Creating a Legacy of Economic Success for Families in Poverty

“What if—at this the 50th anniversary of the start on the War on Poverty—we really meant it when we talk about educational and economic success as the legacy that passes from one generation in America to the next?” is how a new paper by Janice M. Gruendel from the Center for the Study of Social Policy begins. By using approaches that address multi-generational poverty through interventions directed at the family unit, we can address the developmental needs of the child while providing opportunities for their parents to achieve financial stability and success, which in turn improves the long-term success of their children.

Economic SuccessAttention to the family as the unit of intervention has long been an aspirational element in the delivery of human services. In the past, most of the focus of policies, practices and programs has focused on children, or their parents.  The paper highlights the work of organizations, including the National Human Services Assembly, to implement these two-generational or multi-generational approaches to combat poverty and to study their impacts.

The report features the work of five organizations: Ascend at the Aspen Institute, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ray Marshall Center at the University of Texas, the MOMS Partnership at Yale University, and the National Human Services Assembly.

All of these approaches are directed at enabling families with young children to improve their economic security, mobility, and success. By focusing on the education and workforce skill development of the parent, and on the learning and development of the young child being parented, these programs provide a concerted effort to meet the needs of the family.

These approaches address the challenges that families facing multi-generational poverty are up against, including social disconnectedness; persistent gaps in adult educational attainment and workforce preparedness; and the predictable

Read Janice M. Gruendel’s full paper, “Two (or More) Generation Frameworks: A Look Across and Within”
Read the National Human Services Assembly’s Report, “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Young Families”
Photo courtesy of Bromford. View their full Flickr stream here.

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