by Michael Smith Assistant Territorial Social Services Secretary

The Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work’s Center for Research on Self-Sufficiency (CROSS) conducted a comprehensive study on Pathway of Hope (POH). They analyzed scores which POH case managers collect for families on key measures: earned income, hope, self sufficiency (as measured on 15 items such as employment) and the number of goals set and achieved. CROSS also conducted interviews with staff and families. Here’s what they found out:

• Families who successfully graduated from POH posted statistically higher levels of income, hope and self-sufficiency; they set and completed more goals.

• Hope and self-sufficiency scores increased together. As hope goes up, so does a family’s ability to be more stable and functional.

• Families who completed pastoral care assessments posted higher scores of hope and self-sufficiency and completed more goals. This finding points out the crucial connection between hope, spiritualty and self-sufficiency.

• Families who developed community supports, such as the corps, were more stable in the long run.

• A relationship of trust and accountability between the POH case manager and family motivated families to work hard on goals and successfully complete POH.

What does all this mean? POH works. It empowers families to exit poverty. Research indicates without guidance from initiatives like POH most of them would remain locked in life-long poverty. Moreover, the findings underscored the necessity of families developing spiritual and community supports to maintain stability and break intergenerational poverty.

Copies of the study summary are available upon request by emailing the territorial social services  department at [email protected]

Congratulations to the latest locations to be honored for excellence in the Pathway of Hope initiative.

Pathway of Hope Awards

Achievement Awards
Livingston County, Mich., Corps
Galesburg, Ill., Corps
Shelbyville, Ind., Corps
Willmar, Minn., Corps
Dane County (Madison),Wis., Social Services

Outstanding Awards
Decatur, Ill., Corps
Evansville, Ind., Corps
Menasha Fox Cities,Wis., Corps

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