NYAPRS is pleased to announce the development of a curriculum based guide for providers who would like to promote economic self-sufficiency for people in New York State. Paired with the We Can Save Workbook for People in Recovery Seeking Economic Self-Sufficiency, this resource can support your PROS to offer a very exciting and engaging way to support people to achieve their financial goals. For more information about how to access this resource guide as well as training and technical assistance to implement it in your PROS program, please contact Oscar Jimenez, Director for Community and Economic Development at OscarJ@NYAPRS.org.
Synopsis of the Guide
This guide is for providers who would like to promote economic self-sufficiency from a recovery-oriented approach. It has been developed by a partnership of people in recovery and practitioners with experience in helping individuals achieve self-sufficiency. Mental health providers and people in recovery are increasingly recognizing that poverty and lack of economic self-sufficiency are great threats to wellness and recovery. Many individuals live in the “poverty trap” of public benefits, unable to increase their income or accumulate assets without losing their safety net. However, scores of personal stories and new research are showing us that people receiving mental health services want and are able to earn higher income, build assets, and achieve greater levels of economic self-sufficiency. In recent years providers have increasingly expressed their desire to have concrete tools to foster economic self-sufficiency. This guide has the purpose of offering direct providers with tools and curricula to promote economic self-sufficiency among individuals with mental health and co-occurring substance addiction support needs. To this end, this guide offers strategies and tools for: (1) engaging individuals in meaningful conversations about their life dreams and financial aspirations; (2) assessing and developing readiness to pursue economic self-sufficiency; (3) assisting individuals to make a plan of action for achieving greater self-sufficiency; (4) empowering through financial knowledge and skills development; and (5) linking and referring individuals to resources in the community that can help in pursuing economic self-sufficiency. The companion workbook “WE Can Save: A Workbook for People in Recovery Seeking Economic Self-sufficiency” has been developed with the goal of offering people in recovery a tool to develop a path towards self-sufficiency, either on their own or in partnership with their providers.
Table of Contents
Lesson 1: What is Economic Self-Sufficiency and Why Is It Important to Recovery?
What is economic self-sufficiency?
Economic self-sufficiency, recovery and wellness
Promoting economic self-sufficiency: A key to rehabilitation and recovery
The benefits of providing economic self-sufficiency services
Lesson 2: What Can Providers Do to Support Economic Self-Sufficiency?
A recovery-oriented approach to financial wellness
What providers can do to support economic self-sufficiency: An Overview
Engaging individuals through meaningful conversations
Assessing readiness to pursue economic self-sufficiency
Developing readiness to pursue economic self-sufficiency
Creating a plan towards self-sufficiency
Empowering through financial knowledge and skills
Linkage and referral to economic self-sufficiency services
Lesson 3: Strategies and Tools to Assess and Develop Readiness Economic Self-Sufficiency
Tools to assess readiness to pursue economic self-sufficiency
Tools to develop readiness for pursuing economic self-sufficiency
George’s story: assisting George to develop his readiness
Lesson 4: Strategies and Tools to Create a Plan towards Self-sufficiency
The Capital framework
Tools for creating a plan towards self-sufficiency
George’s story: assisting George to create a plan to achieve self-sufficiency
Lesson 5: Strategies and Tools to Develop Skills and Capital for Achieving Self-Sufficiency
Module 1: Budgeting
Module 2: Increasing earned income through work incentives
Module 3: Filing taxes
Module 4: Saving
Module 5: Clearing and building credit
Module 6: Dealing with predatory lending
Module 7: Getting help with addictions and financial stressors
Module 8: Increasing social capital
Module 9: Essential skills to achieve self-sufficiency: a review
Module 10: Accessing services and supports to pursue self-sufficiency
Lesson 6: Developing programs to promote self-sufficiency
The CSP-NJ Experience
Suggestions for program development
References and Resources