Social Bonds - can private investment in welfare work?
The Government says social bonds - which are set to be trialled in the mental health sector here - are an innovative way to pay for social services that deliver results while critics say they are a massive experiment. The idea behind social bonds is for the private sector to invest in particular outcomes such as improved employment rates or reduced reoffending by people coming out of prison. If the agreed outcome is not reached, the investor doesn't get paid, thus - the Government says - there is a very big incentive to make the programme work. Paul Riley is the executive director of Key Assets UK - part of a global company which specialises in placing foster children in homes and other social and family services.