Oklahoma DHS Signs State’s Second Pay for Success Contract

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) recently signed a contract with the Arnall Family Foundation to implement the state’s second Pay for Success program. Pay for Success, also known as a social impact bond, is a form of contracting in which private funders assume the risk by providing upfront capital to implement an evidence-based or promising intervention, and the government provides funding only if pre-determined success measures are achieved. If the intervention is not successful, the government pays nothing.

Through this contract, DHS will expand an in-home prevention program called Intensive Safety Services (ISS) that is designed to keep children safe in the home while their parents complete services instead of the children entering foster care. This program provides intensive services from a Master’s-level therapist to address parental needs that led to the abuse and/or neglect of their children.

“Our Child Welfare Services has focused efforts for the past several years on outcomes-based results such as the prevention of further abuse and neglect of children who come to our attention,” said Ed Lake, Director of DHS. “This Pay for Success partnership with the Arnall Foundation enables us to expand our ongoing efforts, reducing trauma to children and making a real difference in the lives and futures of the families we serve.”

The Arnall Family Foundation provided $142,220 to DHS to expand ISS in Oklahoma County. A minimum of 26 cases serving approximately 47 children must be initiated each year of the contract. The contract is expected to span three years which will ultimately serve 78 cases and approximately 140 children.

For each successful ISS case, a payment of $9,480 will be made by DHS to the Arnall Family Foundation until the original investment is repaid. A case is determined successful if the child or children in the family served by ISS have not been placed in foster care at 12 months post ISS engagement.

“We are excited to enter into this public-private partnership with DHS,” said Sue Ann Arnall, president of the Arnall Family Foundation. “We look forward to continuing to partner with the state in future Pay for Success programs that align public investment with outcomes-based services.”

Cross Sector Innovations, an Oklahoma-based company, served as an intermediary providing technical assistance and transaction structuring for the contract and continues to provide consultation throughout evaluation. “This model is a prime example of how innovative public-private partnerships can offer new solutions and promote investment of resources in ideas that work,” stated Ed Long, Founder and Principal of Cross Sector. “The Arnall Family Foundation and DHS are to be commended for their leadership. This approach illustrates that more is possible.”


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