Two years ago, in a context of continuing financial austerity, Family Action decided to explore social investment as part of a strategy to diversify our income base and prioritise innovation in our service delivery. We spent months developing a bold, new, intensive service for adolescents in care who were experiencing multiple placement moves, who were going missing regularly, were at risk of exploitation or offending or who were otherwise at significant risk. The model we developed was exciting, but unproven. How could we persuade local authorities to commission such a service without a substantial evidence base? And how could we manage cash flow in year one without putting a substantial amount of the charity’s reserves at risk? Who might help us?