Family Economic Mobility Toolkit

Step 2: Identify Skills

Skills are specific talents and abilities that both the family and staff members have and share within a partnership related to the family’s goal. Staff skills may include knowing how to access external resources and information and being able to offer a supportive and empathetic approach to conversations with families.

When goal-setting, a family’s talents, skills, and abilities are those specific characteristics that might support them in achieving their hopes, dreams, and goals.

Family skills and abilities related to economic mobility goals might include:

  • Previous work, or volunteer experience
  • Budgeting skills
  • A certification or degree related to a career interest
  • Skills related to parenting, running a household, or starting over in a new country or location
  • Policy Council, leadership, and decision-making skills
Ideas for action icon.

Sample Scenarios

Explore the scenarios below for real-world examples of how to identify skills.

Scenario 1: A parent sets a goal of finding a well-paying job.

Opportunity: Together, the staff and family can identify applicable skills they can use in the job search. Families and staff each have skills to contribute to meeting the family’s goal.

  • The family can outline the skills they are using in their current or previous jobs, or volunteer experiences that might be able to transfer to another job.
  • If a parent or caregiver has never had a job before, you can support them in identifying the skills they have as a parent and community member.
  • The family or a staff member may have the computer skills and experience to help with job searches on the Internet.
  • You can support a family in writing their resume, or share information about community partners who have resume-writing skills and can offer help in this area.

Scenario 2: A family shares that they have a limited budget but worries about paying their rent if there is an unexpected cost.

Opportunity: Staff can encourage and support the family to recognize the skills they are already demonstrating day-to-day in budgeting and saving money. Staff might ask:

  • What has worked well in budgeting and saving in the past?
  • When times have been difficult in the past, what did you do to get through it?