sustainable government funding streams in Cincinnati, Ohio.