The National Human Services Assembly Announces Research Findings and Recommendations for Building Family Well-Being

‘Two-Generation Approach’ explores how ongoing efforts at the state
level could help bolster outcomes for families in policy and
programmatic areas like childhood education and economic stability

Human Services Assembly
(the Assembly) has released “The
Two-Generation Approach Framework: A Closer Look at State-Level
funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation. The report
explores how three states–Colorado, Connecticut, and Utah–are developing
and implementing a Two-Generation (Two-Gen) framework in their human
service programs. The Two-Gen approach builds well-being by
working with both generations of families simultaneously to support
early childhood education, elementary education, economic stability, and
family engagement.

“Building and maintaining family well-being is one of the most powerful
ways to create the opportunity for everyone to reach their potential and
fully contribute to our communities. We believe the success of the
Two-Gen approach in these states can serve as a starting point for
advocates and practitioners in other states to further policy and
programmatic change through the Two-Gen lens,” said Lee Sherman,
president and CEO of the Assembly.

Key Findings

The Assembly interviewed state and local stakeholders to gain a deeper
understanding of the policies, systems, and structures supporting the
Two-Gen approach. The findings demonstrate three distinct Two-Gen

  • Colorado. The state’s agency-driven approach begins with the
    alignment and coordination of services and sharing of data, combined
    with legislative backing through recent changes to state policy.
  • Connecticut. The state’s framework includes a pilot program
    that will build systems and program models within six communities,
    eventually serving as a template for scaling up Two-Gen programs
  • Utah. The state legislature created an interagency commission
    to explore the extent of intergenerational poverty in the state, from
    which a work plan was developed to align agency data collection and
    programs through to the caseworker level to ensure that services are
    more intentionally and effectively connected.

Policy Opportunities, Challenges, and Lessons

Colorado, Connecticut and Utah are on the vanguard of state
implementation, developing innovative solutions to the structural
barriers and challenges that have traditionally kept services for
children and adults in silos. The three states have made significant
contributions to the field’s understanding of how to best translate
support for the Two-Gen approach into tangible solutions that
fundamentally transform state policies, systems, and programs. The
report highlights the importance of:

  • Cultivating champions of the Two-Gen approach in the state legislature
    and executive cabinet;
  • Developing unique ways to share data within and across state agencies
    to increase program efficiency;
  • Identifying populations within the state who share the potential to
    maximize the outcomes of Two-Gen program delivery;
  • Involving families in program design to ensure that services are
    tailored to the values of each community; and
  • Ensuring program sustainability by building opportunities for
    long-term systems change into Two-Gen policies and programs.

Tracy Wareing Evans, executive director at American Public Human
Services Association, commented, “This report shines a spotlight on how
Two-Generation approaches are helping states focus on the well-being of
all children and families across the life cycle, shifting mindsets to
solution-oriented service delivery that is both efficient and leading to
better outcomes. The closer look at the approaches in Connecticut,
Colorado, and Utah offers great insight into how other states might
consider incorporating the Two-Gen lens across the education,
employment, health, and human serving sectors.”

About the National Human Services Assembly

The National
Human Services Assembly
(the Assembly) is a Washington, DC-based
association comprised of over 75
of the largest national nonprofit organizations
. In aggregate,
members and their affiliates and local service networks collectively
touch, or are touched by, nearly every household in America—as
consumers, donors, or volunteers. The Assembly focuses on strengthening
the human service sector through shaping public dialogue, capacity
building, collaboration, and improving nonprofit business practices.


For the National Human Services Assembly:
Scampoli, 212-537-5177, Ext 7
Sims, 202-347-2080, Ext 16