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FSW Education

Advancing Economic Stability

New Elective for Macro and Clinical Advanced Year Students


Financial Stability for Individuals, Families, and Communities

This course is an advanced elective for both clinical and macro students at UMSSW who have completed their foundation year courses, including their first year placements.  It examines barriers to and opportunities for the financial stability of individuals, families, and the impact of low wealth in communities.  The course uses a comprehensive approach examining social programs and direct practice interventions, financial services, and policies that can move individuals, families, and communities along the asset-building continuum.  The impact of issues such as life stage, social class, and cultural background will be examined.  Policy issues include savings, consumer protection, tax credits, public benefits, and innovative programs; practice issues include financial assessment and goal setting, financial coaching, and integrating financial interventions with traditional psychosocial interventions.  Topics over the duration of the course include such diverse areas as social justice theories and ethical dilemmas; key public policies; financial and consumer finance systems; financial social work approaches and interventions serving individuals, families, and groups; types of financial stressors; the impact of race, gender, and culture on wealth creation; special needs of emergency and transitional populations; innovative programs to increase access to assets for vulnerable populations; and community asset ownership.  Assigned readings are substantive and thought-provoking, and assignments are designed to foster financial self-awareness and underscore the role that financial stability plays in social work practice across diverse vulnerable populations.

Instructors: Robin McKinney, MSW, Director, Maryland CASH Campaign and Christine Callahan, PhD, LCSW-C, Research Lead Specialist, Clinical, UMSSW Financial Social Work Initiative

Continuing Education Offerings

Introduction to Financial Stability for Adults: Working families are often unable to access traditional financial services that can help them to repair or build their financial stability. Families often do not have a trusted resource where they can learn about appropriate products and services while improving their financial management skills. Human service practitioners across the country are providing these services in a way that is culturally competent and builds off of a client’s strengths. By understanding the financial values and habits of clients, practitioners are better able to address the root cause of financial insecurity. This workshop will provide information and resources for providers who work on issues that impact the financial security of working families. Participants of this workshop will: 1) Increase their understanding of their own personal financial values and habits; 2) Build practical skills to work with clients with financial issues; and 3) Receive information on existing resources at the national and local level.
Thursday, October 2, 2014, 9:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Baltimore, SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATE: $90!
CEUs: 6
Instructor: Sara Johnson, MSW

Attendees are encouraged to take this course first before the courses on Advanced Skills Training: Financial Coaching (see below) and Online Tools and Techniques to Enhance Financial Stability to be offered in Spring 2015.

Ethics and Financial Social Work: Becoming Familiar with the Challenges: The purpose of this workshop is to explore ethical challenges that may occur when working with clients on financial, practical, and psychosocial issues. Registrants will learn about underlying ethical values and theories that accompany this comprehensive work and will learn strategies on improving practice and maximizing rapport and trust with clients who are dealing with financial stressors and vulnerabilities.
Thursday, October 16, 2014, 9:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Baltimore, $125
CEUs: 6
Instructors: Christine Callahan, PhD, LCSW-C & James L. Kunz, PhD

*NEW*: Advanced Skills Training: Financial Coaching: Financial coaching is becoming a helpful tool in helping clients reach financial stability. This workshop will examine financial coaching—from understanding what it is, how it works, and why it works to learning financial coaching skills and how to implement them in your work with your clients, including in the creation of financial goals and spending plans.
Thursday, November 6, 2014, 9:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Baltimore, $125
CEUs: 6
Instructor: Sue Rogan, BA, AFC® certified

Attendees are encouraged to take the Introduction to Financial Stability for Adults course first (see above) before this course.

Medical Debt and Financial Social Work: Helping Your Client Find Solutions and Manage the Stress: The goal of this workshop is to examine the prevalence of medical debt faced by clients and families and how social workers and other human service professionals can work effectively with them to help reduce that debt, connect with useful resources, and manage the emotional stress that accompanies such large debt, along with related psychosocial stressors and obligations.
Thursday, December 4, 2014, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Baltimore, $65
CEUs: 3
Instructor: Christine C. Callahan, PhD, LCSW-C

For more information on details and registration on these and other courses, go to

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