Financial Empowerment Resources Network
About the Initiative
Community Social Planning Council leads this collaborative initiative to increase, expand and improve the resources and support available in Greater Victoria for individuals to develop greater financial literacy. We are bringing together organizations, educators, financial professionals and any other interested stakeholders to create a “community of practice” that will focus on financial literacy, financial inclusion and asset-building as pathways out of poverty.
This project looks at financial empowerment for low-income and under-served populations in Greater Victoria. We recognize that an individual’s level of income or wealth is not an indicator of whether they are more or less financially literate, and there need to be supportive policies and services in place to help someone increase their financial empowerment.
We do this through several types of activities:
- Community-owned curriculum development for financial empowerment for various vulnerable populations;
- Supporting professional development in the field of financial empowerment for staff of community organizations, social workers and other kinds of people who work with and support people who are living on low incomes;
- Promoting the development and continuation of innovative service delivery for low-income audiences that addresses financial literacy, inclusiveness of/access to financial services, and building assets;
- Providing a community resource for learning & sharing about best practices in supporting low-income populations to develop and enhance their financial knowledge, assets and access to financial services.
- We're aiming to include everybody who has something to contribute to financial empowerment of low-income people in our community.
The Financial Empowerment Resources Network has evolved as an action to reduce and prevent poverty in Greater Victoria. The principles of this project align with the Community Action Plan on Poverty.
The Financial Well-being Community Resource Guide is a collection of over 60 programs and services in Greater Victoria (or accessible by toll-free call) which address the financial needs of people living on no, low or moderate incomes. The resources are indexed according to different needs to help you find resources that are relevant to the situation you're facing right now.
The resources in this guide specifically relate to financial topics, with some cross-over into legal or housing issues that have financial implications. We've tried to be quite focused on the financial field so we don't duplicate other excellent guides. Almost all of these resources are non-profit, government or cooperative associations with a mandate to serve the community. The rare exceptions provide services that are difficult to access, and they've been recommended for their inclusive approach to serving the community.
This Guide doesn't reference all of the government financial assistance programs available, because they are rapidly changing and difficult to navigate. Instead, this Guide includes organizations where you can go to find help navigating government or financial systems to get what you need.
This Toolkit is a resource for supporting low-income and vulnerable youth in developing their financial well-being and developing a sense of empowerment for their futures.
- Youth Financial Empowerment - Facilitator Guide
- Youth Financial Empowerment - Participant Workbook
- Play Money (Printable Fake Currency used for Budgeting activity)
You may also be interested in exploring the "For Youth Especially" resources on FERN's Pinterest board!
Making Sense of Talking Cents - Resource list
Money Troubles: Financial Implications for Families in Conflict
Presenter: Communica: Dialogue and Resolution Society
Savings & Asset-building for People with Low Incomes
Presenter: Melanie Buffel, Money Coach and Consultant
Next Step Financial Achievement Video (Youtube)
Keeping Seniors Safe from Financial Abuse
Presenter: BC Centre for Elder Advocacy & Support
Financial First Aid for Service Providers
Presenter: Credit Counselling Society
MyMoneyCoach.ca - Credit Counselling Society Website
Understanding Cognitive Impairments & their Influence on Handling Finances
Presenter: Brenda Williamson, Community Living BC
Supporting Success for Adults with FASD - Resource Guide from Community Living BC
Asante Centre for FASD - assessment, diagnostic and family support services
Steps Forward - Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education
Do2Learn - Educational resources for individuals with special needs
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse - information and resource on substances, related conditions in various populations
Community Living BC - information, referral, supports eligibility
Minga Marketplace - Resources for people living with FASD and supporting people with FASD.
National Association for the Dually Diagnosed - information and supports for people with developmental disabilities and mental health needs
Completed Projects and Events
FERN Money Fair (2015)
Funding for this initiaitive generously provided by: