Thursday, March 19, 2015

Assets & Opportunity Network Technical Assistance Fund: Strengthening and Integrating Financial Capability in Miami

By: CFED

Catalyst Miami applied to the Assets & Opportunity Network Technical Assistance Fund last year seeking tools and advice to take their already strong services to the next level through staff development and greater integration strategies for their services internally and externally. An Assets & Opportunity Network Lead Organization, Catalyst Miami is a leader in their community for healthcare access and financial capability services. In order to leverage their strengths, build staff competencies and better meet clients where they are, Catalyst Miami sought assistance on:
  • ·       Strengthening their onboarding process and training of staff financial coaches
  • ·       Mapping potential partners to help fill gaps in services
  • ·       Identifying tools to help inform internal planning process to integrate financial capability and healthcare access services

Assets & Opportunity Network staff shared a number of tools and resources from the field with Catalyst Miami staff and walked them through their applicability to help them in their efforts. A few of these resources included:
  • ·       Center for Financial Security’s Financial Coaching Training Survey Brief
  • ·       CFPB Your Money, Your Goals Toolkit- specifically the community mapping tool
  • ·       Planning Guide Community Mapping Tool
  • ·       Integration Resources on CFED’s website

For others looking to do this work, here a few other resources may also be helpful to you:
  • ·       Integrating Financial Capability Services 101 webinar recording
  • ·       Integration brief: Meeting clients where they are
  • ·       Integration brief: Gaining and retaining employment
  • ·       Asset Funders Network Financial Coaching Report
  • ·       Planning Guide for Integrating Financial Capability Services- Coming Soon!

Assets & Opportunity Network staff were able to walk Catalyst Miami through these tools and resources and discuss their applicability to their work. We discussed strategies, lessons learned from the field, and sustainability of their efforts. However, it’s Catalyst Miami’s dedication to this work and their commitment to continuous improvement that makes us confident that they will be successful in refining their financial coaching training process, as well as improving efficiencies for their internal client referrals between their financial capability and health services and with community partners. Since this work, Catalyst Miami and been convening community partners to discuss financial capability service delivery in their community and provide training opportunities with CFPB’s Your Money, Your Goals toolkit. And we’re excited to see what else their able to accomplish!  

Technical assistance efforts such as this one with Catalyst Miami are what make the JPMorgan Chase Technical Assistance Fund unique; by using these individual experiences to extract important, generalizable lessons, we can utilize and share them to continue to build the capacity of other organizations across the field.

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