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The Colorado Division of Youth Services is working to transform the family experience by taking a two-generation (2Gen) approach to the services it provides. By Tony Gherardini, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Human Services. November, 2018.
Colleges and higher education systems can make institutional policy changes to bolster the success of students who are parents and their families through intentional use of a two-generation approach. This brief focuses on traditional two-year and four-year baccalaureate pathways for students who are parents; it complements a brief released on policy solutions.
There are opportunities for federal and state policies to better support postsecondary institutions in serving students who are parents and their families. Policymakers can incentivize partnerships, name students who are parents as special or target populations, and facilitate financial aid processes that address the needs of families. Where possible, policies can also encourage creative and innovative approaches to leveraging existing programs to facilitate access and successful completion for parenting students. These recommendations seek to promote policy changes that address the critical supports students raising children and their families need for successful completion: affordable and quality child care, financial aid, wraparound services, and workforce readiness.
Hawai‘i has launched a dramatic new approach to the delivery of human services. Called ‘Ohana Nui, it seeks to break generational patterns of poverty by concurrently addressing all of the basic health and human services needs of the entire family, rather than doing so in a piece-meal fashion.
Bringing together Hawai‘i’s Departments of Human Services and Health, along with their community partners, ‘Ohana Nui aims to build a comprehensive, integrated, statewide, one-stop system to provide support for Hawaii’s most vulnerable individuals and families.
Early childhood programs have proven to be strong platforms for two-generation (2Gen) approaches. Over the last three years, the Educare Learning Network and Buffett Foundation supported four dynamic Educare sites around the country in exploring and advancing 2Gen approaches. Learn about the goals of this effort, key components of their implementation efforts, and opportunities and challenges. This brief also offers recommendations for other early childhood programs interested in the 2Gen approach.
Because of recent legislation passed in February and March of this year, the federal government will be providing significant new funding to state and local governments in 2018 and future years through an array of programs serving low-income children and parents. These new funding streams, and the legislations’ increased focus on improving outcomes using evidence-based approaches, create a remarkable opportunity for path-breaking governors and local leaders to transform how government tackles intergenerational poverty. By weaving together new and existing funding streams, they can pursue aggressive two-generation (2Gen) system reforms that create more efficient ways to improve economic security, education, health, and well-being for low-income parents and children.