Do you want to work with individuals, families, and/or communities on increasing their financial stability through a variety of approaches and understanding how these issues contribute to overall well-being? Are financial security and empowerment issues that you would like to learn more about? If so, please check out this course (SWOC/SWCL 738) on Financial Stability for Individuals, Families, and Communities. This course is an advanced course for both clinical and macro students at UMSSW who have completed their foundation year courses, including their first year placements. It examines barriers to and opportunities for the financial stability of individuals, families, and the impact of low wealth in communities. The course uses a
comprehensive approach examining social programs and direct practice interventions, financial services, and policies that can move individuals, families, and communities along the asset-building continuum. The impact
of issues such as life stage, social class, and cultural background will be examined. Policy issues include savings, consumer protection, tax credits, public benefits, and innovative programs; practice issues include
financial assessment and goal setting, financial coaching, and integrating financial interventions with traditional psychosocial interventions. Topics over the duration of the course include such diverse areas as social justice
theories and ethical dilemmas; key public policies; financial and consumer finance systems; financial social work approaches and interventions serving individuals, families, and groups; types of financial stressors; the impact of race, gender, and culture on wealth creation; special needs of emergency and transitional populations; innovative programs to increase access to assets for vulnerable populations; and community asset ownership. Assigned readings are substantive and thought-provoking, and assignments are designed to foster financial self-awareness and underscore the role that financial stability plays in social work practice across diverse vulnerable populations. The class also counts towards students’ Methods requirements.
Robin McKinney, MSW, Director, Maryland CASH Campaign
Holly Mirabella, MSW, JD
Christine Callahan, PhD, LCSW-C, Research Assistant Professor, UMSSW Financial Social Work Initiative