Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Young Families: Two-Generation Strategies for Working with Disconnected Young Parents and Their Children.

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National Human Services Assembly.
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Until communities offer multiple pathways to connect with ladders of opportunity, many young families headed by out-of-school and out-of-work (OSOW) youth will be unable to achieve financial independence. To break the cycle of poverty, many human service organizations use two-generation approaches with "young families" (that is, families with children in which the parent is an OSOW young person ages 15-24 years). One hallmark of these two-generation approaches is the use of strategies that address the developmental needs of the young parents, their children, and the families as a whole. The National Human Services Assembly (NHSA), an association of America's leading nonprofit human service providers, conducted an exploratory study of two-generation programs already in place within its member organizations. The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) supported this effort, which sought to document quality two-generation programs and identify program elements that strengthen young families. The study eventually engaged 32 NHSA members and affiliates in sharing their knowledge about two-generation approaches and providing connections to programs that re-engage young parents in education and/or work, nurture parent-child bonds, improve children's wellbeing, and connect families with economic, social, and other supports. This report features case studies of two-generation programs, describes elements associated with successful outcomes, and recommends future work. (Author abstract)

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