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Social Return on Investment (SROI) Summary Report

Supported Treatment Accommodation and Recovery in Suffolk (STARS) June 2015


Genesis commissioned an independent research company, Envoy Partnership, to conduct a Social Return on Investment (SROI) evaluation of its Supported Treatment Accommodation and Recovery Suffolk (STARS) programme for people with history of substance misuse and/or offending. This report summarises the findings of the SROI evaluation.

STARS was set up as a pilot project in 2008 between Genesis and the Bury St Edmunds Community Safety Partnership. Following its initial success Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team (now Public Health Suffolk) commissioned a larger pilot with 18 places in 2010. One and two bed properties were procured via the private rental sector in order to facilitate Intensive Support for Individuals with chaotic substance misuse issues and/or prolific offending history. In 2012 Genesis successfully bid for the service and went on to provide 35 places for those in recovery with intensive support needs.

STARS expanded in 2013 to include a housing ‘Advice & Advocacy’ service, providing expert information and advice on housing issues to customers, whilst enabling Treatment agencies to concentrate their time on treatment interventions. The Advice & Advocacy service provides short term support to an average of 600 people (single homeless, sofa surfers, rough sleepers) every year across three main bases: Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft and Ipswich.

A word from the commissioner

“Much of the success of STARS is attributable to ensuring the right staff are in place to support this vulnerable client group…. STARS provides a suitable and stable environment for service users to continue their recovery from substance misuse, impacts on the reduction of re-offending and supports those engaged to improve their overall wellbeing. Highly regarded by both service users and other stakeholders, Genesis is a key player in the multiagency partnerships across the county”. Jodie Rendell, Criminal Justice Commissioning Manager, Public Health Suffolk

The differences that STARS makes?

Below are quotes from some of our beneficiaries and clients who have benefitted positively from the STARS programme.

“Everything about me has changed – the way I think - my values. I live rather than just existing and wanting to die. I deal with stuff as it comes up, instead of just burying it. I have a good structured life. I like who I am now. I am confident, funny and have a nice personality. My health is loads better.” (Female customer)

“It has greatly reduced the pressure on and conflict in the family. His brothers and sisters were really angry with him cos of the effect it was having on me. And we used to fight a lot about him – that has stopped because they are not angry with him all the time anymore.” (Mother of customer)

”The on-going support (and accommodation) really increases the chances for people to sustain long term recoveries. It really helps clients who need to stay within the recovery community rather than go back into relapse… STARS shines the spotlight on these issues; accommodation gives people the chance to consider relocation opportunities, creating stronger recovery communities and structure.” [Partner - Agency]

Important outcomes

32 clients and ex-clients were interviewed for the SROI. They described the changes, or ‘interim outcomes’, they achieve during and towards the end of their time on the STARS programme as well as identifying some ‘final’ outcomes they experience by building on these achievements:

Interim outcomes, achieved during a customer’s stay

  • Stable and secure accommodation
  • Structured and meaningful occupation of time
  • Engagement with treatment and recovery maintenance
  • Positive social values and peer relationships
  • Personal Care
  • Work skills and ethic

Final, longer term outcomes for customers who complete their journey through STARS

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Safety
  • Relationships and reintegration
  • Financial stability and employment

STARS also creates indirect benefits which impact stakeholders other than customers. The most common change cited by family members was improved health and wellbeing due to a reduction in stress and anxiety caused by their loved one’s behaviour and addiction. Benefits for public services and communities included:

  • Reduction in use of drugs and alcohol
  • Reduction in health issues
  • Reduction in levels of crime

These reductions save money for the NHS, Criminal Justice System, and a reduction on the emotional and financial impact on crime victims.

Quantifying & Valuing Outcomes

Key results from the research showed:

  • 43% of clients who accessed STARS’ Intensive Support service achieved a positive move-on from STARS. This means that they had made sufficient progress in their recovery to move into alternative accommodation that was not directly supported by STARS.
  • A further 11% gained significant benefits from STARS, despite not achieving a positive move-on.
  • These are significant achievements for STARS where a high level of drop out is expected from the client group.
  • A survey of STARS clients showed that 88% say that their use of Class A drugs has gone down a lot, and 65% are now completely clean. The survey also showed significant increase in mental well-being due to improved relationships with family and feeling less worried about money.

Social Return on Investment

The evaluation found that Genesis’ STARS programme represents an exceptionally creative and effective response to the needs of a challenging group of drug and alcohol using offenders. The outcomes for their clients, as well as for families, partners and the state are significant; in total the presence of STARS leads to the creation of just under £10 million of value. STARS direct share of the credit (or “attribution”), is 14%, which represents just over £1.4 million of Social Value. So STARS is the catalyst for social return – customers make progress because they have support, accommodation and access to other treatment and community recovery services, all of which contribute to the £10 million.

For every £1 invested, around £4.80 of value is created: an SROI ratio of 4.8:1. Much of this Social Value is created for clients of STARS’ Intensive Support or Advice & Advocacy programmes.

An SROI ratio of 4:8:1 shows a very positive return; STARS creates a return on investment when government resources are both included and excluded. See figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Return on Investment ratios



Value Created


The Government



The Government and the Community



The Government, the Community, STARS clients and their families



The methodology used draws directly on the UK Cabinet Office’s Guide to Social Return on Investment.

Reasons for STARS’ success

The evaluation demonstrated a number of factors that are key to the success of STARS, and lead to significant outcomes for clients.

  • Quality accommodation and relocation
  • ‘Wrap around’ support and a person centred approach
  • Experts by experience
  • Building resilience
  • Partnership working

Full details of the report is available on request.

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