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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.
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.
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.
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)
The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood has undertaken a new way measure when positive outcomes are achieved for families enrolled in voluntary home visitation services, and how to provide additional financial incentives for the service provider. This groundbreaking pilot initiative – the first in the nation of its kind – will reward positive outcomes for evidence-based home visitation services, from reduced child welfare involvement to increased parental employment. Following recommendations from Ascend at the Aspen Institute for measuring outcomes for children and parents, the Office of Early Childhood designed a set of whole-family, or two-generational (also known as 2Gen) outcomes measures representing key family goals that also generate value for Connecticut.
As hundreds of organizations and dozens of states around the country explore two-generation (2Gen) approaches, Ascend at the Aspen Institute, the national 2Gen hub, is documenting and sharing the lessons of field leaders. This brief from our 2Gen Toolbox focuses on a leading community model, the United Way, and how United Ways are leveraging their community leadership roles and funding portfolios to achieve better outcomes for children and families through a 2Gen approach. This brief is part of our Solutions Series (January 2018)