Family Economic Mobility Toolkit

FEM Goal Areas

When you’re supporting a family with economic mobility goals, you may want more information and resources on specific topics. This section explores four key topics and their corresponding goal-areas:

  • Income and Spending
  • Savings and Assets
  • Debt and Credit
  • Education and Career

Each topic contains foundational information, prompts and ideas to begin conversations, and additional opportunities to learn more with these resources. Each subtopic dives into more specific goals, suggesting possible action steps, tools to use with families, and examples of ways to Refer, Partner, or Provide supports.

You Don’t Have to Be an Expert!

None of the information in these topics or subtopics is intended to be financial or career advice. Use the information in this section to build knowledge alongside families, rather than to influence their decisions.

As families begin to take steps toward their goals, there may be times when they have complex financial questions. It’s OK not to have answers! Partnering with families to learn more provides an opportunity to model that we are all learners. If you don’t know the answer to a family’s question, you can say “I’m not sure, let me do some research and get back to you,” or “I don’t know the answer; let’s find the answer together.”

If you don’t know an answer or can’t solve a problem, you can still assist families with research or a referral to a trusted community partner.

Every Journey Is Unique

The topics and goal areas offered in this section may appear to be in a specific order, but remember that every family’s financial stability and economic mobility journey is unique. Families are all beginning at different starting points, have different goals in mind, and will approach their goals differently. It’s important to meet families where they are and allow them to construct their goals, wherever that starting point may be.

Tips for Using Goal Area Pages

Each FEM topic area contains subtopics, and each subtopic features recurring tools. As you browse, watch for cues for different types of resources based on the purposes below.

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Ideas for Action

Learn from examples and models that help build skills and improve interactions.

Explore action steps families can take, along with tools to build your knowledge or to share as you work alongside families.

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Conversation Cues

Get tips for family conversations.

Discover ideas for building stronger relationships with families by starting productive conversations with these conversation cues.

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Resources for Families

Find tools you can share and use with families right now.

Get links to interactive worksheets, learning resources, and more that you can hand off to families to support learning, reflection, and goal-setting.

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Learn More with These Resources

Dive deeper into a topic that interests you.

Get links to additional information about specific Head Start practices, goal areas for families’ consideration, and more.

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Refer, Partner, Provide

Ideas for providing support.

Look for examples of how you or your program might facilitate a referral, develop a partnership, or provide support for a family on a specific subtopic or goal.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Your Money, Your Goals

As you explore the subtopics in this section, you will see mention of "Your Money, Your Goals (YMYG)" throughout. This financial empowerment toolkit is produced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). It is a comprehensive suite of information and tools designed to help people like Head Start staff have money conversations with the families they serve. The tools are interactive and family-facing. They can be used during meetings with families, or you might suggest a family take a tool home to work on between conversations. While Your Money, Your Goals is not the only tool available to support this work, it’s a great place to start!

Order YMYG Materials for Your Program!

While all YMYG tools are accessible online, programs can order print copies of several different publications CFPB offers, all for free. Order copies of the YMYG Toolkit, Booklets to Help Talk About Money, and Companion Guides for military communities, Native communities, people with disabilities, and people with criminal records.