New Ascend Report Offers Blueprint for State Leaders Fighting Poverty


As prospects seem to diminish for the next generation being better off than the current one, it is essential to elevate the successful work being done to address intergenerational poverty and create a path of opportunity. Two-generation (2Gen) policies have advanced greatly over the past decade, resulting in positive outcomes for families. 2Gen approaches embrace children and their parents together, recognizing that the futures of each are intertwined. The field is rapidly advancing, and scalable and replicable solutions are being expanded.

Ascend is proud to release States Leading the Way: Practical Solutions that Lift Up Children and Families, a milestone report that offers a bipartisan blueprint for state and local leaders looking to put families on a path out of poverty through a 2Gen approach that focuses on both children and parents together. Ascend releases the report today at a public forum at the Aspen Institute featuring report contributors and state and local leaders, including state commissioners and agency directors and secretaries, and families, who will share their perspectives and expert insights in implementing successful 2Gen approaches. This report is part of Ascend’s Solutions Series. The event will be livestreamed and promoted on social media with the #StatesAscending hashtag.

The demand and interest in the 2Gen approach is advancing in states and counties regardless of political affiliation. The report profiles successful strategies implemented by Democratic and Republican leaders in eight states: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Utah. These states are committed and focused on a 2Gen approach with two dozen more preparing to join this growing trend for providing education, social services and job training with an eye toward economic security for families and economic growth for states. Strategies and solutions highlighted in the report are categorized into proven areas of opportunity, including: increasing families’ social capital, incorporation of brain science and trauma-informed care into family supports, culture change to support 2Gen systems change, among others.

States Leading the Way: Practical Solutions that Lift Up Children and Families outlines successful state strategies and solutions that place families at the center of the work, support families as they exit the cycle of intergenerational poverty and enter a path of economic stability, and are designed to help states replicate and scale successful solutions. The report contains recommendations on processes that lead to better outcomes for families, lessons learned on engaging and bringing families to the table as empowered experts, and information on how to move to the next level whether policymakers and practitioners are starting their 2Gen journey or working to go deeper.

Please join us – share your ideas and experiences keeping children and families front and center of policy and practice in your state. We invite you to tweet at us @AspenAscend using the #StatesAscending hashtag. You can download the report here and watch the livestream here.