CLEVELAND (AP) - Ohio's largest county wants to try an experimental approach to keep more children from homeless families out of foster care.
A fundraising model being floated by Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald would give private investors a chance to make some money by helping to expand an existing intervention program, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group .
Investors would get their money back, plus up to 2 percent interest, if the intervention program hits its performance goals.
The proposal, which is still being developed, would aim to raise between $8 million and $9 million from foundations, banks and other investors.
FitzGerald, a Democratic candidate for governor, said the program could save the county money overall if it can reduce the number of kids in foster care.
Investors' profits would come from taxpayers, which already pay $35 million for foster care in the county of about 1.2 million residents.
The fundraising method has been called "pay for success" or "social impact bonds." Lately, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group, it has been attracting interest in the United States within academic, government and philanthropic circles.
David Merriman, FitzGerald's deputy chief of staff for human services, said county administration is still developing the specific benchmarks that would be used to determine whether the investors get their money back.
If county officials approve the proposal, the administration hopes to get everything in place by July.