Integrating Financial Capacity Building Into Public Programs

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Michael Collins provides illustrations of the potential for a new wave of innovations in financial capacity building.  Critical next steps include discussions about how financial education can be delivered with the goal of increasing referrals and access to services.  The goal should be to design financial capacity building interventions that match the workforce, systems and clients served by the public sector.

Issues of financial literacy and asset building remain critical even as the economy exits the great recession.  Financial Reform and numerous local, state and Federal initiatives increasingly are focused on developing and implementing education, advice and products with the goals of building consume financial management capacity.  Efforts are focused on youth, workplace or school based learning and other contexts for adults and families remain promising. Efforts to provide financial education are evolving from one-off workshop or counseling to more integrated interventions over the life course–creating a cumulative effect. But certain targeted vulnerable populations remain hard to reach.  One opportunity to explore is closer linkages with existing public programs.