State Human Services Model
Colorado as a Case Study for Policymakers
After more than five years refining and strengthening the 2Gen approach by convening leaders, creating tools and resources, and elevating the awareness of policymakers and practitioners, we at Ascend seek to find leverage points — systems of care and family support where leaders have the reach, resources, and readiness to embrace and drive a 2Gen approach. We have found just such a leverage point in the nation’s human services systems.
This case study offers readers an in-depth look at how the work has been accomplished in Colorado, a state that has seen early successes with innovative, strong 2Gen efforts. Along with offering an array of practical tools and resources that can be customized for use in other settings, the case study will take you deep into the experiences, insights, and lessons learned. To begin, we point to the following ingredients for a successful macro-level 2Gen approach that are evidenced in Colorado’s work:
- Skillful leadership of organizational culture change that enables the embrace of more holistic practice models and policies;
- Broad and well-managed partnerships across state government and with counties, nonprofits, and the philanthropic sector;
- Inclusive and smart planning, coupled with persistent and resilient execution;
- A bias toward action and learning, utilizing testing, course adjustments, and sensitivity to the changing political and social landscape; and
- Discipline to embed the 2Gen approach in existing efforts instead of creating “one-off” programs.
We are grateful to our partners in Colorado and hope that their pioneering work will provide guidance and inspiration to you in exploring the use of this transformational approach to changing the odds for children and parents in the United States.
- Reggie Bicha, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Human Services
- Sarah Watamura, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Denver
- Roxane White, President and CEO, Nurse-Family Partnership
Ascend Network Partners: