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Build Financial Capability and Assets for All

The Grand Challenge to Build Financial Capability and Assets for All, also known as Financial Capability

and Asset Building or FCAB, ensures that all people have access to the financial policies, services, supports,

knowledge, and tools that enable them to achieve financial stability and security. In doing so, the Grand

Challenge responds to growing financialization, financial insecurity, and economic inequality that threaten

the well-being of millions of families. It envisions a key role for social work to empower people to build

financial capability and assets and inform policy that ensures inclusion and equity.

Members of the network have advanced research, policy, education, and practice initiatives to expand

financial capability and grow assets. A primary focus is to document and reverse structural bias against

low-income and low-wealth groups, especially Black and Brown people, women, and other vulnerable

groups across the lifespan. Network members proposed and are testing Child Development Accounts,

a policy to reach all children with an asset account (see graphic). They have developed evidence-based

curricula for social work education. Network members analyze the provision of essential financial

products and services and ways to improve access. Others study direct practice approaches to family

violence, problem gambling and other finance-related difficulties, the effects of asset limits in public

benefits, the burden of student loans, retirement insecurity, and the potential of financial technology to

build financial capability and assets.

The work of this Grand Challenge has never been more important than now, as the COVID -19 pandemic

has disrupted and threatened the financial well-being of so many more families.

LIKELY PATHWAYS FROM CHILD DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNTS TO COLLEGE SUCCESS

Reprinted with permission from Beverly, Elliott, & Sherraden (2013).

Child Development

Accounts

College-bound Identity

College Success

Financial

Preparation

Academic

Preparation

30 | Progress and Plans for the Grand Challenges

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