Below are some frequently asked questions about the program.
What is the Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN)?
The Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN) is a portal to meet the demands of people in need with a goal of making people’s lives better. The CAN advances upward mobility for all people, particularly those who have been historically underrepresented, by connecting support initiatives to low-to moderate income communities for employment, education, housing, counseling, and a more economically secure and equitable future.
With support from FFP, CAN seeks to advance it technology services to create a new financial planning offering and recruit CFP® volunteers to serve military individuals and families in need.
Who can receive pro bono financial services through this program?
All military service members, veterans, and spouses who otherwise could not afford financial service on their own can participate in our program.
Who can provide pro bono financial services for this program?
Our programs are designed to specifically match CFP® professionals to volunteer opportunities. Individuals who successfully receive the CFP® certification mark and complete ongoing certification requirements are able to provide pro bono services.
How do I get started as a CFP® professional volunteer?
The first thing you must do is create your CAN Independent CFP® professional account. You can do that by following this link: https://portal.canportal.org/join/counselor OR by visiting the CAN homepage and navigating to the Counselor/CFP Application.
Ensure the profile information entered is correct and complete. Program managers will use this information to help assign your clients with similar demographics. It is also very important that you include CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ as a selection in the Type of counseling drop down AND check the box that you are participating in the FFP Program (and enter your CFP Board # in the popup field).
Once you are logged into your CAN CFP Account, please sign the HIPAA Compliance Agreement located on the Certifications/Endorsements Section Table.
After you enter your profile information and sign the HIPAA Compliance Agreement, please visit the Browse Opportunities Section and click the apply button associated with FFP’s Program on the table.
Once you have been vetted by FFP and approved, you will see “Foundation for Financial Planning” appear on your Dashboard header and a validated badge appear next to the welcome information. *You will not be assigned cases until you apply for the FFP posting in the Browse Opportunities Section and are approved by the FFP team.
How do I sign the Letter of Engagement (LOE) when I am assigned a client?
CAN’s Client Manager, Steve Stout (email@example.com), will share the LOE with you each time he assigns you a case. You can sign the document by going to your Documents tab.
How will my client review and sign the Letter of Engagement (LOE)?
During the application process, clients are provided with the LOE and must click “I have read and understand” prior to moving forward.
After signing, clients can access the LOE in two places – in their “My Documents” section and in the table in the “My Requests Section.” Advisors can double-check that Clients have seen and agreed to the LOE by clicking on the Additional Questions tab of the client’s file.
If you were matched with your client prior to June 28, 2023, the LOE signing process was a little different. CAN’s Client Manager, Steve Stout (firstname.lastname@example.org) sent your client the LOE via the Messages section – there, they can review and acknowledge the statement.
For any questions about the Letter of Engagement or if you wish to ensure that your client signed it, please reach out to Steve Stout (email@example.com).
How do I know if a client has been assigned to me?
After you are approved by FFP, CAN will begin to assign you clients. You will receive an email notifying you that a client that has been assigned to you (please check your junk/spam folders and earmark the CAN as a safe sender if needed). You can also view clients in the File Management portion of your account. This is where client information and files will be available to you. Once you have reviewed all the client’s information and are ready to contact them, change the status of the companion case to “Accepted” via the drop down on the Status/Approval Tab. The lamp will light up on the companion case progress bar as you change statuses.
*Failure to change the status within 48 hours may result in the case being retracted and re-assigned to another advisor.
*Note: As you change statuses, updates are automatically sent to the Applicant AND the FFP leadership team (There is no need for you to update anyone).
Continue to change statuses as you complete the advising process with each Applicant (this is very important as it helps CAN and FFP monitor the engagements and improve the experience of both clients and advisors). If you need to reject the case for any reason (Or place it on an Admin Hold Status), choose that option from the Status Tab drop-down and the reason you are rejecting the case so that it can be reassigned as the situation dictates. Check out this CAN video for a brief example of how to conduct a status change: Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN) File Management Status Change – YouTube
When the engagement is complete, make sure that you 1) check off items discussed during the session on the Checklist Tab and click the save button (see screenshot below) and 2) change the Status to Completed on the Status Tab.
What is the expected client outreach time?
You should reach out to your client within 24 – 48 hours of receiving your assignment.
What if my client is unresponsive?
If at any time during the process, the client is not responsive, change the Status of the case to Admin Hold, and select the reason from our list. This will send a message to the program leadership and move it to your Closed Files Table automatically.
How many attempts should I make before deeming a client unresponsive?
Please attempt 2 phone calls (with voicemails) and 1 email to contact the applicant and set up the counseling session day/time. As you complete these attempts, indicate them by making a note of each attempt on the Notes tab. Check out this CAN video for more information on taking notes in your account: Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN) File Management Notes – YouTube
What if an unresponsive client reaches out to me?
If the client reaches back out to you at a later date and you wish to complete the counseling session, simply open the file from the Closed Files table and change the status to an active status (like contacted, or In-Counseling).
How do I stop receiving new clients, or increase or decrease the number of clients assigned to me?
You can take a break from receiving new clients by clicking the green status bubble on the graph for FFP on your dashboard. This will prompt you to indicate a date that you wish to begin receiving clients again (if you have active files, you will be able to choose either to finish those engagements or send them back for reassignment). If you wish to increase or decrease your client load, you can contact CAN’s Client Manager, Steve Stout (firstname.lastname@example.org), to let him know your preference.
NOTE: If you wish to leave the program completely, click the REMOVE ME FROM PROGRAM link next to the green status bubble and confirm via the popup. This will remove you permanently from the program unless you reengage via the Apply button in the Browse Opportunities Section.
What if my clients need resources that are outside of my education and training?
Please do not worry. Listen to your client, gather the information, and tell the client you will do your research and get back to them.
Be sure to check out FFP’s Resources by Population page for resources focused on various populations including military/veterans, domestic violence survivors, and people struggling with serious illnesses and substance use disorders. The Coordinated Assistance Network also maintains assistance directories in many communities. Check out this video to learn more: Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN) File Management Resource Directory – YouTube. Lastly, you can search findhelp’s online directory of free and reduced-cost services and share the programs with your clients.
If you have additional questions pertaining to any aspect of the CAN usage, please email CAN’s Director of National Operations, Kyle VanSchoyck at email@example.com. If you have questions related to the actual process itself and the program, please email FFP’s Senior Director of Grants & Program, Rachel Roth, at firstname.lastname@example.org. 30-60 second Support Videos are also linked in each section and tab for immediate help.