Ascend Publications

Ascend is pleased to offer these resources to the growing two-generation field. We kindly request that you attribute Ascend’s work by citing the publication referenced. Please email ascend.info@aspeninstitute.org with any questions. Thank you!

Ascend Practical Solutions report

The two-generation (2Gen) field is rapidly advancing: scalable and replicable solutions exist and are being expanded. States Leading the Way: Practical Solutions that Lift Up Children and Families lifts up the most promising, actionable solutions from seven states that can break the cycle of intergenerational poverty for families in the US.  June 2018.

Building a Thriving Tennessee: A 2Gen Approach was created in collaboration between Ascend at the Aspen Institute and the Tennessee Department of Human Services. This report provides key elements of Tennessee’s transformational 2Gen journey — details about the department’s engagement and learning processes, ideas around social innovation and public-private partnerships, insights into lessons learned, and a plan for Building a Thriving Tennessee. June 2018.

Tackling Poverty in UT brief

State leaders in Utah are determined to find solutions to intergenerational poverty and strengthen the lives of children and their parents. As Governor Gary R. Herbert shared with colleagues at the National Governors Association, “Intergenerational poverty is generation after generation where the grandparents, parents, and now the children, are trapped in poverty. We’re trying to break that cycle.” With this focus, the Governor tasked his administration to find solutions and prioritize the work of Utah’s multi-agency Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission and data initiative in 2012. Ascend at the Aspen Institute became one of the partners in these efforts through connections with other innovative states, local community efforts, technical assistance, and leadership support.

Cliff Effect brief

The cliff, sometimes called the “benefits effect,” occurs when a family’s income increases above the income eligibility for financial supports. Income requirements force parents to choose between the needs of their child(ren) and income increases, leading to the potential loss of critical supports including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), child care assistance, health care coverage, subsidized housing, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This is a significant issue for low-income families given that typically an increase in hourly wages is less than the amount the family loses in benefits.

Ascend Child Support brief

Shining a light on supportive approaches to noncustodial parenting, specifically by looking at Colorado’s successful CO-PEP program. By Reggie Bicha, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Human Services, and Roxane White, Morgridge Innovator in Residence. April, 2018.

Ascend Transition Strategies brief

Good leaders know when a transition is coming and work to provide a clear roadmap for the future. Transitions at the state level are felt even more acutely these days with staff turnover, retiring leadership, and 2018 gubernatorial elections on the horizon in 36 states. Ascend Fellows Reggie Bicha, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services, and Roxane White, Morgridge Innovator in Residence, discuss best practices for maintaining 2Gen momentum through transition. This brief is part of our Solutions Series (February 2018)