With nearly ten million households in the U.S. lacking a bank account, many families face challenges building wealth. However, with financial counseling and coaching, families can work towards financial security. This new collection of essays from Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE Fund) and Citi Community Development highlights this potential and brings together the perspectives of leading experts in the field. The essays share strategies for building cultural competency, accessing public funding opportunities, and scaling and professionalizing efforts:
Our research looked to break out counselor observations of critical core competencies and how they obtain these competencies to inform the Financial Empowerment Center approach to counselor hiring, training, and staff development. In this first phase of research, 65 counselors interviewed each other on critical competencies; our research partner conducted additional in-depth interviews with selected counselors. Three themes emerged as critical to hiring and training approaches. FEC counselors: confirmed that credit and debt skills, along with relationship-building abilities, were most critical to their successes with clients; reflected that these skills came almost equally from both past experience and on-the-job training; and cited financial expertise and for motivating clients as priorities for further professional development... Read the full journal of essays.