social work, financial planning, financial therapy
Social workers have many opportunities to integrate a focus on personal finance into their practice with mostly lower-income and vulnerable client populations. However, little is known about social workers’ interest in personal finance. Results of a survey of social workers (N = 56) interested in integrating personal finance content into their practice are reported in this paper. Ways in which social workers might further develop knowledge and skills in personal finance are discussed. Professional perspectives that social workers may lend to inform financial education and counseling and the emerging field of financial therapy are also explored. Social workers can offer an understanding of the environmental risks that affect the financial health of low-income individuals and families and resources that can help build financial capability.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
Despard, M. R., & Chowa, G. A. (2010). Social Workers’ Interest in Building Individuals’ Financial Capabilities. Journal of Financial Therapy, 1 (1) 8. http://dx.doi.org/10.4148/jft.v1i1.257
Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education. (n.d.). Certification: Accredited Financial Counselor, course content. Retrieved on September 23, 2010 from http://www.afcpe.org/certification/curriculum/accredited-financialcounselor/course-content.php
Altfest, L. (2004). Personal financial planning: Origins, developments and a plan for future direction. The American Economist, 48(2), 53-60.
Atkinson, A. McKay, S., Collard, S., & Kempson, E. (2007). Levels of financial capability in the UK. Public Money & Management, 27(1), 29-36.
Barr, M. (2004). Banking the poor. Yale Journal on Regulation. 21(1), 121-237.
Beverly, S., & Sherraden, M. (1999). Institutional determinants of saving: Implications for low-income households and public policy. Journal of Socio-Economics, 28(4), 457-473.
Birkenmaier, J., & Curley, J. (2009). Financial credit: Social work’s role in empowering lowincome families. Journal of Community Practice, 17, 251-268.
Cameron, M., & Keenan, E. K. (2010). The common factors model: Implications for transtheoretical clinical social work practice. Social Work, 55(1), 63-73.
Caskey, J. P. (2006). Can personal financial management education promote asset accumulation by the poor? (Policy Brief #2006-PB-06). Networks Financial Institute at Indiana State University. Retrieved September 13, 2009 from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=923565
Center for Financial Social Work. (n.d.). About financial social work. Retrieved on June 10, 2010 from http://www.financialsocialwork.com/about/about
Center for Social Development (2002). Final report: Saving performance in the American Dream Demonstration. St. Louis, MO: Washington University.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (2004a). 2004 consumer survey. Retrieved on June 3, 2010 from http://www.cfp.net/downloads/CFPBoard2004ConsSurvey.pdf
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (2004b). 2004 general market consumer survey. Retrieved on June 3, 2010 from http://www.cfp.net/downloads/CFPBoard_GMsurvey.pdf
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (2008). CFP board 2008 certificant survey summary report. Retrieved on June 3, 2010 from http://www.cfp.net/Downloads/2008_Certificant_Survey_Report.pdf
Collins, J. M. (2009). Education levels and mortgage application outcomes: Evidence of financial literacy. (Discussion Paper No. 1369-09). Institute for Research on Poverty. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved on June 2, 2010 from http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/dps/pdfs/dp136909.pdf
Corbin, J. & Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of qualitative research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Elmerick, S. A., Montalto, C. P., & Fox, J. J. (2002). Use of financial planners by U.S. households. Financial Services Review, 11, 217-231.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. (2009, November). Financial education and the future: The banking industry’s role in helping consumers manage money and build assets. (White Paper). Retrieved on June 2, 2010 from http://www.fdic.gov/anniversary/FDIC_White_Paper_11_18_09v21.pdf
FINRA Investor Education Foundation. (2009). Financial capability in the United States: National survey – executive summary. Retrieved on June 2, 2010 from http://www.finrafoundation.org/web/groups/foundation/@foundation/documents/foundation/p120535.pdf
Financial Therapy Association. (2010). FTA information. Retrieved on September 24, 2010 from http://www.financialtherapyassociation.org/FTA_Information.html
Fox, J., Bartholomae, S., & Lee, J. (2005). Building the case for financial education. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 39(1), 195-214.
Han, C-K., & Sherraden, M. (2009). Do institutions really matter for savings among lowincome households? A comparative approach. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 38, 475-483.
Hathaway, I., & Khatiwada, S. (2008). Do financial education programs work? (Working Paper 0803). Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Retrieved on September 4, 2009 from http://www.clevelandfed.org/research/workpaper/2008/wp0803.pdf
Hilgert, M. A., Hogarth, J.M., & Beverly, S.G. (2003, July). Household financial management: The connection between knowledge and behavior. Federal Reserve Bulletin, July 2003, 309-322.
Hira, T. K. (2009). Personal finance: Past, present and future. (Policy Brief, 2009-PB-10). Networks Financial Institute at Indiana State University. Retrieved June 2, 2010 from http://www.networksfinancialinstitute.org/Lists/Publication%20Library/Attachments/153/2009-PB-10_Hira.pdf
Institute of Personal Financial Planning. (n.d.). Financial Therapy Association: Journal of Financial Therapy. Kansas State University. Retrieved September 23, 2010 from http://www.ipfp.k-state.edu/research/financial-therapy-association/journal.php
Johnson, L., & Sherraden, M.S. (2007). From financial literacy to financial capability among youth. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 34(3), 119-146.
Kahler, R. S. (2005). Financial integration: Connecting the client’s past, present and future. Journal of Financial Planning, 18(5), 62-71.
Karger, H. J. (2007). The “poverty tax” and America’s low-income households. Families in Society, 88(3), 413-417.
Kaufman, G. G. (2010). The financial turmoil of 2007-09: Sinners and their sins. (Policy Brief, 2010-PB-01). Networks Financial Institute at Indiana State University. Retrieved June 2, 2010 from http://www.networksfinancialinstitute.org/Lists/Publication%20Library/Attachments/158/2010-PB-01_Kaufman.pdf
Lusardi, A. (2008). Household saving behavior: The role of financial literacy, information, and financial education programs. (Working Paper 13824). National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved June 2, 2010 from http://www.nber.org/papers/w13824
McGuire, L. E. (2005). The transtheoretical model: Welfare to work as a change process. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 10(2), 33-56.
National Association of Social Workers. (2006). Assuring the sufficiency of a frontline workforce: A national study of licensed social workers (Executive Summary). Center for Workforce Studies. Retrieved on June 4, 2010 from http://workforce.socialworkers.org/studies/nasw_06_execsummary.pdf
Oleson, M. D., Nielsen, R. B., & Martin, T. (2004). Accredited financial counselor: The state of the designation. Financial Counseling and Planning, 15(2), 23-26.
Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. (2005). Improving financial literacy: Analysis of issues and policies. Retrieved on June 10, 2010 from http://www.oecd.org/document/2/0,3343,en_2649_15251491_35802524_1_1_1_1,00.html
Pandya, V. (2009). A study of change processes in domestically violent men in group therapy. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 6(2), 127-146.
Prochaska, J. O., & Norcross, J. C. (2001). Stages of change. Psychotherapy, 38(4), 443-448.
Prochaska, J. M., Paiva, A. L., Padula, J. A., Prochaska, J. O., Montgomery, J. E., Hageman, L., & Bergart, A. M. (2005). Assessing emotional readiness for adoption using the Transtheoretical Model. Children and Youth Services Review, 27(2), 135-152.
Reif, S., Bouis, S., Whetten, K., Scovil, J., Murray, A., & Swartz, M. (2007). An integrated, multidimensional treatment model for individuals living with HIV, mental illness, and substance abuse. Health & Social Work, 32(4), 268-278.
Robbers, M. L. P. (2009). Facilitating fatherhood: A longitudinal examination of father involvement among young minority fathers. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 26(2), 121-134.
Schreiner, M., Clancy, M., & Sherraden, M. (2002). Savings performance in the American Dream Demonstration: Final report. St. Louis, MO: Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis.
Schreiner, M., & Sherraden, M. (2007). Can the poor save? Saving and asset building in individual development accounts. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
Schuchardt, J., Bagwell, D. C., Bailey, W. C., DeVaney, S. A., Grable, J. E., Leech, I. E., Lown, J. M., Sharpe, D. L., & Xiao, J. J. (2007). Personal finance: An interdisciplinary profession. Financial Counseling and Planning, 18(1), 61-69.
Sherraden, M., Laux, S., & Kaufman, C. (2007). Financial education for social workers. Journal of Community Practice, 15(3), 9-36.
Sherraden, M. (1991). Assets and the poor: A new American welfare policy. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Sherraden, M. S. (2010). Financial capability: What is it, and how can it be created? (Working Paper 10-17). Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved on September 29, 2010 from http://csd.wustl.edu/Publications/Documents/WP10-17.pdf
Shockey, S. S., & Seiling, S. B. (2004). Moving into action: Application of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change to financial education. Financial Counseling and Planning, 15(1), 41-52.
Spader, J., Ratcliffe, J., Montoya, J., & Skillern, P. (2009). The bold and the bankable: How the Nuestro Barrio telenovela reaches Latino immigrants with financial education. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 43(1), 56-79.
Stewart, C. (2001). The relationship of expectancies to the transtheoretical model of change in college smokers. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 1(2), 93-105.
Thaler, R. H., & Sustein, C. R. (2008). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
University of Maryland School of Social Work. (2010). University of Maryland School of Social Work financial social work initiative. Retrieved on January 28, 2010 from http://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/fsw/
Vitt, L. A., Anderson, C., Kent, J., Lyter, D. M., Siegenthaler, J. K., & Ward, J. (2000). Personal finance and the rush to competence: Financial literacy education in the U.S. Institute for Socio-Financial Studies. Retrieved January 27, 2010 from http://www.isfs.org/documents-pdfs/rep-finliteracy.pdf
Walsh, J., & Corcoran, J. (2010). Motivational interviewing. In Theories for direct social work practice (pp. 253-272). Belmont, CA: Thompson Brooks/Cole.
Wollan, B. J. & Bauer, J. W. (1990). Correlates of financial counseling outcomes: Implications for practitioners. Families in Society, 71(3), 148-157.
Xiao, J. J., Newman, B. M., Prochaska, J. M., Leon, B., Bassett, R., & Johnson, J. L. (2004a). Applying the transtheoretical model of change to debt reducing behavior. Financial Counseling and Planning, 15(2), 89-100.
Xiao, J. J., O’Neill, B., Prochaska, J. M., Kerbal, C. M., Brennan, P., & Bristow, B. J. (2004b). A consumer education program based on the Transtheoretical Model of Change. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 28(1), 55-65.
Wagner, D. (2002). Integral finance: A framework for a 21st century profession. Journal of Financial Planning, 15(7), 62-71.
Warschauer, T. (2002). The role of universities in the development of the personal financial planning profession. Financial Services Review, 11, 201-216.