Released on June 21, 2016
Sweet Dreams provides vulnerable mothers with a safe place to live with their children while they receive parenting support, access to educational opportunities and the chance to develop employability skills so they can best care for their families. The five year goal of the project is to keep 22 children out of foster care by keeping them safely with their mothers continuously for more than six months after participating in the program.
Sweet Dreams was made possible by a Social Impact Bond between the Government of Saskatchewan, EGADZ, Conexus Credit Union, and social benefactors Wally and Colleen Mah – the first of its kind in Canada.
“I am delighted to see so much success at such an early stage,” Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said. “We believed from the start in this project and the partners involved, and we knew that vulnerable children and their families would benefit.”
The spring 2016 periodic review from an independent assessor confirmed that 21 children and their mothers had achieved this to date, significantly reducing the likelihood of those children having to come into care in the future. The Sweet Dreams pilot project is set to continue until 2019.
“We are so proud of all of the families we have worked with so far,” EGADZ Executive Director Don Meikle said. “While the concept of a social impact bond is intriguing, and seeing the model in action first hand is also exciting, what really matters is how the moms we are working with at Sweet Dreams are making positive changes and what this means for both them and their kids. Sweet Dreams is life changing and we are going to continue to work hard to improve the lives of moms and their children.”
A social impact bond is an innovative funding model that uses private capital to provide a social program. Together, along with private investors, project partners set out specific goals and then agree to pay those investors a pre-arranged sum if the project goes on to accomplish the stated goal.
This innovative approach allows governments and communities to proceed with social innovation projects more quickly while also increasing the accountability and transparency of the project.
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