Supported by a grant from The New York Community Trust (NYCT), faculty from seven New York City area social work schools collaborated on the design, writing, and testing of this curriculum into order to bring economic literacy into social work education and practice. A second NYCT grant allowed us to expand this university-based collaboration to include representatives from community-based agencies. This extends the use of the curriculum from the classroom to the field, and serves to further strengthen university-community relationships.
Pat White, NYCT Senior Program Officer, provided the encouragement that ensured the creation and implementation of this unique curriculum. The Trust’s commitment to moving people out of poverty and concern over the devastating and wide spread impact of the current recession provided the impetus for this initiative. Practitioners are often unaware of concrete resources that may be available to assist clients.
The authors also want to acknowledge the invaluable support and guidance of the New York City Dean’s Council. Under the leadership of Dean Jacqueline B. Mondros from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, the New York City Region of Schools of Social Work Economic Literacy Consortium was formed. The participating Deans, Dr. Peter Vaughn, Fordham University’s School of Social Service* and Dr. Debra McPhee; Dr. Norma Phillips, Lehman College at the City University of New York, Dr. Lynn Videka, New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, Dr. Ilene Nathanson, Long Island University-CW Post Department of Social Work*; Dr. Steven Huberman, Touro College; Dr. Carmen Ortiz-Hendricks and Dr. Sheldon Gelman, Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work*, all served as advisors and harnessed faculty and staff resources to support this initiative .
We are deeply appreciative of the invaluable technical, editorial and research contributions of Melissa Appel, Dean Freedman, Laurie Pine, Shelley Buchbinder, Sha Sha Feng, Collin Kather and Chip Tilden. The authors also thank the many colleagues from agencies and universities throughout the country, active in economic capability efforts that helped us to better understand the current landscape. The Community Service Society generously agreed to share its well-known Benefits Plus manual, a comprehensive guide to over 70 benefit programs and services available to low income populations.