January 1, 2010
Family Independence Initiative

In this paper, founder and CEO of the Family Independence Initiative Maurice Lim Miller outlines a new model for breaking the cycle of poverty, which has shown promising results in three separate demonstration projects. As Miller looks to grow his idea, he has found that the FII approach—which puts the target families and individuals in the driver’s seat of their own progress, does not require professional social service workers, and relies more on the assets of the families themselves—is not only a tough sell to public and private funders but has faced direct opposition from incumbent service providers. Miller explores the barriers and opposition in an exploratory essay that illustrates the variety of barriers and roadblocks to growing or scaling social innovations.

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