Public Sector Clients

Ventura County, California Interface Children and Family Services (Interface)



The Challenge

In California, about 50% of individuals released from custody are convicted of a subsequent crime within three years of release, a number that has remained stubbornly high since the early 2000s. Social Finance partnered with Ventura County and Interface to establish the Ventura County Project to Support Reentry program to improve outcomes for recently incarcerated individuals and their communities. In support of this project, Ventura County received a grant from the Board of State and Community
Corrections for $1.5 million. Since the project’s launch in 2016, Social Finance has overseen project implementation and facilitated the adaptation of service delivery to respond to challenges in real-time. The project’s goals included:

  • Serving a priority population with high demand for reentry services, addressing individual needs through case management, clinical services, and job-readiness skills;
  • Scaling high-quality services in the community and building service providers’ capacity to provide these services;
  • Managing referral and enrollment processes through ongoing performance management;
  • And increasing the accountability and transparency of program outcomes for all project stakeholders by improving data capacity and focusing on measurement.

“The staff at Social Finance are much more than experts in innovative social impact. They are project managers and experts in data analysis and integration. They can help you decide what programs would most likely be successful, do the contracts, implement and launch the project, and help you through the governing and operational phases. They are the complete package, from beginning to end.”

— Frank Chow, former Program Management Analyst, Ventura County Executive Office

The Work
Social Finance developed and implemented strategies to achieve these goals through:

  • Data collection and analysis. We developed data integration and review processes that allowed for ongoing performance management and allowed the evaluator to measure program success by analyzing reductions in arrest rates through a randomized control trial.
  • Governance processes. We established formal governance processes which brought key stakeholders together to establish relationships, review information, make key decisions, and amend contracts or operations as required.
  • Operations refinement. We created and implemented action plans that broke down monthly results for each probation officer’s metrics—including number of participants assessed, number of participants eligible, and number of participants randomized—to identify sources of enrollment pipeline attrition. We also supported new operational processes within the probation agency staff, including shifting a new level of oversight to supervisors. Probation leadership recognized opportunities to support probation officers and the referral process by incorporating eligibility review earlier in the client engagement process. Through these process changes, Social Finance and the agency adjusted targets to set more realistic and achievable monthly goals, against which progress was actively discussed within the agency and at each governance meeting.
  • Program model adaptation. We led project partners in pivoting operations due to Covid-19, developing processes to allow virtual consent into programming and supporting service provider transition to remote service delivery.

The Results

  • Governance processes allowed the key stakeholders to develop strong, trusting relationships and allowed the program to adapt to challenges, including Covid-19, in real-time.
  • Program design was continually improved, so that enrollment increased 64%, enabling Ventura County to support 346 adults who were assigned to formal probation there.
  • The evaluator is currently analyzing program and evaluation data to determine the effects of the program on recidivism in Ventura County.

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about our advisory work, contact Managing Director Jeff Shumway or Vice President Jake Segal.