• November 2018
  • Vol. 19, No. 9

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Programs Designed to Help Families Achieve Economic Security and Promote Well-Being

Policymakers and program leaders are seeking innovative approaches for dual-generation or two-generation programs. These programs serve both parents and children and can help move them toward economic security and promote child and family well-being. Overall, there has been a lack of rigorous evaluation of these programs. Mathematica Policy Research and Northwestern University conducted a project to identify common features of 52 dual-generation programs. The project, which was conducted for the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, studied the following six questions:

  • How did the programs develop?
  • How mature are these programs?
  • Whom do these programs serve?
  • What services do the programs provide to adults and children?
  • How do the programs engage both parents and children?
  • How do the programs fund their services for parents and children?

Researchers found programs for inclusion by reviewing lists of federal grantees from funding streams that support both family economic security and children's development and well-being, websites of foundations that fund programs with an integrated approach, membership lists of groups that support dual-generation programs and policies, and lists of programs identified through other Mathematica projects.

Results showed that most of the programs began by focusing on one generation and added services for the other later. They were mostly locally operated and have diverse funding sources, and many were still developing and refining their services and program models. Researchers can use these data to help identify the most promising qualities and strategies of these types of programs.

This brief, Features of Programs Designed to Help Families Achieve Economic Security and Promote Child Well-being, can be found at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/ib_environment_scan_v11_b508.pdf (800 KB).

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