ECONOMIC AND CONCRETE SUPPORTS SERVICES MANUAL
Economic and Concrete Supports Services is a strength-based approach that can keep children safe and help families thrive through addressing families’ basic needs, particularly during times of financial hardship and instability. Family supports have been shown to be one of the most effective ways to stabilize families so that children can thrive. This manual guides an organization through the development and implementation of Economic and Concrete Support Services for families.
There are five steps an organization will follow to make a range of decisions that best meet the needs of the children and families they serve. The organization has the flexibility to make different decisions within each of these steps, tailoring their service program depending on the needs of those families being served. The combination of decisions made by an organization to implement this service will be referred to in the manual as a “model.” PCG can assist your organization in conducting planning, model development, implementation, and monitoring activities.
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RESEARCH AND POLICY
In the policy brief, “System Transformation to Support Child and Family Well-Being: The Central Role of Economic and Concrete Supports” (Weiner et al., 2021), Chapin Hall provides an analysis of the existing research that connects economic and concrete supports for families to improved child and family well-being and the reduction of maltreatment.
The policy brief identifies economic and concrete supports as an essential protective factor. “The Strengthening Families framework defines ‘concrete support in times of need’ as ‘the basic necessities everyone deserves in order to grow and thrive (e.g., healthy, food, a safe and protective environment), as well as specialized health, mental health, social, legal, educational, or employment’ (Harper Browne, 2014, p. 48).” The policy brief is a useful document to accompany this manual; it further describes how research supports the effectiveness of an Economic and Concrete Support Service to promote child and family well-being and prevent maltreatment and provides policy and practice recommendations in support of the service.