Family Economic Success

CSG builds the capacity of practitioners and policymakers to help families on the economic margins earn more, keep more of what they earn, and grow what they keep into assets for themselves and their communities.

Family Economic Success (FES) means that families can meet their immediate needs and are working to achieve a secure financial future for themselves and their children. Focusing on what it really takes for low-income families to succeed economically offers a way for leaders to build and strengthen community strategies and policy to support them.

CSG’s FES effort focuses on two goals: understanding and delivering family-focused results, and readying a community for FES action and collaboration. These echo the oft-cited watchwords of the Annie E. Casey Foundation: Children do well when families do well, and families do better when they live in supportive communities.

Our FES Frameworks detail the set of family-focused results that, taken together, paint the picture of what it looks like when families have all the factors in place that they need to make progress and succeed in the economy. CSG’s “Earn It, Keep It, Grow it” frameworks concentrate on increasing three types of stability: the capacity and supports essential to earn an income, making good choices about borrowing and spending, and saving and increasing assets over time. FES is focused not just on the adults in the family, but on how their children are faring, and how their offspring will fare in the generations to come. This has led to an emerging “two-generation” focus in CSG’s FES work that seeks to address the challenges and improve results for parents and children in the same family at the same time.

Community action readiness focuses on a community’s capacity for helping low-income families achieve financial security. A community must understand current challenges and conditions of low-income working families in its economy – uncovering the real barriers that keep families from taking the next steps. The community must then commit to closing the gap by designing its infrastructure and capacity to help families address those barriers. CSG develops frameworks, action tools, and peer learning networks to help community leaders understand the challenges that low-income families face and works with leaders to design community- and family-focused strategies that can help families get ahead.