By Kate Beck
Most youth experience their first introduction to financial management at home. However, many low-income parents themselves struggling to make ends meet, or are ill-equipped to teach effective financial management skills to their children. Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo (CCCS), in conjunction with Child & Adolescent Treatment Services (CATS), has addressed this situation by launching a summer camp to teach economically disadvantaged youth the skills of money management.
Child & Adolescent Treatment Services is a non-profit childrenâ€™s mental health agency that provides innovative, research based, preventative and treatment programs that strengthen the emotional health and safety of children in their homes, schools, and the community at large. The children they help range in age from toddlers to teens. Their programs and services make it possible for children to recover, regain hope, and become healthy, safe, and thriving adults.
Reaching about 110 students, the course will help students identify money issues and how they can create a realistic budget to reach small goals.Â Topics include the basics of money, personal spending, budgeting, financial goals & priorities, banks, savings, and credit.
â€œCCCS of Buffalo takes great pride in providing programming that offers students sound financial basics.Â We are committed to educating the future leaders of America so they will be better equipped to make responsible decisions in an ever changing and complex world,â€ said Paul C. Atkinson, President and CEO for CCCS of Buffalo, Inc.Â
Findings from a survey conducted for the American Savings Education Council indicate that parents overestimate how much they know about finances and underestimate their role in teaching their children about money management. Furthermore, most parents believe that their childâ€™s school should be responsible for teaching financial management. Many parents also feel that because their children do not fully understand the concept of money, they cannot effectively provide them with appropriate financial guidance. Therefore, an introduction to basic financial principles is a necessary component of financial literacy programs geared toward youth. Knowing the increasingly dire situation, CCCS of Buffalo has made financial literacy services for families a key priority.
Kate Beck is Director of Community Outreach for CCCS of Buffalo, Inc.