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Recent News

CSD sponsors voter engagement summit

CSD sponsors voter engagement summit
Representatives from St. Louis universities and community organizations gathered for the first Campus and Community Voter Engagement Summit, on August 9 at the Brown School.

Forum focuses on expanding access to 529 college savings plans

Forum focuses on expanding access to 529 college savings plans
More than 65 invited guests from 18 states and the District of Columbia attended a lively Child Development Account Forum in late July at the Brown School of Social Work. CSD and Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt, who oversees Missouri’s 529 college savings plan, hosted the event.

Global report focuses on volunteerism and community resilience

Global report focuses on volunteerism and community resilience
​Volunteers tie communities together because they are active in every major shock and stress communities experience, from earthquakes and flooding to climate change and local conflicts, finds the new 2018 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report.

Pennsylvania adopts universal Child Development Account policy

Pennsylvania adopts universal Child Development Account policy
With bipartisan support, Pennsylvania is launching a statewide policy to provide college savings accounts for all newborns with a $100 scholarship grant. The universal, automatic-enrollment Child Development Account policy will affect many families: Pennsylvania averages 140,000 births a year.

Taiwan adopts a Child Development Account policy

Taiwan adopts a Child Development Account policy
A national Child Development Account policy is emerging in Taiwan. President Tsai Ing-wen in June signed into law the Act on Savings Accounts for the Education and Development of Children and Teenagers.

New: A guide to tax-time financial capability efforts

New: A guide to tax-time financial capability efforts
“A Toolkit for Expanding Financial Capability at Tax Time” is now available and free to download. The 70-page book presents the current evidence underpinning various tax-time efforts to expand financial capability among low- and moderate-income households.

Prison reform ‘unites people from across the political spectrum’

Prison reform ‘unites people from across the political spectrum’
The White House hosted a high-profile summit meeting on federal prison reform on May 18, and Carrie Pettus-Davis, who helped to organize it, sat among cabinet members. The summit “was a message to the world that the United States is ready to change how it does incarceration,” she says.

New textbook focuses on financially vulnerable families

New textbook focuses on financially vulnerable families
The first textbook to focus on financially vulnerable households is now available from Oxford University Press. “Financial Capability and Asset Building in Vulnerable Households: Theory and Practice” teaches about financial capability and asset building through the stories of four families whose lives unfold over 23 chapters.

Webinars showcase Grand Challenges leadership

Webinars showcase Grand Challenges leadership
Our faculty and staff are committed to advancing racial equity, and one of the most important vehicles is the national Grand Challenges for Social Work. We’ve created four webinars to highlight this initiative.

On the agenda: How to advance Child Development Accounts

On the agenda: How to advance Child Development Accounts
​About 50 researchers, practitioners, policymakers and funders met this month in Washington, D.C., to discuss how to advance the field of Child Development Account programs by making them sustainable and scaleable to reach millions.

Forum focuses on financial capability for vulnerable families

Forum focuses on financial capability for vulnerable families
​​To celebrate Financial Capability Month, the Center for Social Development and the Center for Household Financial Stability at the St. Louis Federal Reserve convened a forum, “Coin a Better Future: Reaching Out to Financially Vulnerable Families.”

Lough recognized with International Achievement award

Lough recognized with International Achievement award
Benjamin J. Lough, faculty director of International Service, received the Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois International Programs.

New FCAB book coming in February

New FCAB book coming in February
A new book about financial capability and asset building will be released next month. The 144-page book — “Financial Capability and Asset Building with Diverse Populations: Improving Financial Well-being in Families and Communities” — is aimed at policymakers, researchers and practitioners who assist financially vulnerable people.

Michael Sherraden: We already have ‘baby bonds’

Michael Sherraden: We already have ‘baby bonds’
As economists float the proposal to give every newborn in the United States a “baby bond” account with between $500 to $50,000 in cash, Michael Sherraden, director of the Center for Social Development, says a solution already exists — Child Development Accounts.

Sherraden receives career award for social policy research

Sherraden receives career award for social policy research
Michael Sherraden, PhD, received the Society for Social Work and Research’s 2018 Social Policy Researcher Award, which is “in recognition of Dr. Sherraden’s record of accomplishment that demonstrates distinguished achievement across an extended career of research in social policy.”

Student spotlight: From policing to policy work

Student spotlight: From policing to policy work
Luther Tyus, an ex-police officer, is now a graduate research assistant with our Race and Opportunity Lab. “I got here,” he says of the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, “and it feels like the world opened up.”

HomeGrown STL nearing action ‘on the ground’ for black males

HomeGrown STL nearing action ‘on the ground’ for black males
​HomeGrown STL is close to putting its strategy for collective impact to work in St. Louis. The project, part of the Center for Social Development’s Race and Opportunity Lab, aims to support the social mobility of black boys and men between the ages of 12 and 29 in St. Louis City and County.

CSD colleague launches global research center at UNC

CSD colleague launches global research center at UNC
The Global Social Development Innovations research center will focus on developing community-driven initiatives that address economic security, workforce development, financial inclusion, social protection, health and education.

Buder scholars join faculty at universities in Alaska, Illinois

Buder scholars join faculty at universities in Alaska, Illinois
The Center for Social Development congratulates Shanondora Billiot, PhD, and Jessica Black, PhD, on their new faculty positions at the University of Illinois School of Social Work and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, respectively.

Book provides strategies for smart decarceration of prisons

Book provides strategies for smart decarceration of prisons
With an era of decarceration of America’s penal system quickly approaching, a Washington University in St. Louis expert and co-editor of a new book offers concrete strategies for ushering in a metamorphosis of the criminal justice system.

Policy conference focuses on successes, solutions

Policy conference focuses on successes, solutions
More than 100 people from various parts of the country attended the Influencing Social Policy Policy Conference 2.0, Successes and Solutions: Policies that Work, in June at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

Financial Capability Month

Financial Capability Month
The webinar, on April 25, was hosted by the Center for Social Development and the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in collaboration with the Council on Social Work Education.

Update: Financial Capability Month

Update: Financial Capability Month
Financial Capability and Asset Building for All is one of the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work and a growing practice in the social work profession. The Center for Social Development is committed to working with its partners to increase the financial capability of individuals, families, and communities across the globe!

Grinstein-Weiss speaks at large Israel conference about policy

Grinstein-Weiss speaks at large Israel conference about policy
Michal Grinstein-Weiss, associate director of the Center for Social Development, was a speaker in Tel Aviv at the conference “Making Finance Great Again,” which explored how the Trump administration may affect Israel and the global economy in finance, health care and more.

From the Grand Challenges for Social Work: Innovations in social policy

From the Grand Challenges for Social Work: Innovations in social policy
Social Work Month may be ending, but social work’s professional commitment to addressing society’s challenges continues in earnest! Today the Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative is sharing insights on moving ideas and evidence into policy, including policy strategies and actions to address critical national problems.

Study: Interventions can help families better save tax refunds

Study: Interventions can help families better save tax refunds
Motivational prompts to save tax refunds and suggested savings amounts for the tax refund can increase saving among low- and moderate-income households, finds a new experimental study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Singapore starts FCAB project to train social workers

Singapore starts FCAB project to train social workers
Springing from work at the Center for Social Development, a Financial Capability and Asset Building initiative is underway in Singapore. Soon social workers there will develop knowledge and skills for working with low-income families on their household finances.

Brown School alumna named finalist for Singaporean of the Year

Brown School alumna named finalist for Singaporean of the Year
Sudha Nair, PhD, was recently named a finalist for Singaporean of the Year 2016 in recognition of her powerful impact as a social worker focused on family violence. Nair, among Brown School Distinguished Alumni (MSW ’91), was also awarded the title of Her World Woman of the Year in August 2016.

Journals turn attention to financial capability, asset building

Journals turn attention to financial capability, asset building
Recent proposals to change the scope of federal consumer protections bring to the fore a broader discussion about financial inclusion. Now three leading journals are heightening awareness of a national effort to reintroduce to social work a curriculum focused on building financial capability for all Americans.

Study: Tax-return delay could hurt low-income families

Study: Tax-return delay could hurt low-income families
Millions of low- and moderate-income Americans who claim certain tax credits will have to wait weeks longer than usual this year for their federal income tax refunds because of a new law aimed at reducing fraud.

Home delinquency rates lower among ACA households

Home delinquency rates lower among ACA households
Families who get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act are significantly more likely to make their rent and mortgage payments than are those who remain uninsured, suggests a new study from the Brown School and Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Journal features special section on FCAB

Journal features special section on FCAB
The Journal of Social Work Education has posted its January issue with a special section on Financial Capability and Asset Building. The papers originated as part of the Center for Social Development’s 2015 FCAB conference Financial Capability and Asset Building: Advancing Education, Research, and Practice in Social Work.

Purnell named ‘Person of the Year’ by St. Louis American

Purnell named ‘Person of the Year’ by St. Louis American
​Jason Q. Purnell, assistant professor in the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and project director of For the Sake of All, the groundbreaking initiative on the health and well-being of African-Americans in St. Louis, was named the 2016 “Person of the Year” by The St. Louis American.

Grinstein-Weiss discusses new CDA program with Israeli media

Grinstein-Weiss discusses new CDA program with Israeli media
Michal Grinstein-Weiss, associate director of the Center for Social Development, spent part of December with Israel’s leading media providing insight on the country’s new law creating Child Development Accounts, the Savings for Every Child law.

CSD research informs New York City’s new child savings accounts

CSD research informs New York City’s new child savings accounts
The mayor of New York has announced a new child savings account to help thousands of New York City public school children save for college. City officials relied on research from the Center for Social Development to develop the three-year pilot program, which starts next fall.

Event focuses on mental health of college students of color

Event focuses on mental health of college students of color
More than 200 mental health practitioners, scholars, university administrators, parents, students and community leaders gathered for the conference “Young, Gifted & @Risk: Promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color” on November 11 at the Brown School of Social Work.

South African researcher visits CSD

South African researcher visits CSD
A researcher from CSD’s sister center in South Africa met with CSD staff members recently. Jacqueline Moodley is a research psychologist and researcher at the Centre for Social Development in Africa at the University of Johannesburg.

Workshop focuses on tools for clients’ financial well-being

Workshop focuses on tools for clients’ financial well-being
​A program specialist from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a senior consultant from ICF helped to lead a recent professional development workshop at the Brown School, “Behind on Bills: Tools to Help Your Clients Secure Greater Financial Well-Being.”

Special issue focuses on financial capability, asset building

Special issue focuses on financial capability, asset building
“Financial capability and asset building” is the theme of the 60th anniversary issue of Social Work. Articles by several researchers at the Center for Social Development were published in the October 2016 issue of the flagship journal of the National Association of Social Workers.

CSD hosts seminar for visitors from South Korea

CSD hosts seminar for visitors from South Korea
The Center for Social Development hosted a seminar this month for social workers and others from South Korea, part of a larger training program focused on developing financial capability for Korean youth.

Bonn meeting focuses on building community resilience

Bonn meeting focuses on building community resilience
Benjamin Lough, PhD, faculty director of International Service for the Center for Social Development, presented at the Conference for International Volunteer Cooperation Organizations this month at the United Nations Campus in Bonn, Germany.

Post-Dispatch features ‘Grand Challenges’ questions on debate day

Post-Dispatch features ‘Grand Challenges’ questions on debate day
To contribute to public discourse on how to make the United States more equitable, safe and livable for everyone, Michael Sherraden and Richard P. Barth submitted the opinion piece “12 questions for the presidential debate” to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Brown School scholars discuss lifelong asset building

Brown School scholars discuss lifelong asset building
​Social Security provides an important base of income, and without it about 50 percent of America’s elderly would live in poverty, said David Certner, legislative counsel and legislative policy director for government affairs at AARP.

Based on Grand Challenges, 12 questions for the candidates

Based on Grand Challenges, 12 questions for the candidates
The American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare has developed a list of 12 questions for candidates for president, Congress, and state and local offices. The questions stem from work at the Grand Challenges policy conference, September 15-16, which drew more than 250 experts, advocates, and leading academics from all over the United States.

How student debt increases odds of financial struggle

How student debt increases odds of financial struggle
Students who come out of college with debt — especially larger amounts — are more likely to face hardship and financial difficulty during their lives, finds a new study from the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis.

Available now: Grand Challenges conference photos

Available now: Grand Challenges conference photos
Our photo album from the September 2016 “Social Innovation for America’s Renewal” features more than 130 pictures. If you or your organization would like to use a some to promote the Grand Challenges, you may download them.

Sen. McCaskill welcomes Grand Challenges conference participants

Sen. McCaskill welcomes Grand Challenges conference participants
​U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) sent a video to welcome and encourage the more than 250 attendees of the Grand Challenges for Social Work policy conference, “Social Innovation for America’s Renewal,” September 14-16 at the Brown School of Social Work.

Conference takes on nation’s ‘Grand Challenges’

Conference takes on nation’s ‘Grand Challenges’
More than 250 experts, advocates, and leading academics from all over the United States converged this week on the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis to outline a comprehensive range of solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing the nation and the next administration.

Conference to focus on ‘12 Grand Challenges’ for America

Conference to focus on ‘12 Grand Challenges’ for America
National experts, advocates and leading academics will gather at Washington University in St. Louis on Sept. 14-16 as part of a policy conference designed to hammer out constructive solutions to pressing social issues facing the country and the next administration.

CSD receives College Kids Ambassador Award

CSD receives College Kids Ambassador Award
On August 18, the Center for Social Development received the College Kids Ambassador Award from the St. Louis Treasurer’s Office of Financial Empowerment.

IDA program to assist Ferguson-area families

IDA program to assist Ferguson-area families
United Way of Greater St. Louis and Emerson are creating an Individual Development Account program for families in north St. Louis County, United Way announced June 28. The program is part of an effort to improve the financial stability of low-income families in the St. Louis region.

D.C. forum highlights international volunteer service

D.C. forum highlights international volunteer service
Hosted by Brookings and the Building Bridges Coalition, the June 14 event in Washington, D.C., was the 10th anniversary forum on the role of volunteers in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and on the coalition’s impact research.

CSD leaders chart best practices for Israel’s new CDAs

CSD leaders chart best practices for Israel’s new CDAs
​Building on a longtime working history, leadership from the Center for Social Development formally advised the Israeli government in May on best practices for implementing the country’s new law to confer universal savings accounts on children born in Israel. The law takes effect in January 2017.

Policy conference takes on race and inequality

Policy conference takes on race and inequality
More than 100 people converged on Washington University in St. Louis for Influencing Social Policy’s 2016 national conference, “Race and Inequality: Policy & Advocacy for Structural Change.”

Officials in Ghana hear YouthSave findings, explore next steps

Officials in Ghana hear YouthSave findings, explore next steps
​Top Ghana officials, representatives from more than 20 financial institutions and practitioners met in April in Accra, Ghana, to learn about YouthSave research findings and how they could encourage young people to open bank accounts and save.