August 11 2016

An eager endorsement of PFS comes via the Australian public service broadcaster, ABC.

Australia Should ‘Pay For Success’ In Tackling Homelessness

Matthew Tyler – ABC

As Homelessness Week draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on Pink Floyd’s epic ballad from 30 years ago: “No more turning away from the weak and the weary.”

Following brave protests across the country, homelessness has made an overdue ascent on the political agenda with additional funding in several states, including Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia. But we’ve seen short-term cash splashes before. So what makes this time different? Three words: Pay For Success.

Currently, state governments pay social service providers based on activities. These include providing shelter beds, serving meals or seeing patients. While these services are critical, funding is not tied to sustainable improvements in people’s lives. The result is a seemingly unrelenting need for short-term reactionary support.

In contrast, Pay For Success means government funding is tied to measurable life outcomes. Examples of outcomes from existing projects include reductions in reoffending following release from prison, entry into sustained employment and family reunification for children in state care. If the agreed outcomes are not delivered, then taxpayers do not pay.