Tim Bryson

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Social Impact Bonds Help MST Make Impact in U.K.

Posted by Tim Bryson

See How MST helps Essex County Teens

Young people in the U.K. who enter social care typically have poor outcomes. They are more likely to re-offend, be suspended from school, and be unemployed by the time they turn 19. Out-of-home placement is also expensive for local authorities. They are responsible for children’s social care, but investing in prevention in times of austerity is challenging.

In 2012, there were 1,600 children in care in Essex County, and the number had risen by 28 percent over the previous five years. Essex County Council wanted to commission service with an evidence base for working with this group but was not in a position to take on the financial risk of failure. They decided to try Multisystemic Therapy (MST) to work with adolescent children on the verge of out-of-home placement. Two teams would handle 380 young people over five years. MST itself was not new to the U.K. What was new was a form of social investment called a Social Impact Bond (SIB). 

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy