The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues to work on creating resources targeted at assisting human services staff, including child welfare staff, address some of the financial barriers confronted by disadvantage populations including youth in foster care. Your Money, Your Goals is a toolkit that social services organizations can use to help their clients set goals, choose financial products and build skills in managing money, credit, and debt. The web-based resources are in part targeted to case managers and case workers.
There are a number of important documents included in these materials such as an Implementation Guide, to help social service organizations build a plan for integrating the financial empowerment toolkit into the services they provide for clients. The guide assists in preparing and delivering training to frontline staff on using the toolkit in their day-to-day work. They have also provided pre-training, post training and follow up material.
For many years now it has been clear that many youth in foster care face a range of financial challenges. Some may have been victims of identity theft due to abuse of their identity information including Social Security numbers, recent federal law requires credit checks by child welfare agencies originally starting at age 16 now lowered to age 14 (as a result of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act). In addition youth exiting foster care and transitioning to adulthood face an unusual array of financial barriers that may include actions as basic as difficulty in opening a first checking account, getting co-signers for the first apartment or first car loan as well as a general lack of financial experience that is gained by other young people.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was the result of the banking reform measures adopted in the 111th Congress and part of their work focuses on disadvantaged population.