News & Blog

We're sharing what we learn as we go. Read our latest blogs along with reports, new and old, to find out how we're working with partners through community-centered design and Family-Centered Coaching.

Join our mailing list

Family-Guided Innovation: How We Made Money Powerup Packs

By Rachel Brooks | September 10, 2020

We are excited to announce that our work to co-design Money Powerup Packs with guidance of low-income families is featured in the inaugural issue of Journal of Participatory Research Methods. This new journal is committed to showcasing interdisciplinary practices related to participatory research methods in the poverty alleviation field.  When we started the Savings Initiative Project in 2016, we had some thoughts on why families in poverty may have low savings. Most obviously, they don’t have enough income to save money. This remains true for millions of families in the U.S. who face underpaid and …

Family-Guided Innovation: How We Made Money Powerup Packs Read More »

Practice is Progress: Moving To Strengths-Based Goals

By Rachel Brooks | May 22, 2020

By Sylvia Raskin Most traditional goal setting methods, such as SMART goals, overvalue the importance of setting goals without offering a reliable process to make progress. These tools or programs also tend to overemphasize goal-achievement as the ultimate marker of success. Even for someone who regularly completes goals they set, the time spent accomplishing goals is very small compared to the time spent working towards them.  While tools similar to SMART goals help think about what might happen, they do not incorporate what does happen: surprises or roadblocks along the way. Without offering ways to …

Practice is Progress: Moving To Strengths-Based Goals Read More »

A Coaching Approach to Case Management?

By Rachel Brooks | April 13, 2020

By Franceria Moore Traditional case management has sometimes viewed the family as something to be fixed or a problem to be solved. This minimizes or forgets that every family brings strengths to the table and that families know best what they need. Because of funding requirements or organizational mission, coaching approaches can also sometimes focus on only one aspect of a parent’s life. To support families holistically, human services must put participants in the lead and hold a wide view of family interests. Family-Centered Coaching is an approach to coaching families towards goals that are …

A Coaching Approach to Case Management? Read More »

Turning Towards Our Professional Circle

By Rachel Brooks | April 7, 2020

By Franceria Moore There is no doubt that the current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way that many human service providers are approaching the work that they do with families. In many cases, the crisis only exacerbates the current financial challenges of families. Despite this, communities continue to exhibit ingenuity and resilience in how they navigate financial choices. We are all experiencing, at varying degrees, a collective trauma. Collective trauma happens when an event has a traumatizing psychological effect on a group of people of any size, up to and including a whole society. These …

Turning Towards Our Professional Circle Read More »

Spending Time Together Is Time Well Spent

By Rachel Brooks | October 10, 2019

By Daan de Jong The Prosperity Agenda believes that taking a systems approach to poverty alleviation creates better outcomes for those experiencing poverty. Conversations with people connected to this system as either social service providers or recipients uncovered a trend: spending time with peers who share common goals builds valuable relationships. FSG’s “Water of Systems Change” framework defines relationships as “quality of connections and communication occurring among actors in the system, especially among those with differing histories and viewpoints”. FSG acknowledges that “transforming a system is really about transforming the relationships between people who make up …

Spending Time Together Is Time Well Spent Read More »

Trust Is Worth Investing In: Financial Inclusion for Immigrant and Refugee Communities

By Rachel Brooks | June 4, 2019

Immigrants and refugees are an important segment of the population to include in financial opportunity on a moral and ethical basis. Many financial capability programming have focused on increasing engagement and inclusion of these communities into mainstream financial resources. However, this has often been done by focusing on the individuals’ knowledge, skills, and ability to access resources. By engaging communities in a design-process, we learned that their challenges with engagement are steeped in strained relationships with these institutions and don’t necessarily have to do with individual knowledge or the products they are offering. We determined …

Trust Is Worth Investing In: Financial Inclusion for Immigrant and Refugee Communities Read More »

Training is Not Enough to Sustain Change in Organizations

By Rachel Brooks | April 24, 2019

Training is Not Enough to Sustain Change in Organizations The Prosperity Agenda leverages a person-centered, design led approach to generate new products and services that reflect the values and goals of families experiencing poverty. We listen to community members and staff to find inspiration and surface hidden assumptions. To learn and understand the context maintaining coaching practices and principles in organizations, we began by interviewing participants in community development programs, their coaches and frontline staff, individuals in middle- and senior-management, funder organizations, and other stakeholders. We asked open-ended questions about how they viewed success, what …

Training is Not Enough to Sustain Change in Organizations Read More »

Family-Centered Employment

By Rachel Brooks | March 27, 2019

Family-Centered Coaching presents: Family-Centered Employment On March 23, 2019, the 2019 NAWB Forum announced the new program, Family-Centered Employment. Family-Centered Employment is a collaboration between Family-Centered Coaching and Innovate+Educate, which seeks to advance new pathways to employment for parents and families with young children. The Two-Generation approach provides opportunities to meet the needs of children and their parents together. It builds education and network support with friends and neighbors, and assists with financial, housing, health and well-being services to create economic security that passes from one generation to the next. Two-Generation engages families to weave …

Family-Centered Employment Read More »

Our Manifesto

By Rachel Brooks | April 1, 2018

Since the 1964 War on Poverty began, the dominant narrative about poverty in the United States is that the fault lies with the individual because they lack discipline. Since that time, assistance programs have generally addressed poverty largely by “bringing discipline to the lives of the poor”* rather than actually seeking to eradicate it. Programs like food and housing assistance are often conditional based on good behavior, with policies “emphasizing competition and reward for performance.”* Welfare programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families emphasize behavioral expectations and have penalties for noncompliance. These approaches do little …

Our Manifesto Read More »

Scroll to Top