Session: New Solutions to Address Complex Financial Problems Among Social Work Clients in the Global Context (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

146 New Solutions to Address Complex Financial Problems Among Social Work Clients in the Global Context

Friday, January 13, 2023: 3:45 PM-5:15 PM
Desert Sky, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: International Social Work & Global Issues
Symposium Organizer:
Jin Huang, PhD, Saint Louis University
The COVID-19 pandemic has substantively affected economic well-being of many individuals and families worldwide (especially those with disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds), and magnified the challenge of poverty and financial inequality faced by different countries. Social work clients are among the most financially vulnerable populations, and often face complex financial problems (e.g., poverty, lack of access to financial services, and utilization of high-risk alternative financial products). There is growing global recognition that social work should play a key role in improving financial capability of their clients, and help them achieve financial well-being. This symposium presents five different studies in the United States, Finland, China, Mozambique, and Azerbaijan to examine financial challenges of different populations (e.g., low-income entrepreneurs, families with children, children with developmental disabilities, and low-income women), explore potential social work and social policy intervention strategies, and assess health and mental health impacts of financial interventions.

The first paper uses the data from the 2018 US National Financial Capability Study, and finds that low-income entrepreneurs have a high risk of income volatility but are also less likely to set aside emergency funds to cover unexpected needs. It reduces financial resilience of this population and increases their financial hardship during negative economic shocks. The second paper designs and implements a pilot randomized controlled trail of a financial social work intervention which provides regular financial guidance services to families with children. The goal of the project is to assess the feasibility of such intervention model for future expansion. The third paper focuses on a micro injury insurance program for children with developmental disabilities in China, assesses the prevalence of unintentional injuries among this population, and explores a comprehensive injury prevention strategy built on the platform of micro insurance. The fourth paper evaluates how women savings groups in Mozambique enhance low-income participants’ social support and their help seeking behaviors, and further reduce their depression symptoms. The final paper uses a qualitative approach to explore a policy diffusion strategy to expand Child Development Accounts, which encourage families to accumulate assets for their children, in Azerbaijan.

These studies present a common theme----the importance of finance on individual development and family well-being----among different populations across four continents. They call for social workers to develop effective and professional interventions and services at all levels (e.g., policies, programs, and clinical services) to support their clients' financial well-being.

* noted as presenting author
Income Volatility and Emergency Savings Among Financially Vulnerable Entrepreneurs in the United States
Baorong Guo, PhD, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Jin Huang, PhD, Saint Louis University
Intervention for Social Work Clients Facing Complex Financial Problems in Finland: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial
Anniina Kaittila, University of Turku, Finland; Katri Viitasalo, University of Helsinki, Finland; Henna Isoniemi, University of Turku, Finland; Meri Moisio, University of Turku, Finland; Sanni Välimäki, University of Turku, Finland; Mia Hakovirta, PhD, University of Turku
Unintentional Injuries Among Children with Developmental Disabilities in China: An Estimate from a Micro-Insurance Program
Ling Zhou, PhD, Beijing City University; Jin Huang, PhD, Saint Louis University; Shirley Porterfield, PhD, University of Missouri-Saint Louis; Shu Fang, China Central University of Finance and Economics
Help Seeking Behaviors and Depression Symptoms Among Low-Income Female Participants of Savings Groups in Mozambique
Aweke Tadesse, Saint Louis University; Jin Huang, PhD, Saint Louis University
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