This brief can serve as a starting point for funders to have conversations — among their own staff, leadership and external partners — about how their work already contributes to the knowledge about what works, and places where further contributions can be made. Two-generation approaches to reducing poverty are based on systems, policies and programs that are designed to simultaneously meet the eeds of parents and their children via a well-aligned set of purposeful interventions. These approaches are grounded in a long history of search findings that indicate that the challenges, successes and well-being of children and their parents are interrelated. Studies have
introduction shown that children are adversely affected when their parents experience economic hardship, and, conversely, parents’ ability to succeed in their educational and workforce pursuits is often contingent upon access to supports for their children.
The renewed interest in two-generation approaches is prompted by the complex network of challenges faced by families experiencing intergenerational poverty and the enduring negative consequences for both parents and their children. The Annie E. Casey Foundation is among various organizations in the public, nonprofit and private sectors that view two-generation approaches as viable interventions for interrupting the intergenerational cycle of poverty and mitigating challenges that these families face. Evidence has also emerged indicating that two-generation approaches produce positive outcomes for parents, children and families as a whole. Building evidence supported by rigorous research and evaluation is particularly important to decision makers responsible for the investment of resources in interventions that could affect these outcomes and improve individual and family well-being. This brief summarizes insights from early and current two-generation approaches, examines what evidence is needed to further demonstrate the value of two-generation approaches and offers strategies funders can employ to help strengthen the evidence base.