Call For Papers: Financial Capability and Asset Building- Achievements, Challenges, and Next Steps






Call for Papers

Financial Capability and Asset Building:

Achievements, Challenges, and Next Steps


The 2020 Financial Capability and Asset Building (FCAB) Convening

Financial matters have become increasingly complex and pervasive in daily life. Income and asset poverty; economic inequality; lack of access to beneficial financial policies, products, and services; and low financial knowledge and skills interact in ways that impose enormous disadvantage on social work clients. Momentum is building in the area of financial capability and asset building (FCAB) to address these challenges.

Social work has made important strides in developing FCAB scholarship, practice, and education. In 2016, the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare designated FCAB for All as one of social work’s 12 grand challenges for the next decade. The Council on Social Work Education added “economic justice” to educational standards and published a curriculum guide on economic well-being practice. Scholars, policymakers, and practitioners gather nearly every year to share research, teaching materials, and policy innovations.

The Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Maryland, Baltimore are hosting the Financial Capability and Asset Building: Achievements, Challenges and Next Steps (2020–2025) Convening on September 23-25, 2020. The primary sponsor of the convening is the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), which supports the advancement of research and education in financial capability. The convening will be held at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

The Convening will bring together scholars and educators to examine contributions in research, education, and practice; discuss challenges, and map out an FCAB agenda for the next five years. It aims to advance FCAB in research, education, practice and strengthen networks among FCAB scholars, educators, professional associations, and funders.


Call for Papers

Scholars are invited to submit papers that (a) analyze financial vulnerability and explore strategies to improve financial well-being, (b) assess FCAB policy and practice among vulnerable populations, or (c) examine FCAB teaching approaches. Papers should identify the roles and contributions of social workers in policy practices (e.g., advocacy, initiation, analysis and evaluation, implementation). Papers incorporating interdisciplinary collaboration are especially sought.

We seek research papers on the following three themes, although other relevant topics are also welcome:

  1. Applying FCAB research to social work practice:
  • Studies of FCAB direct practice and intervention (e.g., financial education, counseling, coaching, therapy). How are these approaches designed, implemented, and evaluated in various settings and with diverse populations? How can FCAB be integrated with other health and social services to promote well-being?
  • Evaluations of FCAB approaches in diverse contexts of social work practice. What are the effects of financial guidance services in youth employment and training programs? What are the effects of financial coaching for intimate violence victims and survivors?
  • Studies of FCAB practice that move from “individualized” behavioral interventions to “social” interventions. How does intrahousehold, intrafamily, and intergenerational research inform FCAB policies and programs?
  • FCAB micro, mezzo, and macro practice approaches that address institutional and structural inequality. What is the potential for FCAB to address the racial wealth gap?
  • Insights from a life-course perspective and how they inform FCAB practice. How does FCAB practice contribute to well-being in childhood, transitions to adulthood, family formation, and retirement?
  • Insights from other disciplines about FCAB practice and programs. How do consumer finance, behavioral economics, public policy, and sociology apply to FCAB practice?
  • What are the similarities and differences among countries that are promoting FCAB in social work education?


  1. Applying FCAB research to social work education
  • Evaluations of teaching FCAB in BSW, MSW, PhD, and continuing education programs. What are short- and long-term learning outcomes? What are the results of teaching FCAB in dedicated courses compared to integrating content into existing courses?
  • Papers that incorporate EPAS and social work education assessment. How have schools incorporated FCAB content in meeting EPAS and how effective are they?

III. Applying FCAB research to social policy

  • Systematic and critical reviews of current FCAB policies, including history and future prospects. What can we learn from past FCAB policies that can help shape future policy?
  • The role of FCAB in addressing inequality, racism, and oppression. To what extent are current FCAB policies rooted in historical inequalities and injustices, and how can they be overcome?
  • Policy research on key consumer finance issues (e.g., asset building, debt and debt collection, (de)regulation, financial guidance, fintech, retirement savings, universal basic income). What are the effects of mobile wallets on the financial capability of vulnerable groups?
  • How place and context matter for FCAB policies. What are key differences in FCAB policies across the urban-rural continuum?
  • Research on the relationships between FCAB policies and other social policies (e.g., ACA/Medicaid expansion, state and federal tax credits, SNAP, child welfare reforms). What are the tax policy implications of research on tax preparation participation?
  • Research on state-level FCAB policies, given the growing importance of state policy innovation, such as statewide Child Development Accounts. What are promising examples and central challenges?
  • Studies of FCAB policy research in other countries that inform FCAB policy development. What are the policy design features and aspects of policy implementation from promising non-US FCAB policies that promote financial capability?
  • Studies that examine the relationship between FCAB and financial well-being and the welfare state. What is the relationship between welfare state characteristics (e.g., generosity, targeting, eligibility) and financial capability and financial wellbeing?

Submission information

Please submit abstracts (500 words, not counting references) that include a title, background, methods, results, implications, and references. Also, list the name(s) and contact information for all authors.). Abstracts and subsequent papers should adhere to the standards of APA (6th edition).  Please, direct submissions and any questions to Gena McClendon (

The submission deadline for abstracts is September 3, 2019.  The full timeline to paper submission is below:

  • Researchers will be notified about decisions by October 21, 2019.
  • Presenters will submit an updated abstract by August 1, 2020.
  • A full paper is due by August 21, 2020. High-quality manuscripts will be considered for a proposed special issue of an academic journal.

Funding support

We are seeking funding to provide presenters with travel and lodging and will inform authors of accepted papers about further details at the time of paper selection.


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