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Financial Capability and Asset DevelopmentResearch, Education, Policy, and Practice$
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Julie Birkenmaier, Jami Curley, and Margaret Sherraden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199755950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755950.001.0001

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Social Workers and Financial Capability in the Profession’s First Half-Century

Social Workers and Financial Capability in the Profession’s First Half-Century

(p.44) 2 Social Workers and Financial Capability in the Profession’s First Half-Century
Financial Capability and Asset Development

Paul H. Stuart

Oxford University Press

During the social work profession’s earliest days, workers in the charity organization and settlement house movements emphasized the importance of helping clients improve financial capability: engage in productive activity, pay bills, save for the future, and participate as independent members of economic society. Caseworkers as well as community workers engaged in financial education, financial counseling, and interventions designed to increase the financial autonomy of groups of poor people. The efforts of academic social workers were facilitated by early affiliations with the developing discipline of Home Economics. This chapter describes the efforts of social workers to help clients improve their financial capability from the Progressive Era to the New Deal. The chapter also explores why the social work profession has neglected financial capability during the last half century and describes prospects for financial capability as a focus for social workers in the twenty-first century.

Keywords:   advocacy, financial capability, social work history, poverty, savings

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