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On the second day of the Social Outcomes Conference 2021, we explored social impact bonds (SIBs) focussing on children’s services across Europe. By taking a comparative lens, we drew out the different justifications for using SIBs, development processes, design choices, and emerging (or final) results from these projects. 

Research and Policy Associate Tanyah Hameed presented research findings from a GO Lab study investigating SIBs supporting children and young people across England - the most detailed comparative investigation of SIBs within children’s social care to date. She found improving social outcomes was at the heart of using SIBs, but they also served as a pragmatic fix in the face of financial pressures. Further findings suggested that data and transparency will remain key in boosting evidence.

This point was echoed by Tomas Bokström from RISE, who emphasised the importance of transparency, even if this means sharing failures. Meanwhile, Mila Lukic, Raphael Cadenhear and Jonathan Gill from Positive Families Partnership, highlighted how they use data to capture the voice of the family and tailor post-therapy support.