Achieving self-sufficiency can be a long-term process that requires broad support. The self-sufficiency matrix widely used in social work case management provides reliable, consistent measurements for determining whether a family is in-crisis, vulnerable, safe, stable, or thriving in 25 areas, from economic health and education to the less quantifiable aspects such as parenting, resiliency, and support systems. Each client’s progress in the self-sufficiency matrix is measured regularly. We work with families to set goals and develop plans for the education and training they’ll need to obtain a higher paying job.
Just as important as measuring performance, the self-sufficiency matrix creates clear points to mark progress and recognize achievements.
Other family needs besides housing and employment can also stand in the way of becoming independent. Case Managers work with clients to identify and address everything that may trip up a family, such as finding safe and affordable child care, handling health issues, managing a household, parenting more effectively, managing finances, dealing with children’s schools, or encouraging clients to make their own decisions and become more resourceful. We don’t do this alone.
We don’t do this alone. Fairfax County has a valuable network of public and nonprofit resources to meet the needs of clients. We depend on these partnerships and we are proud to be part of Fairfax County’s 10-Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.
Finally, we stay on top of things, keeping families on track, readjusting goals and the services needed to reach them. When families first begin working with us, we use the self-sufficiency matrix noted above to assess their strengths and obstacles and to match their needs with community resources. We reassess and readjust families’ plans for becoming self-sufficient based on both a client’s progress and his/her setbacks. Just as important as measuring performance, the self-sufficiency matrix creates clear points to mark progress and recognize achievements.
In the end, whether families are with us for three months or three years, they are able to care for themselves and their children in every way. No family leaves the program without a minimum self-sufficiency rating level of “safe”.