Increasing Financial Health through Casework Interventions

Thomas E. Smith, Kristin V. Richards, Victoria M. Shelton


Given a need to increase clients’ financial capability, social workers need a new set of techniques. Although financial education is a necessary service to increase financial capability, it is not enough. Practice models are needed to address the psychological and behavioral client needs that are exacerbated by inadequate financial management strategies. In this paper, six casework intervention models are discussed: motivational interviewing, harm reduction, marital and family therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, mindfulness training, and financial therapy. One model, the transtheoretical model, unites the six practice models. The need to validate casework interventions is essential through outcome research. Interventions not grounded in outcome research are speculative and may be misleading. A mixed model using quantitative and qualitative research techniques is proposed to build and evaluate casework intervention models.

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