Introduction to Financial Social Work with Adults



Live Interactive Webinar | September 21 and 28, 2021, 1 - 4:15 p.m. ET
Instructor: Sara Johnson, M.S.W.
Level: Intermediate
CEs: 6 CEs are available for $10 fee 
Review CE accreditation and approvals for this course.

Financial capability and financial well being can contribute to overall well being in clients by decreasing stress and increasing efficacy skills. Social workers use a broad range of interventions that support their work with individuals and families to improve lives and reduce harm. These interventions often include mental health counseling, parenting programs, substance abuse counseling, and sometimes, job training. What is missing from these interventions is a social workers’ ability to address the financial and economic vulnerability that continues to create instability and leads to families falling back into crisis. This financial social work course approaches financial capability from an economic justice framework. Materials and lectures include the historical legacy of racial, gender and social economic policies that have created and maintained the racial and gender wealth gap. The course seeks to dismantle the framework of personal responsibility as the core tenet of building financial capability for individuals, families and communities. Students are challenged to identify root causes and real-life solutions to address these disparities inherent in our financial system.

This workshop will provide a framework for social workers and other practitioners to examine their role in advancing the economic stability of individuals, families and communities. Participants will gain a foundation in techniques, tools and resources available to help clients build financial stability. Through a series of exercises and discussions, practitioners will understand the origin of the current race and gender wealth gap and gain insights about how values, habits and beliefs about money affect financial behaviors and impact client well-being. Participants will also learn practical skills like how to help clients create a budget, build credit and how to set and stick to a financial goal.

Target Audience: 

Social workers and other social service providers

Course Delivery Method, Format and Instructor Interaction :

Live interactive webinar with discussion and small group activities. Instructor will use chat and verbal discussions for Q and A, as well as break out rooms.  Login information will be emailed immediately after registration to the email address entered during registration. Attendees are visible to one another in Zoom Meeting and are encouraged to be active participants with their camera and/or microphone in order take part in discussion.

System Requirements:

Attendees will need access to a computer with working camera and microphone. All courses are offered using Zoom conferencing software and login information is sent shortly after registration. 

Registration Fees and Deadlines:

Early registration by July 8, 2021: $130
Regular registration by September 20, 2021: $145

CEs: 6 CEs are available for $10 fee 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the role of social workers in helping individuals and families to build financial capability and resiliency
  2. Identify a range of individual, family and community practice interventions addressing financial stability within the larger framework of counseling and psychotherapy theories and approaches
  3. Explain the relationships between financial stability, assets, economic empowerment and harm reduction
  4. Articulate strategies to help families build greater financial stability
  5. Explain how to screen for financial distress in families and make appropriate referrals to assistance
  6. Describe how to work with a client to create a financial goal, support them in developing a cash flow budget based on their income and expenses, and develop techniques to motivate clients to stay on track to reach goals


Day 1:

  • 1 - 2:40 p.m. ET: Understanding the history of financial realities (data and discussion on gender/race wealth gap); Role of the practitioner and financial social work
  • 2:40 - 2:50 p.m. ET: BREAK
  • 2:50 – 4:15 p.m. ET: Behavior change models; Tools for evaluating financial habits and values; Setting financial goals

Day 2:

  • 1 – 2:30 p.m. ET: Building a successful budget; Credit 101
  • 2:30 – 2:40 p.m. ET: BREAK
  • 2:40 – 4:15 p.m. ET: Banking 101; Resources for practitioners

About the Instructor:

Sara Johnson is co-founder and COO of the CASH Campaign of Maryland, a nonprofit that improves the financial security of low-income Marylanders. The CASH Campaign of Maryland is the result of a recent merger between the Baltimore CASH Campaign and the Maryland CASH Campaign. CASH and its statewide network of partners annually prepares 22,000 free tax returns, bringing in $30 million in tax refunds to low income taxpayers, provides free financial education and coaching to over 7,000 residents, and conducts advocacy on state and federal policies. Johnson has over 20 years non-profit experience in the Baltimore area. Previously she served as the senior program associate for Seedco’s Baltimore office where she managed the local implementation of their benefits access program EarnBenefits Online. Johnson also worked with the United Way of Central Maryland in the Community Impact division for Basic Needs and with the Annie E. Casey Foundation where she managed its neighborhood grants program. Johnson earned her bachelor of arts from Guilford College in Business Management and a masters of social work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. She currently resides in Howard County with her husband and twin girls. 

Completion Requirements for Live Interactive Webinars

Live, interactive webinars are synchronous, virtual courses held in Zoom Meeting. To receive a CE certificate, you must attend the entirety of the webinar. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the training. Participant attendance is tracked through Zoom. To earn CE credit, participants must also complete an evaluation. A link to the online evaluation will be emailed to participants within 24 hours of the conclusion of the course. It is attendee’s responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements. Receiving CEs is contingent on attendance and completion of the evaluation.

How Will a CE Certificate Be Awarded?

Upon completing the webinar evaluation, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of webinar completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records.

Continuing Education Credits and Approvals

Continuing Education (CE) credits offered vary by course. This course only offers the CE credits listed below.  It is the attendees' responsibility to contact their licensing board to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.

Social Work
  • The Smith College School for Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is therefore authorized to provide CEs as a postsecondary institution accredited by CSWE in many states. Courses offered through the School’s Program of Professional Education are awarded continuing education credits in accordance with Continuing Education Regulation 258, CMR, 31.00 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This course does not offer ACE or NY State Education Department credits. 




  • Co-sponsored training events for psychology CE credit with Smith College School for Social Work. Amego Prepare​ is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Amego Prepare maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Due to changes in continuing education requirements for NY licensed psychologists, APA CE Sponsor credits may not be accepted for re-licensure at this time. Please check the NY Psychology Board regulations for CE requirements currently in effect.

SSW Professional Education Policies

Further information on policies and CE accreditation can be found here.

Contact SSW Professional Education


Lilly Hall
23 West Street,
Northampton, MA 01060 | 413-585-7970

Director of Professional Education

Pronouns: she/her
E: or
P: 413-585-4198