The following article was published in the December 2019 issue of the American Public Human Services Association’s Policy & Practice Magazine.
In 2015, the Colorado legislature allowed the use of Pay for Success contracts to measurably improve outcomes for Colorado youth involved or at high risk of involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Under this law, the state was authorized to create a series of contracts that only paid human services providers when they reached agreed-upon outcome goals. This approach, which uses interventions with strong evidence of effectiveness, allowed the state to try new approaches to improving services for at-risk youth in the state. The question was, however, where to begin?