Financial Integration Team – A Community of Practice of Economic Advancement Change Agents
Communities of Practice (CoPs) align individuals with a shared interest to share common practices, individual experiences, innovative ideas, and experiential knowledge. Benefits of CoPs include the opportunity to connect for peer support, knowledge building, and for sharing successful practices and problem solving strategies. The LEAD Center is supporting a new CoP, the Financial Integration Team (FIT), which focuses specifically on integrated economic advancement services to support persons with disabilities. This CoP is a peer-to-peer support network made up of diverse organizations from across the country who share a common interest in the integration of economic advancement strategies within their organization, system, and/or city.
FIT members include the following disability and asset building organizations from nine cities:
- CareerSource Broward – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
- The Arc of Broward – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
- ServiceSource – Northern Virginia
- Capital Area Asset Builders – Washington, D.C.
- Washington Access Fund – Seattle, Washington
- Cares of Washington – Seattle, Washington
- United Way of Tompkins County – Ithaca, New York
- LIFE, Inc. – St. Louis/Farmington, Missouri
- ServiceSource – Delaware
- Department of Rehabilitation Services - Hartford, Connecticut
- Louisville Alliance for Development through Diversity, Empowerment, and Resources (LADDER) – Louisville, Kentucky
FIT members receive monthly technical assistance provided by subject matter experts on integrated services for persons with disabilities, financial education, financial coaching, asset development, and public benefits. Members utilize an online secured portal to communicate with their CoP peers, access training materials, and report on outcomes. Each area is completing a community resource map of key local resources (and connections) and an analysis of customer flow to identify specific touchpoints to include economic advancement strategies such as the completion of a financial health assessment, financial education, and/or financial coaching. Each member will track their work with select individuals with disabilities to document outcomes and identify successful practices.
The FIT furthers the LEAD Center’s work with the Louisville Alliance for Development through Diversity, Empowerment, and Resources (LADDER) and supports on-the-ground efforts to identify and implement strategies to integrate financial literacy into the workforce development system.