Family Economic Mobility Toolkit

Interactive FEM Program Planning Tool

In addition to setting individual family goals related to economic mobility, Head Start programs can set program goals to ensure economic mobility is intentionally prioritized in the program’s five-year project period plan.

Explore a Model for Planning

The Foundations for Excellence provides an example of a program goal, objectives, and an action plan to support families’ financial stability.

Purpose of the Tool

The Interactive Program Planning Tool for Family Economic Mobility supports directors and managers in developing goals, objectives, and action plans related to family economic mobility. Program leaders, parent leaders, and staff can use this tool to align planning and professional development with the HSPPS.

Teams may use this tool at any time during the five-year project period to review:

  • Program goals and activities with families (e.g., in policy councils) related to economic mobility.
  • Opportunities to use existing data about family economic mobility to inform staff training, professional development, and family services.
  • Common goals that families in your program set for themselves and their children.
  • Capacity of staff and community partners to support families in reaching their goals.
  • Areas for additional learning about economic mobility.

Plan Collaboratively!

Everyone in a program contributes to family economic mobility work, but much of the day-to-day responsibilities fall to staff that work directly with families. While planning family economic mobility programming for your program, be collaborative. Ensure leadership, staff, families, and community partners have the opportunity to make their voices heard during the planning process and beyond.

Structure of the Tool

This tool is organized into five steps and begins with a series of prompts. We know every program and setting is different, so be sure to think about applying this tool to your specific setting.

Step 1. Review Program Economic Mobility Goals

Step 2. Learn About the Economic Mobility Goals of Families

Step 3. Review What You Learned

Step 4. Make a Decision About Your Approach

Step 5. Reflect and Plan

Download the Interactive Planning Tool

Applying Refer-Partner-Provide to Program Planning

In addition to providing support to individual families, the Refer, Partner, Provide framework can be used during the family economic mobility program planning process. Consider these examples:

  • Refer: A few families express interest in credit counseling. In this case, it may make the most sense to make referrals to another organization that specializes in this service, or to a specialized program within your larger organization. It may be too costly to build such capacity in your program.
  • Partner: You notice a large group of families in your program are currently renting apartments in the neighborhood but are interested in learning more about the home buying process. Create an MOU with a local housing agency to support the process.
  • Provide: In another case, families ask for introductory financial education. You may find that there are no other organizations in the community that offer that service. So, it may make the most sense to provide the service in your program. Depending on your program’s capacity, you may choose to offer financial education services directly to families through your program. To do so, you could draw on free training materials. Remember that not all families will have the time or resources to attend classes in person. Online financial capability services are a good option to explore if most families have internet access at home.

Learn more icon.Want to dive deeper into the family economic mobility program planning process?

Check out Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services.