Cultivating financial resilience to combat labor trafficking in Africa

In southern Africa and elsewhere, high vulnerability to poverty and false promises of employment lure many youth from their homes into the hands of traffickers who exploit them through forced labor. A new project from the Center for Social Development (CSD) initiative on Financial Capability and Asset Building in Africa (FCAB Africa) focuses on reducing […]

Aytakin Huseynli receives award for dissertation

Aytakin Huseynli, postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Social Development (CSD), has received the 2024 Outstanding Social Work Doctoral Dissertation Honorable Mention Award from the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). Society President Sean Joe, a CSD faculty director, and Awards Committee Chair Gina Miranda Samuels presented the award to her on January 13, […]

Informed by CSD research, 401Kids Act introduced in U.S. Senate

On Wednesday, January 31, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania introduced federal legislation to create a national children’s account policy. The 401Kids Act is designed to empower all children, and particularly children from disadvantaged households, by providing a means for them to accumulate assets for developmental priorities like higher education.

At SSWR conference, CSD affiliates receiving awards, organizing sessions, and presenting

Affiliates of the Center for Social Development (CSD) are once again making significant contributions at the annual conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). The 2024 conference runs from January 10 through 14, 2024, in Washington, DC. Faculty Director Trina Shanks, the Harold R. Johnson Collegiate Professor of Social Work at the […]

Boshara joins CSD as senior policy advisor

Ray Boshara, a national expert on wealth inequality and household financial security, has joined the Center for Social Development (CSD) as a senior policy advisor. As part of this appointment, Boshara serves as a Legislative Fellow with the Office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey, where he is developing Senator Casey’s “401Kids” proposal. The proposal will […]

Global conference connects social work, research and policy

CSD co-organizes international conference at gateway between East and West. Researchers, educators, practitioners, and policymakers came together in late November for the International Conference on Social Work and Social Research: Financial Capability and Asset Building for All. Organized by Azerbaijan University, the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St. Louis, Sakayra University […]

Parents’ views of universal asset-building policies for children

A new study captures parents’ perspectives on the influence that Child Development Accounts can exert over children’s educational attainment and parental saving for children’s higher education. Successful policymaking depends on public support. In policies affecting children, parents’ understanding and opinions matter. A new study from Center for Social Development researchers Jin Huang, Sondra G. Beverly, […]

Evidence, vision for Children’s Account policy at Singapore event

In a recent seminar, Center for Social Development (CSD) researchers discussed the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment, Singapore’s leadership in asset-based social policy and a vision for global Children Development Accounts. Singapore is a global leader in asset-based social policy, providing citizens a cradle-to-grave structure for accumulating wealth. That interest in such policies and their […]

In memoriam: Gena Gunn McClendon, a champion of justice and equity

Gena Gunn McClendon, esteemed director of community engagement at the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University, passed away on October 21, 2023. She leaves behind an enduring legacy as a fierce advocate for equity, a champion for the disempowered and a passionate defender of voting rights. “Throughout her career, Gena has been a […]

New national children’s account policy taking shape

Li Zou has given many presentations on Child Development Accounts (CDAs) in other countries, but this one was different.

The international director for the Center for Social Development (CSD) was at the World Bank to deliver invited remarks on the bank’s plan to evolve its mission and operations. The bank’s roadmap affirms commitments to poverty reduction and shared prosperity while calling for changes to better meet global challenges.

At the bank’s April 11 Evolution Forum, Zou sketched a strategy for meeting all three of those goals, a strategy for developing a global CDA policy based on research by the Center for Social Development.

Zou talks global CDAs at World Bank Evolution Forum

Li Zou has given many presentations on Child Development Accounts (CDAs) in other countries, but this one was different.

The international director for the Center for Social Development (CSD) was at the World Bank to deliver invited remarks on the bank’s plan to evolve its mission and operations. The bank’s roadmap affirms commitments to poverty reduction and shared prosperity while calling for changes to better meet global challenges.

At the bank’s April 11 Evolution Forum, Zou sketched a strategy for meeting all three of those goals, a strategy for developing a global CDA policy based on research by the Center for Social Development.

Special issue proposes a path to economic progress in Africa

Bringing together evidence from a diverse network of researchers and practitioners in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the March special issue of Global Social Welfare highlights the Center for Social Development’s focus on improving economic well-being for marginalized populations on the continent. The issue, “Financial Capability and Assets for Socioeconomic Development,” was developed through the Financial Capability […]

California launches nation’s largest Child Development Account policy

The state enrolls 3.4 million children in CalKIDs, which CSD experts helped to shape. Today Governor Gavin Newsom publicly launched CalKIDS, the California Kids Investment and Development Savings program. With 3.4 million children in the first cohort of enrollees and more than $1.8 billion in assets, CalKIDS leaves the starting gate as the nation’s largest […]

Worldwide, over 15 million have Child Development Accounts

New estimates on the number of children around the globe who are building assets in CDAs. Over 15 million children have built assets in Child Development Accounts (CDAs), according to new estimates in a brief by Li Zou and Michael Sherraden with the Center for Social Development in the Brown School at Washington University. Zou […]

Child Development Accounts expand resources for higher education

New research from the Center for Social Development shows that a children’s account policy reduces obstacles to higher education. As the cost of higher education continues to grow, families in the United States struggle to save enough for children’s education. State 529 college savings plans are investment vehicles that assist families in meeting this need, […]

Senator, national experts discuss strategies for economic security

Policies to strengthen vulnerable families typically focus either on boosting income for present needs or assets for future priorities. A recent event spotlighted policies to integrate the two approaches for vulnerable families – as we already do for other families.

Journal spotlights research to improve financial well-being in vulnerable families

How can vulnerable families overcome barriers to financial security, and what has made it difficult for them to do so? New research in a special issue of Families in Society seeks answers to those questions. Guest edited by Jin Huang, Margaret Sherraden, Jenny L. Jones, and Christine Callahan, the collection developed from papers presented during […]

Top social workers in China call for curriculum changes, financial capability

How does a nation train over a million social workers to help build the financial capability and assets of their clients? What should social workers in China know about finance, and what is the best way to teach them? Weighing these matters, researchers and several of China’s top social workers proposed changes at the First […]

Sherraden receives Billups Award for international leadership

The International Consortium for Social Development has given Michael Sherraden the 2021 James Billups International Social Development Leadership Award. In presenting the award, Consortium President Manohar Pawar recognized Sherraden’s “distinguished contribution to social development theory and practice knowledge based on impactful action in strengthening the financial capacity and asset base for poor people and communities […]

Study on WU partnerships in China wins 2020 Best Article Award

On August 26, 2021, the China Journal of Social Work announced the 2020 Best Article Award, honoring a study by an international team of scholars that includes Center for Social Development (CSD) affiliates Michael Sherraden, Li Zou, Suo Deng, Jin Huang, Margaret Sherraden, and Nancy Morrow-Howell, as well as Shanti Khinduka, former dean of the […]

Prominent Child Development Account experts outline a nationwide policy

A group of experts and researchers is making the case for a nationwide Child Development Account (CDA) policy. The group, which includes CSD Founding Director Michael Sherraden and Policy Director Margaret Clancy, recently released the outline in a pair of CDA policy briefs. The briefs are entitled “The Case for a Nationwide Child Development Account […]

CSD and Partners Launch New Multinational Collaboration in Africa

Mobile phones have become commonplace in sub-Saharan Africa. There, as in other parts of the world, financial technology has proliferated with the expansion of digital access, opening new doors to financial products and services. But this emerging landscape requires financial acumen, and sound guidance can be hard to find.

On July 15, a multinational group of partners gathered virtually to mark the launch of Financial Capability and Asset Building in Africa (FCAB Africa), a new collaboration aimed at meeting these needs.

At Conference, Leaders Call for Financial Capability and Asset Building Curriculum in All Schools of Social Work

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens America’s already deep income and wealth divides, how can financial capability be increased for vulnerable families? What role can social workers play? To take up these questions, more than 100 scholars and practitioners gathered virtually on February 25 for “Theory, Evidence, Education, and Practice in FCAB,” Part 2 of the convening “Financial […]

In Landmark Publication, Sherraden and Colleagues Laud Partnership between Washington University and Universities in China

In 2018, China celebrated its 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of social work in the country. Both that year and in 2019, Center for Social Development (CSD) Director Michael Sherraden provided keynote addresses for conferences at Peking University (PKU) in Beijing. Emphasizing the importance of longstanding partnerships between Washington University and China, Sherraden said they […]

Friedman: Spark Prosperity for Everyone to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Robert E. Friedman believes we can close the racial wealth divide in a generation. “I believe in the promise of this country … and in this community. St. Louis has become a symbol to the country of the results of racial inequity, and I think it’s leading the way to close the racial wealth divide, and to let America live up to its ideals.”

Financial Social Work

Sherraden, M. S., & Huang, J. (2019). Financial social work. In C. Franklin et al. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social Work. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.923

Financial Inclusion and Financial Access

Birkenmaier, J., Despard, M., Friedline, T., & Huang, J. (2019, February). Financial inclusion and financial access. In C. Franklin et al. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social Work. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.1331

Financial Capability as Social Investment

Caplan, M., Sherraden, M. S., & Bae, J. (2018). Financial capability as social investment. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 45(4), 147–167. doi:10.7936/gmfw-0e43

Asset Building as Social Investment

Sherraden, M. (2018). Asset building as social investment. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 45(4), 35–54. doi:10.7936/d50p-as46

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.

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.”

Journal: Start children early for financial success

The Great Recession exposed the financial fragility of millions of American families. Now researchers and policymakers are striving to improve the next generation’s grasp of personal finance and its access to safe financial products.

New book explores the rise of asset building

More than two decades after Michael Sherraden, PhD, wrote Assets and the Poor – introducing asset building as a new social policy framework – that idea has taken off in numerous directions.

New book addresses gap in financial capability

Financial issues impacting families are receiving renewed attention and interest by scholars, practitioners and students. Unfortunately, social workers and other human service workers often lack preparation, knowledge and skills to tackle increasingly complex financial problems facing their clients.