RaiseUp Families logo, providing financial assistance in Houston, TX

Why it Works: An Introduction to RaiseUp Families’ Intervention Model

Date: February 29, 2024
Est. Reading: 6 minutes

Many well-intentioned people and organizations want to help families in need create a more sustainable future for themselves. But far too often, families continue to struggle despite numerous and varied interventions. 

Poverty and financial struggle are multifaceted issues that cannot be solved with a simple, one-size-fits-all approach. 

Thankfully, there’s a better way!

RaiseUp Families is committed to effectively addressing poverty. This blog will give you a closer look at our process and why it works. 

The Center for Working Families Framework 

A framework developed by the Center for Working Families (CWF) informs our work and how we conceptualize the type of support struggling families need. This framework highlights the vital aspects of successful intervention for families facing poverty. Based on research conducted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this framework presents an evidence-based intervention approach that works. 

Let’s break it down. 

The following information is taken from “The Center for Working Families Framework

A Comprehensive Approach to Economic Opportunity,” a 2020 report produced by The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Follow the link to read the report in its entirety.

Through research and observation, CWF highlighted four vital principles that guide effective interventions. 

  1. Build a trusting relationship with participants. Relationships matter! Building relationships between staff members and participants enhances participant engagement and promotes program retention. This can take different forms, but one-on-one coaching is an effective approach and one we use at RaiseUp Families. 
  2. Services should be bundled, not offered individually. The research showed that participants offered bundled services (e.g., immediate aid, financial counseling, and career training) were better able to find and hold jobs and earn better overall. 
  3. Multiagency partnerships enable helpful referrals and more holistic care. One agency can only do so much with the limited resources available. This is especially true for small, local organizations. Rather than trying to do everything, partnering with other organizations specializing in different or adjacent services is more effective. For example, a food pantry can partner with an NGO that provides career development and refer their clients to them. Some of RaiseUp Families’ partners and resources include,
  1. Comprehensive data collection and sharing are needed to understand the community's issues better. This big-picture component is essential for assessing needs, understanding the struggles a community or population faces, and effectively distributing resources. 

Here’s the bottom line: Simply helping someone find a job doesn’t get them out of poverty. 

CWF takes a holistic approach to helping families achieve meaningful upward mobility. It encourages three core service elements for concrete intervention. 

  1. Educational, workforce development, and employment services 
  2. Financial literacy education and coaching 
  3. Access to public benefits 
Why it Works: An Introduction to RaiseUp Families’ Intervention Model

The CWF framework also encourages organizations to anticipate the challenges preventing individuals from accessing their resources. Some examples include providing on-site childcare, offering services in Spanish, and offering classes at various times to accommodate work schedules.

Organizations should adopt a “no wrong door” policy to further remove barriers to service. This ensures prospective clients, regardless of their initial point of contact within the organization, can seamlessly connect with the services they need. 

Now that you have a better understanding of the framework that guides our interventions, let’s take a closer look at the two programs we offer: HandUp and AfterCare. 

The HandUp Program 

Our nine-month HandUp program empowers parents to achieve self-sufficiency, enabling them to navigate future financial challenges independently. Through compassionate support, we provide training and instill confidence, empowering parents to effectively provide for their families and create an environment where their children can simply be kids – playing and focusing on their education.

The Self-Sufficiency Program encourages clients to focus on emotional wellness and financial literacy while assisting with essential living expenses, including rent, utilities, transportation, childcare, and job-related education and training. Our Self-Sufficiency Program enables parents to stay in housing within their children's current school zone. Counseling and support groups foster a sense of community, reassuring parents that they are not alone in their journey. Combining personalized care plans and financial assistance promotes the family's financial independence upon program completion.

Program Qualifications 

  1. Struggling to pay rent and/or utilities. 
  2. Legally and physically able to work. 
  3. Legal guardian of at least one school-aged child.
  4. Lease or mortgage in your name. 
  5. Agree to the self-sufficiency programming. 

Program Phases 

Phase 1 (Months 1-3) Stabilization: The goal of this stage is to stabilize the family and increase their income so they can afford their basic needs. We conduct a needs and mental health assessment and develop a plan tailored to that family's situation. The rent/mortgage payment is fully covered in the first month, and in months 2 and 3, it is partially subsidized. This phase includes an introduction to the self-sufficiency matrix, a utility stipend, a monthly budget meeting, and access to services.  

Phase 2 (Months 4-6) Coaching: Like Phase One, Phase Two includes partially subsidized rent and monthly budget meetings. However, individual or family counseling sessions and support groups are also incorporated. Clients are also introduced to community resources such as The Women’s Resource, Food Scholarship, Dress for Success, and Clothes By Faith. These services focus on skill building, career planning, increasing self-esteem and confidence, and reducing anxiety. 

Phases 3 (Months 7-9) Launching: At this point, families are more stable and feel confident in their ability to launch. Clients are introduced to the After-Care Case Manager and other financially incentivized programs within RaiseUp Families. Months 7 and 8 include subsidized rent, and upon full completion of the 9-month program, clients earn a full month of rental assistance.

Why it Works: An Introduction to RaiseUp Families’ Intervention Model

The AfterCare Program 

Upon successfully completing the nine-month HandUp Program, individuals qualify for a two-year support period under our AfterCare Program. During this time, our team remains available for ongoing guidance, mentorship, and support, aiding in employment retention and income enhancement. We offer access to financial education, counseling, and budgeting classes, and support groups are actively encouraged for all clients. RaiseUp Families provides three types of aftercare services. 

  1. In-person and virtual support: This support is client-centered and allows all participants to become the experts in their care.  They are given access to case managers who offer a high level of coaching, guidance, and emotional care along their journeys of self-sufficiency/maintenance. After Care clients have an opportunity to enroll in one of three different levels of case management. Level 1: monthly meetings, Level 2: bi-monthly meetings, and Level 3: quarterly meetings.  Clients will schedule a 1:1 goal meeting with an AC Case Manager to discuss life stressors and revisit/modify goals. .  

We also offer treatment interventions based on strengths, including motivational interviewing, mindfulness support groups, and relationship building. 

  1. Individual plans: To offer support best suited to the individual and family, we offer three assessments: the Self Sufficiency Matrix, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD), and the PHQ-9 assessment for depression. We also assist clients in developing a long-term individual service plan, which details the client’s commitments and supports and where to access resources.
  2. General program services: These include programs like support groups, homeownership classes, Dollar-a-Day matching saving program, Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World Workshop and personal development book clubs for parents, as well as summer camps and reading programs for children.
Why it Works: An Introduction to RaiseUp Families’ Intervention Model

The Results 

The results speak for themselves! By following an evidence-based intervention protocol and through the generous donations of individuals and companies, we’ve been able to break the cycle of poverty for hundreds of families over the past 30 years. Below is a graphic detailed sampling of our most recent impact information.

Why it Works: An Introduction to RaiseUp Families’ Intervention Model

How You Can Help

We hope this blog gave you some helpful insight into the why and how of RaiseUp Families! 

At RaiseUp Families, we assist parents facing financial challenges in establishing a secure home and ensuring educational opportunities for their children. We believe no family should endure homelessness, and every child deserves the chance to create a brighter future.

Would you like to take action and partner with us to help families find a brighter future? Here’s how you can do that!

  1. Give. There are many ways to give, including one-time donations, IRA charitable donations, purchasing from the Amazon wishlist, and much more!
  2. Volunteer. Some current opportunities include writing letters of encouragement, being a book club leader, doing board service, and being a graduation luncheon volunteer. 
  3. Share. Talk to friends and family and use social media to spread awareness.  

If you’d like to learn more, we encourage you to attend one of our graduation ceremonies and meet the program participants for yourself! Please feel free to reach out with questions. 

Thanks for partnering with us to make a difference for parents and children in Houston!

Helping parents achieve self-sufficiency so they can lead their kids to a brighter future!
transparency seal from Guidestar
Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity sealGive with Confidence Seal 100 out of 100
Copyright © 2024 RaiseUp Families.
Website made with ❤ by Solace Media