Economic Self-Sufficiency

All families want to achieve economic self-sufficiency, but moving from one rung of the economic ladder to another can be challenging. Interpersonal skills and family stability are crucial to overcoming poverty and chronic unemployment. Holistic programs that simultaneously address relationship skills alongside economic supports are more likely to have success in helping families achieve self-sufficiency, child well-being, and family stability.

Research shows that healthy relationships affect the economic well-being of children, adults, and families in several important ways:

  • Households that include two adults generally have a higher level of economic well-being, while unmarried adults have a lower level of economic well-being. Research shows that both divorce and unmarried childbearing increase the economic vulnerability of both children and mothers, with the effects of family structure on poverty remaining, even after controlling for race and family background.
  • The interpersonal skills that strengthen families are also transferable to the workplace. For example, communication and conflict management skills are the foundation of healthy couple relationships, but they are also important to coworkers who must work in teams, navigate daily challenges, and interact with customers.

Learn more about the research on healthy marriage and relationship education and find out strategies for integrating relationship skills into your agency’s current service offerings.

Spotlight on Integration: Economic Self-Sufficiency Services (PDF, 318 KB) is a Resource Center tip sheet that compiles lessons learned about overcoming challenges and forming partnerships from two stakeholders that have successfully integrated healthy marriage and relationship education in order to promote economic self-sufficiency.

Browse our Archived Webinars to see presentations from experts in the field on variety of topics relating to economic self-sufficiency.

Visit our Library for more free related and family-related resources in variety of formats. View library resources on economic self-sufficiency or use the search field to find information on a particular topic.

Opportunities for Collaboration Across Human Services Programs (PDF, 341 KB) is a paper from the American Public Human Services Association that provides a concise overview of the major human service programs administered at the State and Local level and discusses the interdependence of those programs, their common goals, and the ways in which those programs might work together. This paper is a good introduction for service providers who are new to working with human service organizations.

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