Increasing Financial Well-Being through Integration
Interest in integrating financial capability services into other social services to address the multiple needs of families is growing among community practitioners, social service programs, employers and foundations across the country. A growing body of on-the-ground experience is demonstrating how integration can increase the impact of a primary social service, such as helping an individual find a job, while also addressing other financial challenges and barriers that person may be facing. Prosperity Now's newest federal policy publication series, "Increasing Financial Well-Being through Integration," chronicles policy changes that could increase the impact of social service programs by boosting families' overall economic outcomes.
By meeting low- and moderate-income families where they are and expanding financial capability solutions into existing services, we see programs improve by creating holistic solutions that help families overcome a range of financial challenges through increased knowledge and access to quality financial products. A growing number of federal and state leaders have begun innovating and collaborating in this space. Now, the asset-building field must capitalize on this energy and provide federal agencies and Congress with concrete recommendations to expand this vital work.
The first in Prosperity Now's five-part series, "Meeting People Where They Are," highlights the need and opportunity for integrating financial capability services into social service programs to improve financial well-being. This introductory brief covers (1) the state of households' finances, (2) the impact of financial insecurity on families, (3) the financial challenges experienced by households beyond lack of income and wealth, (4) the definitions of financial capability and integration, (5) the federal government's investment in innovation and cross-agency dialogue regarding integration and financial capability, and (6) the framework for future policy recommendations.
Future briefs will cover the value of integrating financial capability services in order to boost other programmatic outcomes, including:
- Finding and retaining employment
- Gaining housing stability
- Reaching and succeeding in higher education
- Improving health
Future briefs in this series will be released in early 2015. Look for announcements on Prosperity Now's blog and in the special reports section of Prosperity Now's federal policy website for more information.