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Relais Familial: Preventively supporting vulnerable families suffering from educational difficulties

In 2014, about 284,000 underage children were in the care of child protection services in France. Out of the €7Bn that are annually dedicated to child protection by the French district authorities, 80% directly finance the placement of children. Moreover, the average annual cost for the placement of a child in foster care represents an expense of €60,000. Yet, 80% of child notifications are about educational deficiencies without any physical violence, meaning there is a strong interest for deploying alternatives to child placements and allowing them to stay with their families.


Terms of the bond

  • Status: Launch in 2019

  • Country: France

  • Target population:

  1. young mothers/single parents suffering from social and family disruption

  2. families suffering from educational difficulties and from very precarious living conditions

  3. families suffering from a parental burn-out syndrome

  • Impact metrics: number of placements avoided 12 months and 24 months after the children’s arrival in the “Relais Familial”

  • Duration: 4,5 years

  • Amount: about €5.2M

  • Expected return: up to 3.5% IRR

  • Outcome funders: French district authorities

  • Investors : BNP Paribas, European Investment Fund, Banque des Territoires, Ides and Inco’

  • Service providers: Apprentis d’Auteuil Foundation


The service provider

The “Relais Familial” project is an initiative of the Apprentis d’Auteuil Foundation, a French Foundation which has been committed, since more than 150 years to helping young people and families in distress, through education, training and insertion programs. It aims at re-directing part of these funds, currently used to finance long-term curative programs, towards short-term preventative and intensive ones, based on family empowerment.

The “Relais Familial” targets families who are exposed to multiple and significant vulnerabilities - especially educational difficulties. The final objective is to avoid the placement of children at risk in the long term, allowing parents and children to remain a family within a reassuring daily life environment, while working on the strengthening of the parent-children relationships.



KOIS has lead, with the support of BNP Paribas as co-adviser, the structuring of two Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) to finance two “Relais Familiaux”, operated by Les Apprentis d’Auteuil Foundation, in two French regions. Each “Relais Familial” is composed of six flats aiming at accommodating the families admitted to the social programme for an average stay of 9 months. It is managed by a small and multidisciplinary team (a manager, a social and home economics adviser, an educator and a psychologist), delivering socio-educational services.


It will offer parents a range of activities allowing them to improve their educational skills while being supported by professionals: peer-to-peer discussions, help for homework, help for budget management, cooking trainings, meetings for one-to-one or group discussions, family group conferences, etc.

"Having the different parties of the projet around the same table is challenging but thrilling and inspiring! The representatives usually start the conversation holding prejudices regarding the other parties, and progressively realizes that those prejudices were unfounded. Instead they discover the qualities of the other organisations (Public Administration, Investors or NGOs): professionalism, impact driven, full of humanity…"

Ladislas de Guerre, Manager, KOIS Paris


The expected impact

The French district authorities of Loire Atlantique and Gironde as outcome funders will reimburse the social investors based on the SIBs' results over 4.5years. The expected impact of these SIBs is:

  • 200 underage children taken into care/hosted in the relais familial

  • Up to 200 placements in foster care avoided

  • Up to 19M savings for the three french departments thanks to the intervention


Sources: Observatoire National de la Protection de l’Enfance, 2014; ONED; Cour des Comptes, 2009

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