Youth CONNECT Social Benefit Bond (2021)
|Primary impact area||Impact area||Geographic location of impact||Investment commencement||SDG alignment|
|Social||Social Care & Provision of Community Services||Queensland, Australia||2017||
An estimated half a million Queenslanders have experienced homelessness in their lifetime, with many of these aged under 25 years. Youth CONNECT
Social Benefit Bond addresses homelessness for young people leaving out-of-home care or juvenile detention and will help 300 people over six years in three locations in Queensland.
The Youth CONNECT Social Benefit Bond provides a program for young people aged 15-25 who are leaving statutory care and at risk of homelessness. The objective is to develop the resilience of young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Youth CONNECT is delivered by Churches of Christ in Queensland, in partnership with the Queensland Government. The ‘housing-first’ approach supports young people to find
‘homefulness’ – a stable home environment where they can feel at home, have agency and experience independence – so that they can then focus on employment, education, work-readiness and personal development.
The Youth CONNECT Program provides early intervention and support for individual participants, and involves sourcing appropriate, stable and supported housing options. This is followed by assistance with finding employment, education, personal development and life skills. Youth at risk of falling into homelessness are supported into an independent, connected future.
Youth CONNECT is financed through a social benefit bond involving the government, a service provider and private investors, like QBE’s Premiums4Good. It is the first ‘resilience’ bond in the world to focus on improving the life chances of young people transitioning from state care into adulthood and independence in the general community.
As an outcomes-based arrangement, payment by the government is dependent on demonstrating the delivery of agreed outcomes.
To achieve this, a young person moves through four stages (Engage, Build, Practice and Demonstrate) to live independently and successfully. Each phase is underpinned by safe and stable housing and is not reliant on social housing. The young person transitions through the stages within a three-year period.
Since launching in 2017, the program has enrolled three cohorts of clients and by 31 May, 2021 there were 214 young people engaged in the Youth CONNECT program at various stages of their journey.
Recent results of the program include:
- 58 young people have moved on to college
- 38 participants with positive employment outcomes
- 68 participants seeking employment
- 44 participants with positive personal development outcomes
Youth CONNECT has seen a higher rate of young women referred to the program, with women making up 53% of the total cohort. 42% of referrals were male, while 3 clients (1%) identified as non-binary, and another 4 (1%) are transgender.
Youth CONNECT has also seen a high rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people referred to the program from the beginning of the pilot. 42% of referrals are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders.
In 2021, the first cohort of young people have commenced their transition after having completed all four stages of the innovative program. This is an important milestone for the program.