Family Economic Mobility Toolkit

Connecting Families to Support

Refer, Partner, Provide icon.All Head Start staff members play an important role in considering the best way to offer family economic mobility resources and services to families. After determining the support that might be a good fit for a family, you can develop a plan to help families access that support. You can make referrals, partner with an organization, or provide services directly through your program.

Refer pie slice.


Find local or national organizations that can provide services and support to families. Then, set up a process for referring families to those services and follow-up with families afterwards. Some families may feel comfortable reaching out to referrals on their own, while others may want you to partner with them in making the first phone call. Staff should always follow-up with a family to hear if the referrals were successful and helpful. Referral processes might be formal or informal.

This might look like:

  • Researching banking options and supporting a family in calling a local bank to set up an account
  • Referring a family with several outstanding debts to a free credit counselor
Partner pie slice


Develop community partnerships with other organizations to deliver family economic mobility services jointly. You can draw on existing partners in your community, online, and from state and federal training and technical assistance (TTA) centers. Your program can use the community assessment process to determine what supports are available in and around the community to help meet families’ goals.

This might look like:

  • Offering workshops led by a local credit union on the homebuying process
  • Partnering with a local community college to offer application assistance sessions
Provide pie slice


Build internal capacity to embed family economic mobility services into your program and provide services and support directly to families.

This might look like:

  • Developing a Family Economic Mobility Resource Directory for your program to provide to families
  • Providing training to program staff on resume writing
  • Hiring a staff-person with family economic mobility expertise to provide career coaching for families

Throughout the Toolkit, you will see examples and ideas to Refer-Partner-Provide as you support families’ family economic mobility goals in your program. To dive deeper into the framework, programs can explore the Administration for Children and Families’ AFI Resource Guide: Building Financial Capability.