Report Identifies Ways to Bolster Financial Coaching

Posted June 13, 2017
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog reportidentifieswaystobolster 2017

Fun­ders can max­i­mize the poten­tial of the grow­ing field of finan­cial coach­ing by invest­ing in strate­gies to make the prac­tice more inclu­sive and diverse; increase the use of web-based coach­ing tools; and improve data col­lec­tion and out­come mea­sure­ment, a new report finds.

The 2016 Finan­cial Coach­ing Cen­sus — pro­duced by the Cen­ter for Finan­cial Secu­ri­ty and the Asset Fun­ders Net­work with the sup­port of the Casey Foun­da­tion and oth­er fun­ders — was admin­is­tered to finan­cial coach­es, man­agers of finan­cial coach­ing pro­grams and fun­ders to gain a bet­ter sense of the size and scope of the field, how and where coach­ing is pro­vid­ed and what’s need­ed to sup­port more effec­tive implementation.

Accord­ing to the major­i­ty of respon­dents, finan­cial coach­ing is an effec­tive strat­e­gy for improv­ing clients’ finan­cial well-being and cred­it, sav­ings and bud­get­ing are the most com­mon­ly tracked indi­ca­tors of coach­ing success.

Finan­cial coach­es, skilled in active lis­ten­ing and moti­va­tion­al tech­niques, work with indi­vid­u­als to set goals for their sav­ings and mon­ey man­age­ment, track progress and give their clients feed­back. Casey has been invest­ing in finan­cial coach­ing for more than a decade to sup­ple­ment finan­cial edu­ca­tion and coun­sel­ing with more hands-on sup­port to help fam­i­lies achieve finan­cial stability.

The 2016 edi­tion of the Cen­sus includes data about the racial and eth­nic make-up of respon­dents and clients, coach­ing case­loads and the length of client engage­ment in the coach­ing process. The data high­light­ed the need for more train­ing in cul­tur­al com­pe­tence and for more cus­tomized, flex­i­ble approach­es to increase coach­es’ abil­i­ty to effec­tive­ly help a broad range of clients, as well as for more research on client engage­ment and retention.

The report also found that:

  • the major­i­ty of coach­ing takes place in per­son as part of oth­er direct ser­vice inter­ven­tions, such as home­own­er­ship education;
  • web-based plat­forms could expand coach­ing into untapped mar­kets; and
  • fun­ders and prac­ti­tion­ers need bet­ter infor­ma­tion about clients’ needs and pref­er­ences for coach­ing ser­vices, as well as the bar­ri­ers that may keep clients from com­ing back.

As finan­cial coach­ing con­tin­ues to gain steam, we see an impor­tant role for Casey and oth­er pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor part­ners,” says Don Bay­lor, a senior asso­ciate at the Foun­da­tion. These results point to a clear need to con­tin­ue inte­grat­ing finan­cial coach­ing into core plat­forms such as the work­place, com­mu­ni­ty col­leges and oth­er social ser­vices that inter­act with indi­vid­u­als work­ing to achieve finan­cial stability.”

The Coach­ing Cen­sus is part of the Foundation’s broad­er explo­ration of strate­gies to expand the field while main­tain­ing qual­i­ty and effec­tive­ness and accu­rate­ly track out­comes, as well as how and where coach­ing inter­acts with oth­er key ser­vices and sys­tems such as health care and crim­i­nal justice.

Read the report

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