Social Investment for Families, Friends and Relationships | Big Society Capital

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Social Investment for Families, Friends and Relationships

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This Social Investment Insights paper focuses on how social investment can be used to support families, friends and relationships.

This edition of social investment insights outlines the findings of our initial research into how social investment can be used to support families, friends and relationships. Our outcomes matrix identifies the need for people to have a positive social network that provides love, belonging and emotional practical support.

Having meaningful relationships and social connections is a basic human need. The lack of an adequate support network can lead to multiple and complex social issues such as domestic violence, abuse, loneliness, mental illness, stress from caring responsibilities, isolation and family breakdown.

Services that support families, friends and relationships are mainly delivered through a mix of provision across the public, private and social sectors. Examples of provision include children’s centres, youth facilities, residential care, relationship support services and services delivered for specific groups including disabled people, vulnerable young people, older people and carers. Reductions in public spending have led to a decrease in the services available over recent years.

Our evidence has identified several areas where social investment could play a role in supporting families, friends and relationships. This includes replicating existing social impact bonds, exploring how children and youth centres could expand their facilities through delivering more self-pay, crosssubsidised or public sector contracts, exploring non-profit alternatives to residential care, raising awareness about charity bonds and encouraging the development of more preventative services to support issues such as troubled families, young people leaving care or reducing isolation. 

Last updated | 
10 March 2015