Money Counts

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St John of God Carmona Services and MABS, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, launched MoneyCounts, a new on.line money management training programme for people with intellectual disabilities on February 11th at the Stillorgan Park Hotel.

The Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mary Hanafin TD officiated at the launch.

The project was developed in a partnership between Carmona Services and MABS with the support of The e-Inclusion Scheme facilitated by The Knowledge Society Division of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

The resource is web-based and is available free of charge to those wishing to use it.

MoneyCounts was devised in response to an identified gap in financial literacy amongst people with intellectual disabilities and other vulnerable groups. The OECD in 2008 voiced their concern about the possible adverse effects of low levels of financial literacy in a context of increased use of financial products. Training and education in this area is aimed at facilitating learners in making effective informed decisions about their finances.

The present economic situation in Ireland poses significant difficulties for people who are dependent upon Social Welfare payments and both St John of God Services and MABS work to support individuals in managing their financial affairs as effectively as possible. Money Counts forms part of an overall strategy to provide learners with the knowledge and skills required to achieve this. The content of the training programme is objective and neutral and is committed to ensuring that no particular financial institution or product is promoted in any way.

The training programme comprises a step-by-step programme guide for the facilitator, together with interactive games and exercises for the learners. Access to a computer is needed for the delivery of the programme; this reflects the need for individuals to be experienced in using electronic devices for many simple financial transactions.

The website offers learners the opportunity to practice on a virtual ATM machine as well as playing games that will facilitate learning in budgeting and money management. It will focus on exploring spending habits and outline the consequences of ‘living beyond one’s means’. Video case studies will highlight financial issues relating to entitlements and employment.

Organisations or individuals wishing to find out more about MoneyCounts can log onto www.moneycounts.ie or contact us at education@mabs.ie or admin.carmona@sjog.ie. games and exercises for the learners. Access to a computer is needed for the delivery of the programme; this reflects the need for individuals to be experienced in using electronic devices for many simple financial transactions.

The website offers learners the opportunity to practice on a virtual ATM machine as well as playing games that will facilitate learning in budgeting and money management. It will focus on exploring spending habits and outline the consequences of ‘living beyond one’s means’. Video case studies will highlight financial issues relating to entitlements and employment.

Organisations or individuals wishing to find out more about MoneyCounts can log onto www.moneycounts.ie or contact us at education@mabs.ie or admin.carmona@sjog.ie.

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