Building Opportunities Two Generations at a Time


Nearly half of America´s families struggle to make ends meet. In Connecticut alone, 80,000 families with children age 8 or under are poor or near poor. In 60% of those families, none of the parents have full time, year round employment; in 80%, no parent has an associate degree or higher education.

Two generation strategies have proved to be an effective, bold solution to address these needs: programs that work to reduce poverty not by targeting the kids or the parents, but the family as a whole. Instead of addressing the needs of each member separately, two generational programs work with the family unit as a whole, combining early care and education, professional skills development, parenting classes, health care, adult education and other services to provide true wrap around support to both kids and parents.

Two-generation strategies are more efficient and effective, enabling families to move out of generational poverty and toward prosperity while strengthening
our state's workforce.


CAHS hosted a webinar on December 2nd, 2014 giving a general overview on these programs, going over their basic features and what challenges and opportunities around these efforts in Connecticut.

  • You can download the PowerPoint presentation here

Resources from the presentation:

  • The enabling legislation for the Two Gen Policy Group can be found here.
  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation report on two-generation approaches is available here.
  • The Working Poor Families project report on two generation strategies is available here.
  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation has an extensive list of resources and links in this page.


Other reports and resources:

Ascend at the Aspen Institute

Gateway To Two Generations: The Potential For Early Childhood Programs and Partnerships To Support Children And Parents Together Joan Lombardi, Anne Mosle, Nisha Patel, Rachel Schumacher and Jennifer Stedron, January, 2104.

The Affordable Care Act: Affording Two-Generation Approaches to Health. Alan Weil, Shayla Regmi and Carrie Hanlon, September 2014.

Making Economic Security a Family Tradition: Report from the 2012 ThinkXChange.  Ascend at the Aspen Institute, 2013.

Two Generations. One Future. Anne Mosle and Nisha Patel. January, 2012.


Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Thriving Children, Successful Parents: A Two-Generation Approach to Policy Stephanie Schmit, Hannah Matthews and Olivia Golden, July 2014.


Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP)

Two (or More) Generation Frameworks: A Look Across and Within. Janice M. Gruendel, Ph.D., M. Ed, March 2014. 


Future of Children

Helping Parents, Helping Children: Two Generation Mechanisms, Volume 24, No. 1. Spring, 2014.


Foundation for Child Development

Mother’s Education and Children’s Outcomes: How Dual-Generation Programs Offer Increased Opportunities for America’s ChildrenDonald J. Hernandez and Jeffrey S. Napierala, July, 2014.

Promoting Two-Generation Strategies: A Getting-Started Guide for State and Local Policy Makers. Christopher T. King, Rheagan Coffey and Tara C. Smith, November 2013.


National Center for Children in Poverty

State Policies through a Two-Generation Lens:  Strengthening the Collective Impact of Policies that Affect the Life Course of Young Children and their Parents Shelia Smith, Mercedes Ekono and Taylor Robbins, September 2014.


Working Poor Families Project

Considering Two Generation Strategies in the States, Meegan Dugan Bassett, Summer 2014.


National Human Services Assembly

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Young Families Two-Generation Strategies for Working with Disconnected Young Parents & Their Children. National Human Services Assembly, December 2013.


Child Trends

Two Generations in Poverty: Status and Trends among Parents and Children in the United States, 2000-2010.  Zakia Redd, Tahilin Sanchez Karver, David Murphey, Kristin Anderson Moore and Dylan Knewstub, November 2011.



Investing in Parents to Invest in Children, Testimony at the National Summit on America’s Children. Gordon Berlin, President, MDRC, May, 2007.




A Two-Generation Strategy: Right from the Start, Voices for Utah’s Children. August, 2014.

 A Two-Generation Approach to Ending Poverty in Utah, Voices for Utah’s Children.  June, 2014.



Investing in Hope: A Two-Generation Approach to Asset Building.  Colorado Department of Human Services, CFED and Ascend at the Aspen Institute, 2014.


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