A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

Building a Two Generation Approach into Your Agency

Community Action Partnership

Learning Communities Resource Center

Two Generation Approach Practice Brief

CAAs and the Two-Generation Approach

Community Action Agencies are perfectly suited to build a Two-Generation Approach to help move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security.  CAAs offer a diverse range of programs serving children and families and have built strong collaborative efforts with key community partners.  Further work to break down silos and expanded integration of services will lead toward higher level outcomes for families involved in these efforts.
Taken from remarks by Mark Greenberg, Acting Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Dept. of HHS, Aspen ThinkXChange: National Forum for Two Generation Solutions

Getting Started…Uplifting the Family: A Two Generation Approach

Great insights were shared during a webinar on the 2Gen approach presented by Garrett County Community Action Committee, CAP Tulsa, and the Administration for Children and Families.  The webinar and accompanying practice brief provide CAAs with information on what 2Gen is and the potential benefits of the approach.  Case studies of CAP Tulsa (an urban agency) and Garrett County Community Action Committee (a rural agency) are featured to help CAAs conceptualize how to think about implementation within their own agencies.

Webinar RecordingSlidesPractice Brief

Family Success Plan
CAP Tulsa (see slide 31)

Crisis to Thrive Scale: Short Form and Sample Report - Pathway Plan
Garrett County Community Action Committee (see slide 44)

Developing 2Gen Ideas for Your Agency

After viewing the webinar, use these questions to discuss ideas about strategies for getting involved with 2Gen:

  1. According to research, what are the benefits of building unified services to help parents and children improve together?
  2. What is the emphasis between serving parents and children in each of your programs and within your agency? Ideas for achieving more of a balance?
    • Mostly on parents
    • Mostly on children
    • Equal emphasis on parents and children
  3. What is the level of intensity with services for parents and children?
  4. By and large, do your programs operate within silos independent from each other? Are there any intentional linkages among your programs to serve parents and children together?  New ideas to increase linkages?
  5. How are goals developed for program participants? Is there a structured framework to coordinate these efforts among your programs including overarching goals for the family as a whole?  Is intake and/or case management fragmented or is there a primary person responsible for overall case management for an individual family?
  6. What type of outcomes for parents and children are you tracking? Have you considered tracking outcomes for children, parents AND the family as a whole?  Short-term, intermediate, long-term?
  7. Do you have a centralized or coordinated data system to support a 2Gen approach?
  8. How do you measure quality of services? Do you have a culture for continuous learning and improvement?
  9. What services are available through your agency to support 2Gen? What key services are available through other organizations?  What are some strategic partnerships that would help create an effective 2Gen approach?
  10. Ideas for launching 2Gen on a small pilot basis?
  11. Thoughts on staff development and coaching practices? Support for coordinators?  Ideas on establishing structured ways to work across all departments?
  12. What would it take to build a culture within your agency to advance a 2Gen approach? Ideas for advancing staff attitudes about a 2Gen framework and crafting job descriptions that include efforts to support integrated services?

Additional 2Gen Resources

Putting Research into Practice: Two Generation Approaches, Practice Brief
ICF International  has synthesized research and resources below from the field on two-generation approaches, organized into five categories: Intergenerational Poverty Data, Two-Generation Program Need, Program Implementation/Promising Practices, Two-Generation Program Types, and State Policy Information.

Also see: ICF webinar recording and slides
This webinar provides an overview of the theory behind two-generation anti-poverty, highlight resources on two-generation programs, and provide tips on translating the research into effective practice.

Making Tomorrow Better Report and 2Gen Outcomes Bank
ASCEND, Aspen Institute
Helps set a foundation for how practitioners and policymakers consider the intended outcomes of two-generation programs and the pathways to achieve those outcomes.

This blog posting was created by the National Association of Community Action Agencies – Community Action Partnership, in the performance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Number, 90ET0452. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.


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