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Core Elements


Employment Services

Employment services include basic job readiness and hard skills training, job placement, career coaching and/or On-the-Job Training opportunities. Most FOCs are based on the platform of employment services that help individuals find work or move into jobs with higher wages and better benefits. Employment is crucial to a family’s financial security and many clients come to FOCs seeking employment services.

Financial Education and Coaching

The core model for financial education and coaching is similar across all national sites  and includes the following three types of services:

  1. Group-based financial education
  2. One-on-one financial crisis counseling (which focuses on solving specific problems or crises, such as high debt or eviction prevention)
  3. One-on-one long-term financial coaching (which focuses on helping clients achieve financial stability in the long run through smart money management)

FOC staff also connects clients to mainstream financial service providers like banks and credit unions and free tax preparation services.

LISC believes financial coaching is vital in helping clients reach their financial goals. The financial coaches are skilled enough to help clients fix an immediate problem, but their primary role is to help the client create a vision of financial stability, to develop goals to achieve that vision, and to hold clients accountable for achieving that vision.Chinese Communtiy Center FOC

Public Benefits Access

Helping clients identify what public benefits they are eligible for and helping them get those benefits is another element of FOCs. In many cases, FOC clients are employed in jobs with wages and benefits that fail to meet their family’s needs. A recent study from SEEDCO shows that people receiving public benefits as a supplement to their working income are 30% more likely to stay employed. Assisting clients in accessing benefits helps them to achieve financial stability.

Bundling of Services

Clients who receive more than one service are more likely to achieve economic stability, as researched by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The bundling of services at FOCs is very deliberate and happens through the design of the program, staff interactions and data collection so that the majority of clients receive employment counseling, financial education and coachingand access to public benefits..

Client Outcome Tracking

LISC utilizes a data tracking system to determine the success of FOC clients. This system measures clients’ success in achieving outcomes such as employment tenure and credit score improvements. Many economic stability achievements happen over time, so FOCs value a long-term relationship with clients and data tracking is accomplished over a period of years. You can download the most recent FOC Impact Report to get a snapshot of these outcomes.