Thank you for your interest in volunteering for AFCPE's COVID-19 virtual counseling and coaching initiative! Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about the program. We appreciate your support in making this initiative a success!

Program FAQs

Who can receive counseling/coaching?

Anyone! This opportunity is open to all consumers around the country who are seeking financial counseling or coaching from a qualified professional like you!

Is this opportunity only for military financial counseling/coaching?

No, this opportunity is open to all interested consumers! Yellow Ribbon Network typically serves military families and veterans through their virtual financial counseling/coaching portal. However, they have partnered with AFCPE to provide the technical solution for this initiative. AFCPE professionals will serve consumers from all backgrounds.

Can I share this opportunity with my networks?

Yes! We have created a communication kit that includes images and language that individuals and organizations can share on social media, an email, or a newsletter. If you have a network of individuals who might benefit from virtual financial counseling or coaching, please help us share. Building awareness helps support more people who are struggling and it promotes the value of the AFC® and FFC® certifications. https://www.afcpe.org/covid19/afcpe-response-spread-the-word/

Sign Up FAQs

How do I set up my account to receive clients?

Please be sure to view the registration instructions to ensure your profile is set up to receive clients for this project.

Once your AFCPE certification status has been verified, your profile will display a purple verification check mark. 

What if I am an AFC Candidate? Do my instructions differ? 

If you are an AFC candidate who has passed your exam, you are eligible to participate and follow the same instructions indicated above.
 
When signing up, you will still select “I have been certified/accredited by AFCPE”. We will verify that you have passed your exam, but your profile will not display the purple verification mark that indicates full certification.

Counseling/Coaching Process FAQs

How do I use the Yellow Ribbon Network platform?

Please take a moment to view the training video and instructions.

How long do I have to conduct the counseling session once assigned?

  1. Please make contact with the client within 24 hours and change the status accordingly to always reflect the current status of the case.
  2. You should change the status of an assigned case to “Accepted” via the Status Tab immediately after assigned.*

*If you do not change the status of an assigned case within 48 hours, the Task Force Leadership may choose to retrieve that case form you and re-assign it to another counselor. A client is more likely to engage in counseling if timely contact is initiated.

Do I need to use all the tools in Yellow Ribbon Network with my clients?

You’ll see in the training video that this platform offers a lot of great tools, but you don’t need to use them all. Use what you and your client need to have a successful engagement. But BEST PRACTICE is to complete the counseling questionnaires (pre and post engagement) and counseling assessment with your clients.

Do I meet with each client once, or multiple times?

To receive the stipend, you are required to complete initial sessions with three different clients. Please complete the counselor questionnaire (pre and post session with each client). Yellow Ribbon Network will pay $20/hour for each new-client session completed after the first three. We encourage you to work with as many clients as you are willing and able. You are welcome to meet with a client more than once, but the follow-up is not paid.

Can I see more than three clients?

You may continue seeing clients via the Yellow Ribbon Network and receive compensation directly from Yellow Ribbon Network. If you wish to complete more than 3 sessions and earn an additional $20.00 per completed session, please contact the Task Force Leadership via email at vpadmin@veteransplus.org to receive further instructions on case assignment and additional compensation instructions.

How do I know if a client has been assigned to me? 

There are two simple ways to see if a client has been assigned to you.

  1. As a counselor you will need to log in to your Yellow Ribbon Network (YRN) account and look in the File Management portion of your account. This is where client names and files will be available to you.
  2. In the Messages portion of your account click “Notify of New Messages” and you can receive any new messages from the YRN team and push notifications about new files assigned to you.

What is the expected client outreach time?

Our expectation is that you reach out to your client within 24-48 hours of receiving your assignment.

What if my assigned client is unresponsive?  

If you do not hear back from a client within 1 week, or if they stop being responsive during the counseling or scheduling process, let the YRN leadership know ASAP.

This will allow the client to be placed in Admin Hold and you can receive another client. Please review this process on pages 7 and 8 of the Training Instructions.

How many attempts should I make before deeming a client unresponsive?  

Three (3) attempts, including one YRN Message for documentation, should be made.

What do I do if a client does not want to participate in the counseling once contact is made? 

Place the file in Admin Hold status by choosing it from the drop down on the Status Tab for that client in the File Management Section. Then click the Submit button to change the status. You do not need to contact anyone. AFCPE Task Force Leadership at YRN will be notified of the status change.

What happens when I place a file in Admin Hold status?

  1. The client file will move to the “Closed Files” Table of your File Management Section. You can see it by clicking that button above your Active
    File Management Table.
  2. A notification is sent to the client informing them that you have placed their file in Admin Hold Status, and they should contact you if they wish to re-engage and continue or start the counseling process.
  3. A notification is sent to the AFCPE Task Force Leadership at YRN.

Can I remove a file from Admin Hold status?

Yes. You can view the Admin Hold file by clicking the Closed Files button in the File Management Section to reveal the cases you have Completed or place on Admin Hold. If needed, you can move any case on this list back to your Active File Table in File Management by opening them and changing the status back to an active status (Accepted, Contacted, or In Counseling).

Can I be notified via email when I am assigned a counseling case? 

YES, You will always receive a YRN Message when you are assigned a new case, but if you also want to be notified via email you need to check the appropriate box in the YRN Messages Section. The check box to be notified via email of a new YRN message is located in the Messages Section of your YRN account, under the Folder navigation section. The box is defaulted to unchecked, so users must check it to opt in to the email notifications. You can uncheck it at any time to stop receiving them.

Please note that because the YRN is a HIPAA compliant platform, we must be careful of what is pushed to outside email servers. The email notification you receive will not show you the content of the YRN message for security reasons, but will simply notify you that you have a new YRN message that you can then log in to read.

Can I share my credentials with my client?  

Yes!  We encourage you to upload any certifications, endorsements, and/or licenses, etc you hold to the My Certifications Section.  If you would like to proactively share those credentials with your clients, for your credibility and their peace of mind, ensure that the bubbles on the table for Hero Share and Proactive Share are both clicked and showing green.  This will allow the clients to view your credentials in their view of their file. 

If you wish to share the credentials on demand, only click the bubble green for Hero Share on the table.  This will make them available on the Documents Tab of your file management module but hidden from your clients until you choose to share them using the icon on the Documents Tab’s table.  (You can also always upload individually to files on this tab as well).

How can my client see what I look like?

If you want the client to see your headshot prior to the counseling session you can upload an image to the My Certifications Section. Once uploaded, ensure that the bubbles for Hero Share and Proactive Share are clicked and show in green. This will allow your client to view the images in their view of their own file (along with any other certs you may have chosen to upload and share).

You are also encouraged to upload a picture to your Profile Section. This is the image that will stamp any recent activity entries in the File Management module for each client.

Stipend FAQs

What requirements must I meet to receive the stipend?

AFCPE verified counselors must meet with three unique clients for a minimum of one hour each. While counselors will meet with clients via a technology of their choosing, all counseling/coaching sessions must be logged in the Yellow Ribbon Network platform.

How do I receive my stipend?

Counselors may be paid via ACH transfer or paper check. Please request your stipend at covid19@afcpe.org with the subject line “Stipend Request.” To request a paper check, please provide your full name, mailing address, and phone number. Counselors that wish to be paid more quickly can submit the ACH Form.

Technical FAQs

Who should I ask for help with the counseling protocols and usage of the YRN System?

If you have a question pertaining to any aspect of the YRN usage, please email support@yellowribbonnetwork.org.

If your question pertains to the requirements of the actual process itself, please send a YRN message to vpadmin or email vpadmin@veteransplus.org.

CEUs and/or Experience Hour FAQs

 

Can I receive CEUs for this project?

While counselors will not receive CEUs for counseling/coaching sessions due to compliance with NCCA accreditation regulations, all participants in the project who registered for Financial Inclusion Essentials prior to May 31 are eligible to receive 5 CEUS upon completion of this course. AFCPE certified professionals can request CEUs by uploading their badge of completion in the CEU request form.

Can I receive experience hours for this project?

Yes! We are excited to extend this opportunity to AFC candidates who have passed their AFC exam. Time spent counseling/coaching may be included towards the AFC experience requirement.

Additional Resources

Where can I find additional resources to build my knowledge and better support my clients?

In the midst of COVID-19, information is constantly changing and evolving – at the local, state, and national level. Because you may be meeting with a variety of clients with differing needs, we have created a resource page to keep you informed: https://www.afcpe.org/covid19/  This page contains links to trusted information, as well as access to professional development webinars to support your work.
 

What if I encounter issues or questions that are outside of my education and training?

If you don’t know an answer, be honest. Gather the information and tell the client you will do your research and get back to them. This may require a second call but it’s far better than guessing and getting it wrong. Be sure to check out our COVID19 resources page as a starting point.

If you identify issues of mental health, bankruptcy, or homelessness, below are some resources to guide your best course of action:

  • Suicide: National Suicide Prevention – 800-273-8255
  • Marital issues: From and financial counseling standpoint we never try to take sides when a husband and wife and having marital problems. The best policy is to stay on track with the counseling session and if pressed make a referral to Marriage Counseling or a Pastor that can provide this help to them.
  • Bankruptcy: We never tell someone they have to file bankruptcy. We are not attorneys. We advise them that it may be an option and will go over the types of bankruptcy with them and then make the recommendation they seek the legal advice of an attorney.
  • Homelessness: Do a quick internet search for the geographic area they are in and help to provide them with some good contacts. If you are meeting with a veteran, refer them to the VA Homeless program at 877-222-8387.
  • Mental Health: As financial counselors we are not trained to provide mental health counseling but we all know this will bleed into the financial side as well. Best practice is to stick to the financial aspect of the counseling and encourage them to stay positive and set goals based on what they can do.

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