The first social bond

Steven Joyce and Amy Adams announced:

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1,700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say.

“The social bond approved by Cabinet in December 2016 has successfully raised the required finance so is now operational as New Zealand’s first social bond,” Mr Joyce says.

“Social Bonds are an innovative method of providing social services for people with complex needs – where a financial incentive is offered to a consortium of providers and investors if they can achieve a result with a service which is demonstrably better than what has been previously achieved with the old way of doing things.

Social Investment Minister Amy Adams says this social bond is another example of the social investment approach designed to get more effective delivery of services to those who most need them.

“One of the difficult challenges in getting people off benefits and back into work is how best to help people with mild to moderate mental health challenges and achieve sustainable long-term results. Government agencies have struggled with this issue for a long time,” Ms Adams says. 

It will be very interesting to see how effective this is. I hope it is.

The bond will be delivered by APM Workcare. APM Workcare is an experienced and successful provider of vocational rehabilitation and disability services, with around 150 employees. They have assisted more than 24,000 people across the country to return to work after injury or unemployment, using a model of individualised support and wrap-around care.

The service will be voluntary, and will be available to those who are living in the Auckland suburbs of Manukau, Manuwera, Clendon, Papakura, Pukekohe and Waiuku. APM Workcare will deliver services to up-to 1700 people over the 60 month duration of the bond.

Sounds like they do great work.

One of the investors is Janssen, who say they are investing because:

Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson Company in New Zealand, sees the pilot bond as an opportunity to support and learn from a pioneering initiative designed to test a new, more effective, outcomes-based approach to funding healthcare and other social services. In particular, the bond presents an opportunity to achieve improved mental health outcomes for New Zealanders, a healthcare area in which Janssen has over 60 years’ experience.

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