About the Author(s)
Margaret S. Sherraden, PhD, MA, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Research Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
Julie Birkenmaier, PhD, MSW, LCSW, is a Professor at Saint Louis University School of Social Work and a Project Co-Director of Financial Capability with the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St Louis.
J. Michael Collins, PhD, MA, MPP, is Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Consumer Finance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology and La Follette School of Public Affairs.
"The book takes a uniquely valuable approach by which financial issues are described from the perspective of those who experience financial struggles and those who are trying to assist them based on principles from the humanservice professions, such as a strengths perspective, a nonjudgmental attitude, cultural competence, humility, and respect for client self-determination." -- Journal of Teaching in Social Work
Rather than just help individuals balance their budget, Financial Capability and Asset Building in Vulnerable Households importantly encourages human service workers to engage in financial practice with low-income families based on the relationship between individuals and their environment. Packed with new and extremely valuable information about financial capability and asset building, the authors reject the standard victim-blaming narrative. Instead, they rightly argue that family financial well-being is not possible without public policies that support many financial opportunities. The solid 'practice wisdom' threaded throughout this readable new book, applied to diverse populations, effectively locates 'financial capability' and 'assets' in their theoretical social,
environmental, and historical contexts. Social workers are urged to undo decades of asset-stripping policies that begot today's disturbing asset or wealth inequality."
- Mimi Abramovitz, Hunter College, CUNY
Financial Capability and Asset Building is a unique, comprehensive resource for front-line professionals and policymakers. Sherraden, Birkenmaier, and Collins compellingly convey how the financial lives of many low-income families of color in the U.S. are undermined by financial volatility, fewer assets, predatory lenders, and less financial know-how. Chapters combine data analysis, historical background, and powerful conceptual frameworks, defining terms like financial capability, explaining budgets and debt, and prompting further practical reflection and application. Challenges and solutions are discussed in the context of the financial decisions facing real families. This timely book fills a big gap."
- Robert Giloth, Vice President, Center for Economic Opportunity, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
This is a wonderful book for those who aspire to translate knowledge about financial capacity building into action for vulnerable populations. The themes are derived from a tested and validated curriculum and will be a great resource for educators, social workers, and other practitioners. The span of issues covered is impressive and the organization of the book allows for targeted information about specific topics. The overview of the broad policy debates combined with the qualitative narratives is a distinct strength."
- Alan Mathios, Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Dean, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University
Skillfully integrating theory and practice, this seminal book offers clear concepts, real life examples, and key resources centered on struggling families and their financial needs and opportunities throughout the life course. The breadth of topics is impressive, including income, taxes, spending, saving, budgeting, credit and credit building, risk management and insurance, college, homeownership, and financial security and estate planning in old age. They also enable practitioners to engage with policymakers to help create more enabling policy environments for vulnerable families. I'm only sorry it took until the publication of this critical book to revive the sound Progressive Era idea that the helping professions, at their core, must also be about financial
- Ray Boshara, Senior Fellow, Financial Security Program, The Aspen Institute; Founding Director, Asset Building Program, New America; co-author, The Next Progressive Era
Empirical studies have established a strong, inverse relationship between a household's financial resources and its ability to use those resources in a self-beneficial manner. Vulnerable households are thus doubly disadvantaged and in need of strategic financial advice from appropriately trained practitioners, primarily social workers. This is the first textbook specifically designed to meet that need."
- Lewis Mandell, Professor Emeritus of Finance and Managerial Economics, State University of New York at Buffalo