The Center for Social Development is actively engaged in building a body of evidence in financial capability, defined as both the knowledge to make optimal financial decisions and access to appropriate and beneficial financial services. Our current initiative—the Financial Capability & Asset Building (FCAB) project—focuses on financial capability across the life cycle and the inclusion of all individuals.
The aim of FCAB is two-fold: Reintroduce social work practitioners' understanding of individual and structural opportunities that shape financial well-being of low- and moderate-income households, and create a resurgence of interest in social work practice in the United States.
To renew professional capacity in social work and other applied professions, CSD collaborates with many partners to develop an agenda that supports research, policy, education and practice structures in FCAB.
One such partner is the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW), which initiated the Grand Challenges for Social Work with a focus on improving the well-being of individuals and families. In 2016, the FCAB initiative inspired the Grand Challenge "Build financial capability and assets for all," a collaborative effort that engages researchers, academics, policymakers and practitioners across the country who are committed to improving the financial security of all Americans.
FCAB and Grand Challenge strategies include the following:
- Engaging with other universities, disciplines and professions in research, innovation and application for financial capability;
- Building evidence for the efficacy of developing professional capacity in financial capability;
- Collaborating with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) to ensure inclusion of culturally relevant and culturally competent financial capability topics;
- Completing evidence-based texts that will serve as resources for training social workers and other human services professionals;
- Communicating FCAB initiative learnings and promising directions to multiple audiences, in various formats;
- Engaging in collaborative partnerships that strengthen the voice of FCAB across the social work spectrum.