Economic Stability/Employment

Families have a responsibility to provide a stable environment for their children. An important part of this is economic stability. There are many programs available that can help fathers improve their economic stability in a variety of ways, including job training, subsidized employment, job retention and job enhancement, following safe credit/borrowing practices, and sound financial planning.



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NRFC Webinars

Connecting to Assets for Independence Resources

Assets for Independence (AFI), which is administered through the Office of Community Services (OCS), enables community-based nonprofits and government agencies to implement and demonstrate an assets-based approach for giving low-income families a hand up out of poverty. AFI projects help participants save earned income in special-purpose, matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs).

The AFI Resource Center provides a range of information for programs looking to connect with existing AFI grantees and IDA programs, and tools on a range of topics – including financial education, EITC & Tax Assistance. The ASSET Initiative is a collaborative through which Administration for Children and Families (ACF) offices and partner States, localities, community-based providers are highlighting the importance of financial education and other asset building services for individuals and families.

Tips from the ASSET Initiative on ways to integrate tax credits and tax filing assistance into your organizations programming includes:

  • Applying to the IRS to become a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site or partner with an existing VITA site to provide free tax preparation that ensures families claim the EITC and other credits.
  • Encouraging families to use their refunds to open a savings account, including depositing all or part of their refunds into matched savings accounts called individual development accounts (IDAs). In addition, families can use refunds to purchase savings bonds, certificates of deposit, or other investments in their own names or in their children’s names.

This ACF co-sponsored December 2015 webinar "Taking Financial Literacy to the Next Level: Integrating Financial Capability Services info Family Strengthening Programs" explored how innovative family strengthening programs have addressed these financial barriers to economic stability and introduce participants to "Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services," a new guide from the Office of Community Services at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CFED with tools that walk organizations step-by-step through the process of developing a plan to integrate financial capability services into their work. 

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IRS Resources – Free Tax Return Preparation

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $50,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. Most locations also offer free electronic filing.

Find a VITA site near you or call 1-800-906-9887.

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Financial Education

Financial education fosters financial stability for individuals, families, and entire communities. The more people know about credit and banking services, the more likely they are to increase savings, buy homes, and improve their financial health and well being.
 
Practical Money Skills for Life: Financial Literacy for Everyone
To help students of all ages learn the essentials of personal finance, Visa has partnered with leading consumer advocates, educators, and financial institutions to create the Practical Money Skills program.

At www.practicalmoneyskills.com and www.whatsmyscore.org, educators, parents, and students can access free educational resources including personal finance articles, games, lesson plans, and more.

MyMoney.gov
Getting help managing your finances and understanding the many credit, loan, saving, and banking options that are available at every income level is crucial to economic stability. MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on the site can help you do it better. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 federal agencies.

Money Smart
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recognizes the importance of financial education, particularly for people with little or no banking experience. That's why they created Money Smart, a training program to help adults outside the financial mainstream enhance their money skills and create positive banking relationships. The Money Smart curriculum helps individuals build financial knowledge, develop financial confidence, and use banking services effectively.
The following resources, along with others in the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) library, can be very useful whether you are an individual looking for financial guidance, or a fatherhood program interested in incorporating economic stability and financial literacy into your program.
 
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Additional Money Saving Tips

In any economy taking care of your family can get expensive, and as many American families feel the pinch more and more, here are some tips to keep more money in your wallet.
  • Grocery Saving Tips
  • Money saving tips and free coupons from Michelle Johnson, includes tips on saving without coupons, and links to supermarket websites to get the most accurate coupons to help you save money.
  • Better Budgeting.com
  • Free online magazine with money saving tips and budgeting information. Includes free budget calculator tools and budgeting worksheet to get you started.



Other Relevant Resources

Tips for Safe Banking on the Internet (PDF - 1,518 KB)
Brochure from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Provides basic information and tips on using on-line banking services effectively.

66 Ways to Save Money
Sponsored by the Federal Citizen Information Center in Pueblo, CO, this 12 page brochure is available online, in PDF, or in print as well as in Spanish. Tips include information on housing and prescription drugs.

Earned Income Tax Credit Information (link no longer active)
Research and toolkits about the Earned Income Tax Credit, as well as Tax Year 2004 EITC State Specific Data. Provided by the Administration for Children and Families' Welfare Peer TA Network.

Department of Labor One-Stop Websites
Most states have "One-Stop" work force support centers that provide resources for job seekers and employers. Local resource centers are good sources for support when addressing employment and economic stability issues.

Employment and Training Administration
The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) administers federal government job training and worker dislocation programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems. The ETA Website provides information on finding a Career Center near you.

Homes and Communities
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides information on home ownership, rental issues, and other housing and community development issues, including tips, tricks, and other information can help make your experience as a homeowner a little easier. HUD also provides information on homes and communities state by state.

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