Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Working Families Success (WFS) model?

WFS provides a framework for delivering key services and financial supports in an intentionally bundled and sequenced way to low-income families using an integrated approach specifically designed to make it easier for low-income families to obtain critically needed supports. WFS is built on the concept that offering integrated services in an intentional and thoughtful way helps clients overcome barriers and advance economically.

The model includes a “bundled” set of three core elements: employment services, income support and financial coaching. The WFS model is not a stand-alone program. Rather, it is an approach that is integrated into an organization’s existing programs, staffing structure and client base. Services are bundled and sequenced together, rather than offering one component in isolation, and require providers to intentionally integrate the three key areas in a seamless way for the client. It also fosters strong, long-term relationships with clients. One-on-one coaching is provided as an integral component of service delivery and is used to help clients set goals, develop plans and change behavior.

What is the WFS Network of North Texas?

The Working Family Success Network of North Texas is a program of Communities Foundation of Texas that seeks to improve the economic stability of working families by helping the North Texas region understand the issues and challenges this population faces. Established in 2014, the network includes Communities Foundation of Texas and nine community-based organizations from the Dallas/Fort Worth region who are committed to aligning their services and programming so that families may achieve lasting economic outcomes, including increased income, improved credit scores, a reduction of debt and the generation of wealth for themselves and their communities.

What is the National WFS Network?

The Working Families Success Network (WFSN) is a collaborative of funders, national non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, and community colleges whose purpose is to advance the Integrated Services Deliver approach (ISD) to helping families become financially stable. The network leaders are a group of funders and national non-profit intermediaries known collectively as the National Leadership Group (NLG). The WFS model has been implemented nationally in more than 100 institutions and two dozen states through a network of nonprofit agencies, community colleges, foundations, and municipalities.

How do I become a member of the WFS Network of North Texas?

Currently the Working Families Success Network of North Texas is limited to the 9 agencies listed below.
For more information on applying to become a WFS site, please visit the Communities Foundation of Texas’ website at www.cftexas.org.

Who are the member agencies that make up the WFS Network?

Catholic Charities of Dallas
Catholic Charities of Fort Worth
CitySquare
Housing Crisis Center
Interfaith Family Services
International Rescue Committee
Jewish Family Services
Metrocrest
Women’s Center of Tarrant County

What does it take to launch a successful Working Families Success site?

Successful WFS sites are open to shifting or expanding their approach, developing new skills or partnerships to deliver the other WFS components. Additionally, successful WFS agencies are deeply rooted in the community that they serve. For example, a successful workforce development organization to which community members turn for employment services, or a community organization that is the “go to” place for helping families move toward economic success.

Successful WFS organizations also demonstrate:

  • Organizational commitment to helping families move towards economic success
  • Robust employment services, with the remaining core services either in place or available through a partner
  • Data-driven with an organizational emphasis on learning and continuous improvement
  • Provide sustained personal connections for clients through engaged and trusted staff who can “coach” Local Initiative Support Corporation. (2013).

Local Initiative Support Corporation. (2013). Elements of a Successful Financial Opportunity Center.
Retrieved from http://workingfamiliessuccess.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/FINAL-…

The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2006). Center for Working Families: A How-To Guide.
Retrieved from http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-CFWhowtoguide-2006.pdf

What are the common economic outcome and metrics measured by WFSNT?

All WFSNT members report on a common set of client outcomes on a quarterly basis.  Data is used to make decisions on program performance and to adjust operations to support client economic success. Metrics Include:

  • Employment/Wages
  • Job Retention
  • Savings
  • Debt Reduction
  • Credit Score
  • Household Income

In addition, agencies also collect data on the client’s confidence, through the use of the Financial Capability Scale, a short set of standardized client outcome measures, developed by The Center for Financial Security (CFS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

How do I find out more about WFS work going on around the country?

For more information about WFS work happening across the country, please read the descriptions below and follow the links:

Learn how Annie E. Casey Foundation has been creating pathways for families through its work in economic opportunity

Discover how the Center for Working Families went from prototype to national model.

What do Centers for Working Families look like on the ground? Learn how three sites have implemented the model, and check out this guide for steps to create a successful center.

Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) are career and personal finance service centers that help low-to moderate-income people build smart money habits and focus on the financial bottom line. LISC has a network of nearly 80 FOCs across the country, embedded in local community.

Working Families Success Network is working nationally to advance a fresh approach to helping low-income families achieve financial stability.

 

If I have additional questions about the local network, whom should I call or e-mail?

Wende Burton
Community Philanthropy Director
214-750-4227
wburton@cftexas.org

Ashley McIver
Community Philanthropy Officer
214-750-4246
amciver@cftexas.org