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OHSU Center for Evidence-based Policy receives federal funding to improve child welfare in Oregon

Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. to provide federally funded technical assistance to accelerate exploration of implementing Pay for Success in Oregon

The Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University has been selected as part of a national competition to assess the feasibility of implementing an innovative funding model called Pay for Success to improve child welfare in Oregon.

Pay for Success enables government to draw in greater resources to tackle social problems by tapping private investments for the upfront costs of the programs. If the program is successful in delivering services that measurably improve the lives of people it is meant to serve, then government repays those who made the original investment. If the program does not achieve its target results, government does not repay those who made the original investment. This ensures that taxpayer dollars are being spent only on programs that actually work.

The Center for Evidence-based Policy was selected for its demonstrated commitment to funding high-quality, effective social interventions that produce measurable outcomes. The center’s work in the Pay for Success field is focused on connecting families to proven local services that will prevent child entry into Oregon’s child welfare and foster care systems. The center also will play a lead coordinating role with Third Sector’s other Oregon grantees: Multnomah and Marion Counties, and Friends of the Children.

Under the leadership of Congressman Earl Blumenauer, D-OR, and a broad steering committee of elected officials, health systems, charitable foundations, and child advocates, the center has methodically researched the factors leading to foster care with the aim of engaging local, community-based providers in effective services that will prevent neglect, abuse and foster care entry.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Third Sector to advance Pay for Success in Oregon through our Pay for Prevention project,” said Pam Curtis, director of the Center for Evidence-based Policy. “Third Sector’s award builds on years of work here, and on the investment made by the Oregon Legislature in 2014. Third Sector’s engagement will advance our work to get better results for children while increasing government accountability.”

Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc., the organization that ran the competition, will provide the center and six other awardees federally funded technical assistance throughout 2015. Third Sector’s work with the center is supported by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund.

“We are honored to work with the Center for Evidence-based Policy to measurably improve the lives of children in Oregon,” said Third Sector CEO and Co-Founder George Overholser. “Support from the Social Innovation Fund will allow Third Sector to lead a diverse cohort of governments and nonprofits in accelerating their exploration of implementing Pay for Success in the areas of early childhood and youth development.”

Third Sector, a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund’s Pay for Success program, announced the selection of the Center for Evidence-based Policy along with six other awardees, called “sub-recipients,” after a highly selective national competition: Austin/Travis County, Texas; Bridges Network and Orange County, California; Commonwealth of Virginia; State of Nevada in partnership with Clark County and Las Vegas, Nevada; Marion and Multnomah Counties, Oregon, and Friends of the Children; State of Washington and Thrive Washington; and Year Up.

In 2014, Third Sector received $1.9 million from the Social Innovation Fund, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, to help strengthen the pipeline of state and local governments and service providers prepared to implement Pay for Success projects. Social Innovation Fund uses federal funding as a catalyst for private and public collaborations in three areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development.

To deliver the technical assistance, Third Sector is partnering with Abt Associates, America Forward, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, and National Governor’s Association.

Seven Pay for Success programs in the fields of juvenile justice, early childhood education, homelessness prevention and recidivism have been launched in the United States, including Chicago, Illinois; New York City; Salt Lake City; Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Massachusetts (two projects); and New York.

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