January 2021

In this first edition of the Social Finance newsletter for 2021, we introduce a new series on building data science skills, look into what outcomes-based contracts mean in the Covid era, and mark a significant milestone for our Mental Health and Employment Partnership.

But first: we need to talk about ethnicity data.

We’ve all been asked to tick a box defining our ethnicity at some point or another, writes Tarö Kili, whether when registering with a GP, enrolling a child in school, or signing up to a local service. But where does this data actually go, and what is it used for?

The answer to those questions, unfortunately, is often 'nowhere' and 'nothing'.

It is seen as an optional extra and a chore, and as a result, ethnicity data is an underused datapoint in public services.

But if we want to ensure that our processes and procedures are non-discriminatory, we need to start recording and using it seriously.

Read: Let's talk about ethnicity data

We are Social Finance

We combine social and financial insight to help our partners make a difference to enduring problems – where the outcomes are poor and the costs of failure are high.

Find out more about our work

Recent blogs

How to build your team’s data science skills from scratch

Why we decided to invest in training and build up a significant data science capability, and the impact it has had on our work.

By Celine Gross

Outcomes-based contracts in a time of crisis

In this piece for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, we ask: Have outcomes-based contracts allowed more flexibility and adaptability in responding to Covid-19?

By Louise Savell and Mara Airoldi

Transforming end of life care

Three key insights from our work in mobilising a transformation programme around end of life care in Waltham Forest, London .

By Social Finance

A right to rehab

Medical science works wonders to help people survive traumatic injuries, but there is a critical gap in supporting victims once they’ve left hospital.

By Gary Johnson

‘Collaboration breaks down barriers, builds hope, and inspires’

Our Impact Incubator team is looking at the issue of violence impacting young people, to try and understand the root causes of the problem and the opportunities to drive systemic change.

Jobs at Social Finance

We are currently recruiting for the following positions:

Bid Writing Lead (closing date: 31 January)
IPS Grow Lead (closing date: 9 February)



Family Context

Family Context is a tool that empowers social workers to support children and families. It allows them to find the other services – such as schools, adult social care, housing and police – that are engaged with the child and their family, and to work with their counterparts to improve outcomes.

Together with Local Digital, we're looking for local authorities interested in embedding Family Context into their social care practice. Complete the form and we'll be in touch to discuss the project in more detail and the next steps.

Register your interest



Mental Health and Employment Parnership

We are delighted to share the news that Mental Health and Employment Partnership (MHEP) services have now supported over 1,000 people with severe mental illnesses, drug and alcohol addictions, or learning disabilities, into paid employment to date.

MHEP was set up in 2015 to launch the world’s first ever Social Impact Bond aimed at helping people with mental health problems into paid employment, following the evidence-based Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model. The work was also recognised this month by the Big Issue, which listed MHEP as one of their 2021 Changemakers.

Here's to the next 1,000!
Learn more about MHEP
We hope you enjoyed this newsletter. If you'd like to get in contact about any aspect of our work, please use the contact form on our website.
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