Social work and economic empowerment financial capability in the classroom and beyond cswe 2013
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Social Work and Economic Empowerment: Financial Capability in the Classroom and Beyond CSWE 2013. Christine Callahan, PhD, LCSW-C Research Lead Specialist, Clinical UMSSW Financial Social Work Initiative. Financial Social Work Initiative (FSWI ) at UMSSW.

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Social work and economic empowerment financial capability in the classroom and beyond cswe 2013

Social Work and Economic Empowerment: Financial Capability in the Classroom and BeyondCSWE 2013

Christine Callahan, PhD, LCSW-C

Research Lead Specialist, Clinical

UMSSW Financial Social Work Initiative


Financial social work initiative fswi at umssw
Financial Social Work Initiative (FSWI in the Classroom and Beyond) at UMSSW

  • Founded in 2008 after several years of conceptualizing and planning

  • Partnership between UMSSW alumni, school of social work, and other interested community partners

  • Three-pronged focus: education, practice, and research


Evolution of fswi
Evolution in the Classroom and Beyondof FSWI

  • Social workers in the community recognized need for additional financial skills in working with clients and communities

  • Alumni consulted with educators, researchers, and leaders in the field and began providing trainings

  • Financial crisis accelerated

  • Demand for clinical and community-based services outpaced the capacity of those with training

  • Agencies had no pipeline of financially savvy social workers


Evolution continued
Evolution (continued) in the Classroom and Beyond

  • Alumni with an interest in financial social work challenged the school to take a leadership role

  • Funders were willing investors in building the school’s training and community-based program capacity

  • The School responded to media attention regarding activities in response to the financial crisis

  • FSWI work-plan arose (11/08)


Why financial social work
Why Financial Social Work? in the Classroom and Beyond

Need to:

  • integrate financial and psychosocial aspects of counseling

  • recognize that a host of problems contribute to financial & emotional distress/devastation (life-threatening illness, interpersonal violence, foreclosure, job loss)

  • address problems in a comprehensive, holistic way

  • recognize that financial and emotional stress are closely intertwined

  • Identify social workers/counselors to be skilled in/comfortable with these areas with assessment and intervention


Integration into education
Integration into Education in the Classroom and Beyond

  • Advanced elective course in MSW curriculum for clinical and macro students on financial stability for individuals and communities

  • Efforts to infuse financial social work throughout curriculum

  • Courses offered through CPE on financial stability; technology/tools; medical debt and financial social work; and ethics and financial social work


Integration into education and practice
Integration into Education and Practice in the Classroom and Beyond

  • Paid internships and field placements in organizations/agencies providing financial social work services

  • Links to School of Social Work’s Community Outreach Service (SWCOS); links between the campus and faculty-led field units

  • Links with alumni working in asset building field locally


Integration into research
Integration into Research in the Classroom and Beyond

Financial Stability Pathways Project

  • Initiative offered through Maryland CASH in collaboration with the Aspen Institute’s on-line tool (Asset Platform)

  • Links low-to-moderate income individuals and families to a network of service providers in Baltimore-based non-profit organizations

  • Connections to affordable and appropriate financial services; to establish emergency savings and assets; and to obtain public benefits

  • Measuring changes to clients’ knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and financial capabilities (about which little is known)

  • Measuring providers’ knowledge and behaviors on financial capability


Integration into research continued
Integration into Research in the Classroom and Beyond(continued)

  • Project with Junior Achievement of Central Maryland and Maryland CASH to conduct a feasibility study of matched college savings account programs in Baltimore City

  • Research on the financial burden at end of life for patients and families

  • Research on social enterprise project for financial stability and quality of work life

  • Financial Capability and Asset Building (FCAB) Social Work Research Consortium with other SW researchers/facultyacross the nation


Exciting happenings
Exciting Happenings in the Classroom and Beyond

  • Yearly special interest groups at SSWR on asset building and financial capability

  • Partnership with UMB Center for Financial Education and Wellness across all 7 graduate schools

  • Lunch ‘n Learns for MSW students

  • Credit cafes and classes hosted for students

  • Screening of Inequality for All and panel discussion in 2/14 offered through CPE


Why financial social work redux
Why Financial Social Work in the Classroom and Beyond(redux)?

  • Development of interventions that address financial and psychosocial realities

  • Development of new surveys measuring financial realities, capability, knowledge, self-efficacy

  • Addressing poverty and income inequalities through policy and legislation

  • Establishing partnerships among schools, agencies, practitioners, macro social workers, and others


Next steps and recommendations
Next Steps and Recommendations in the Classroom and Beyond

  • Infuse financial capability concepts into social work education and field placements

  • Conduct research to identify evidence-based programs and social work interventions targeted to vulnerable populations

  • Expand programming by initiative beyond the SSW and UM campus

  • As a profession, underscore the relevance of financial capability when providing assistance and support to vulnerable populations and communities


Contact us
Contact Us! in the Classroom and Beyond

  • Dr. Jodi Jacobson Frey (FSWI Chair and Associate Professor): [email protected]

  • Dr. Christine Callahan (FSWI Research Lead Specialist, Clinical): [email protected]

  • http://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/fsw/

  • Join us on LinkedIn! (Financial Capability Research Group at the University of Maryland School of Social Work)


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