Reflecting on the FSF – Finances Skills and Futures
The FSF supported many clients through what was predicted to be a three-step programme, however, three steps of a client’s journey soon became five steps.
In expecting people to open up about their finances, it became evident that many clients were struggling with issues around mental health as a result of the stress of debt.
Offering wellbeing support in the form of group and individual sessions became the key first step of a client’s journey, a step that had not been initially considered but was key in engaging initially.
Once clients had received wellbeing support, it became evident that they were more willing to discuss matters relating to debt and engage around resolving these. The journey between step one and two now flowed perfectly.
Finances in check, many clients were now open to discussing training opportunities, and in doing so, filling any gaps they may have had in their skills and qualifications.
Linking with Opportunity Knocks, many clients were able to benefit from various training options from achieving their CSCS Card and gaining their LSA Level 2 Qualifications.
Training allowed clients to improve not only their confidence, but employment prospects.
Some clients undertook more niche training such as Forestry School Training, which would give them an edge over others during interviews.
What was believed to be the final step of the FSF was ‘Futures.’ Supporting clients getting back on track with their future looked different for many people. For some, they were ready to return to the workplace, but for others, this stage was a more holistic journey through volunteering. Kim’s Story explains how important a holistic journey via volunteering was crucial to her.
The final step of the FSF was step five. The support clients needed at this stage wasn’t initially considered, but one by one, the calls came in from clients asking how their new employment status would affect any benefits they had been previously claiming. Step five focused on advice around benefit changes as a result of securing employment.