Pilot project lets investors fund Illinois social services

CHICAGO (AP) — The state of Illinois is launching a pilot project of a public-private partnership that would have investors pay for services to people in need in exchange for a potential return on investment.

The project set to launch Tuesday gives investors the opportunity to cover upfront costs of services and be reimbursed with a profit if the program meets objectives to improve outcomes and save the state money. The Department of Children and Family Services will focus the program on youth projects in four counties.

The Chicago Tribune reports the program could be a model for funding social services and give providers more certainty than the state budgeting process.

State officials say details about the project’s structure, costs and measures for success will be sorted out in the coming months.