Integrating Family Financial Security into Promise Neighborhoods

The Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink is helping sites across the country learn more about financial security and the role it plays in academic success. In 2014, PolicyLink worked in partnership with the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment and the Mission Promise Neighborhood at MEDA to develop a comprehensive report entitled, Integrating Family Financial Security into Promise Neighborhoods: A Resource and Implementation Guide, which was disseminated and presented nationally to over 500 practitioners providing wrap around services for children and families.

This guide aims to describe the programs, policies, and practices that set families on a path to financial security while achieving prescribed Promise Neighborhoods results. The tool is also intended to connect Promise Neighborhoods to potential partnerships across the asset-building field. Many of the practices lifted up in this guide are designed to mitigate the negative outcomes associated with lack of academic and family supports, as well as the compounded effects of concentrated poverty and financial instability in communities.

The guide is organized around the 10 results and corresponding indicators for which Promise Neighborhoods are expected to show gains. For each result, data are provided first to support the thesis that family financial security does impact a given academic result, and then related promising practices are listed. The guide contains a range of programs and practices from financial education curricula, to employment-based strategies, that Promise Neighborhood sites may consider for helping young people and their families build savings, prepare for college expenses, and master their financial situations.

Building off of models in the guidebook, PolicyLink currently offers technical assistance to promise sites interested in embedding financial security strategies into their cradle to career pipelines.