Austin-Based Nonprofits and Government Agencies Receive Federally Funded Support to Explore Innovative Funding Model for Early Childhood and Youth Development
Austin/Travis County one of seven in U.S.—only Texas community—to receive federally funded technical assistance from Third Sector to accelerate exploration of implementing Pay for Success
AUSTIN, Texas— The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department in partnership with United Way for Greater Austin, Travis County Health and Human Services and Veterans Service, Central Health and Greenlights has been selected as part of a national competition to assess the feasibility of implementing an innovative “Pay for Success” initiative to reduce teen pregnancies among Hispanic youth and to improve birth outcomes among African Americans. Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. (Third Sector), the organization that conducted the competition, will provide the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services and its partners, as well as six other awardees nationwide, federally funded technical assistance throughout 2015. Third Sector’s work with Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, United Way for Greater Austin, Travis County Health and Human Services and Veterans Service, Central Health and Greenlights is supported by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund.
Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative funding model that enables communities to access greater resources to tackle complex social problems by tapping private investments for the upfront costs of the programs. If the programs are 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. This ensures that taxpayer dollars are being spent only on social programs that actually deliver measurable results.
“I am thrilled to hear that the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department and its partners are recipients of this highly competitive Pay for Success feasibility study grant,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “This is a step in the right direction to determine how our local government and philanthropic leaders can work together to improve social outcomes while saving tax dollars for the entire community. I look forward to supporting this initiative any way that I can.”
The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, United Way for Greater Austin, Travis County Health and Human Services and Veterans Service, Central Health and Greenlights were selected for their demonstrated commitment to funding high-quality, effective social interventions that produce measurable outcomes in the area of early childhood and youth development.
The Austin/Travis County feasibility study will result in an assessment of two initiatives—Maternal Infant Outreach Program (MIOP) and Peer-to-Peer Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Empowerment Program (P2P)—to determine if Pay for Success should be implemented to advance the work in one or both programs.
The Maternal Infant Outreach Program’s (MIOP) primary focus is on improving birth outcomes among low-income African American women in Travis County and reducing the disparities in birth outcomes between African American women and women of other races/ethnicities. MIOP employs African American Community Health Workers (CHWs) to provide low-income African American women in Travis County with free services, including referrals, health education, assistance navigating health and human services systems, one-on-one home visits, emotional support, birth education, and labor and delivery support.
Peer-to-Peer Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Empowerment Program (P2P) works with male and female Hispanic youth ages 13 through 19 in Travis County, with a focus on participants from families below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, Medicaid/CHIP beneficiaries and the uninsured to reduce teen pregnancy. The program uses ¡Cuídate! (Take Care of Yourself)—an evidence-based comprehensive sexual health education curriculum for adolescents designed to reduce sexual risk behaviors. The theory-based curriculum, which is culturally specific to the Hispanic community, has been shown to reduce sexual activity and increase condom use among adolescents. In 2012, there were 413 births to mothers aged 17 or younger in Travis County. An overwhelming majority of those infants, 81.4 percent, were born to Hispanic adolescents.
“The Pay for Success model provides the opportunity to advance and strengthen the health and well being of our community as well as establish innovative funding models and approaches to demonstrate the importance and impact of prevention work. The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department is honored to serve as a sub-recipient of this award,” said Rosamaria Murillo, Ph.D., LMSW, assistant director of Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department.
“United Way for Greater Austin began this process with a vision to form a task force to explore an innovative way to address social issues in our community,” said Leah Newkirk Meunier, Ph.D., vice president of strategic programs for United Way for Greater Austin. “We are thrilled that this partnership of nonprofits and government agencies was selected to work with Third Sector, and we look forward to exploring the opportunity of advancing Pay for Success to reduce teen pregnancy and improve birth outcomes in our under-served communities.”
“Travis County Health and Human Services and Veterans Service is excited to join with our local partners to explore the Pay for Success model as a means of increasing funding for critical programs in our community,” said Sarah Eckhardt, Travis County Judge. “The county has a long history of commitment to health care and social services for its residents, and it appreciates the opportunities that this new funding strategy may provide. We also appreciate Third Sector’s recognition of the great spirit of collaboration that exists between our local governments and our private partners.”
“This is huge for our community,” said Matt Kouri, Greenlights CEO. “As our recent research on Austin’s nonprofit community revealed, solving our region’s most complex social problems will take unprecedented, cross-sector collaboration and innovative new business models, both of which are exemplified beautifully in this Pay for Success model.”
“Central Health is committed to a vision of Central Texas becoming a model healthy community. Our primary focus is providing access to health care for those who need it most, and are dedicated to working on other aspects of building a healthy community through partnerships and collaboration. I’m proud and excited to be a participant in this innovative program design which has potential to benefit vulnerable people in our community,” said Patricia A. Young Brown, Central Health president and CEO.
Third Sector, a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund’s Pay for Success program, announced the selection of awardees/sub-recipients after a highly selective national competition. The Sub-Recipients include: Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, Texas; Bridges Network and Orange County, California; Commonwealth of Virginia; State of Nevada in partnership with Clark County, Nevada and Las Vegas, Nevada; State of Oregon, Marion and Multnomah Counties, Oregon, and Friends of the Children; State of Washington and Thrive Washington; and Year Up.
“We are honored to work with Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, United Way for Greater Austin, Travis County Health and Human Services and Veterans Service, Central Health and Greenlights to measurably improve the lives of Austin/Travis County,” said George Overholser, CEO and co-founder of Third Sector. “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.”
In 2014, Third Sector received $1.9 million from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), to help strengthen the pipeline of state and local governments and service providers prepared to implement PFS projects. SIF 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 PFS 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, New York; Salt Lake City, Utah; Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Massachusetts (two projects); and New York.
Austin Travis County Health and Human Services Department
The mission of the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department is to promote and protect the health of our community through the use of best practices and community collaborations.
United Way for Greater Austin
United Way for Greater Austin inspires, leads and unites an eclectic community of philanthropists including individuals, nonprofits, business and government to overcome barriers to economic opportunities and ensure Greater Austin continues to thrive. United Way for Greater Austin’s work is research-based and results driven and resources are invested so that everyone has access to the promise of Austin.
Travis County Health and Human Services and Veterans Service
For the people of Travis County, our mission is to preserve health, provide a safety net for the needy, ensure the public safety, facilitate the resolution of disputes, foster an efficient transportation system, promote recreational opportunities and manage County resources in order to meet the changing needs of the community in an effective manner.
Central Health is here to make our community stronger by investing in access to health care for our most vulnerable residents. We are the local public entity that connects low income Travis County residents to high quality, cost effective health care. We work with a network of partners to eliminate health disparities to reach our vision of Travis County becoming a model healthy community.
Greenlights is Austin’s go-to social sector resource and leader, providing mission-driven organizations and people with the tools and guidance they need to tackle complex community challenges. With support from donors, Greenlights serves more than 800 organizations and 2,500 individuals annually. Greenlights is also the Austin affiliate of Social Venture Partners international, a global network of philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and changemakers. For more information, visit greenlights.org.
About Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc.
Third Sector is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate America’s transition to a performance-driven social sector. Third Sector is making Pay for Success a reality in the United States. Third Sector leads governments, high-performing nonprofits, and funders in building collaborative initiatives that re-write the book on how governments contract social services, by funding programs that work, saving taxpayer dollars, and measurably improving the lives of people most in need. Third Sector is a recipient of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund. Learn more at nationalservice.gov/sif.
About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.