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Family Self Sufficiency

By / October 11, 2018 / , , , / 0 Comments

Family Self Sufficiency or FSS, regulated  by HUD,  is a program aimed to helping families who have low income or are in Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV), to increase their earnings and build a stronger and more stable financial situation (1).  This program is 100% voluntary and  helps participants to grow savings through an escrow account and provides sensible advice and guidance through case management and coaching(1).  FSS’s overarching goal is to help clients reach self sufficiency by helping clients set goals and reach them; in order for some clients to effectively reach their goal, they may need to be enrolled in additional services in conjunction with FSS such as employment services, educational services, and more. Family Self Sufficiency is an important program as it supports those who are in the Public Housing Agency (PHA); it helps families reach a stabilized income and living arrangement.  A recent study  by found that the FSS program had positive effects in employment earnings and savings (2). “The study finds that Compass FSS participants’ incomes increased by just over $6,300 more than similar local PHA residents who were not in FSS; it also shows that Compass FSS participants paid more debt and saw their credit scores go up.” (2). For FSS to be the most effective, its important for case managers and coaches to use a client centered approach. Assess the clients’ needs, strengths and barriers, and enroll them into services that will help them exceed, but follow the participants’ lead. In other words, let the client choose and define his goals. It is best to not make the client feel as if he or she is being forced. Dependent upon the client’s situation, maintain routine contact with your client. This can range from once a week to a couple of times a month. Keep an open dialogue with your client as communication is important; be sure to listen more than you speak. Lastly, it is important to be neat and organized. Depending on the solutions your program uses this may differ. Enginuity makes it easy for you to keep important documents securely on hand and allows you to bring up info at your fingertips during outreach visits. For more informtation on how to provide an effective FSS program please read HUD’s guidelines and visit their online training for FSS.




Sources: 1, 2,


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