Regina, SK

Sweet Dreams - innovative financing to keep mothers and children together

Nominated by:

Innovation Saskatchewan

About the Innovation

In virtually all cases, forcibly removing children from the family home because of child welfare concerns causes trauma to the child and the parent. To find an alternative solution to taking children into care, EGADZ Saskatoon Downtown Youth Center, community-minded investors and the Gov’t of Saskatchewan came together to create Sweet Dreams, using an innovative financing tool – a social impact bond – a first for Canada. Sweet Dreams provides a supported living environment where the family is kept intact, and mothers are provided the tools needed to safely parent their children in the short, medium and long term. In the past five years, 53 out of 54 children remain with their Mom.

About the Innovator

The “Sweet Dreams” project was the first Canadian Social Impact Bond. The program is available to mothers who commit to a plan for learning how to safely parent their children. With funding from Conexus Credit Union and the Mah Family, combined with the Saskatchewan Government’s belief in the concept, the EGADZ Saskatoon Downtown Youth Center helps mothers parent their children while pursuing education and employment opportunities. The service shows how innovative human services can improve lives, deliver outcomes and ensure wise public expenditures.

June Draude, Eric Dillon, Walter Mah, Donald Meikle

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