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2Gen Services Approach

The Two-Generation Approach

Two-generation approaches focus on creating opportunities for and addressing needs of both children and the adults in their lives together. The approach recognizes that families come in all different shapes and sizes and that families define themselves.

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Two-generation approaches can be found along a continuum. This graphic illustrates the starting point (parent or child) and the relative emphasis.

The Two-Generation Continuum

Whole-family approaches focus equally and intentionally on services and opportunities for the child and the adults in their lives. They articulate and track outcomes for both children and adults simultaneously.

  • Child-parent approaches focus first or primarily on the child but are moving toward a two-generation approach and include services and opportunities for the parent.
  • Parent-child approaches focus first or primarily on the parent but are moving toward a two-generation approach and include services and opportunities for children.

In addition to the continuum, there are 6 Key Components of the Two-Generation Approach: 1) Postsecondary Education and Employment Pathways; 2) K-12; 3) Early Childhood Education and Development; 4) Economic Assets; 5) Health and Well-Being; and 6) Social Capital.

Two-Generation Approach Core Components

Postsecondary and Employment Pathways and Early Childhood Development

  • Investments in high-quality early education yield a 7-10 percent per year return on investment based on increased school and career achievement as well as reduced social costs.
  • At the same time, parents who complete a college degree double their incomes. A parent’s level of educational attainment is also a strong predictor of a child’s success.
  • 2Gen education programs and policies include postsecondary education and employment pathways; early childhood development programs, like child care, Head Start, and home visiting; family literacy; and K-12 education.
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