Over the last few years, a new interest has emerged in anti-poverty strategies that provide both low-income parents and children resources to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and improve economic mobility. Thinking behind two-generation (2 Gen) strategies has shifted from a focus on children in the 1960s to a more complete focus on meeting the needs of an entire family in today’s society. Many 2 Gen policies and programs now start with the premise that what low-income families most need is access to a quality education, good jobs with benefits, and a full array of family services and supports.
This new state policy brief from The Working Poor Families Project examines opportunities for states to play a prominent role in the evolving 2 Gen movement. The brief gives a brief overview of the history of 2 Gen strategies in America, explores examples of states currently implementing the strategies, and offers recommendations to support and stimulate state-level efforts. The brief notes that because of its mission to strengthen state policies that help parents build family income through skills training, education, employment, and work supports, WPFP and its state partners are positioned to look at how parent-focused systems can better partner with other state programs to enhance the personal, social, and educational development of children and entire families.
There is strong evidence to suggest college students do better in school when they do not work long hours. However, today’s reality shows that many students cannot afford not to work as need-based financial aid fails to keep pace with rising tuition and cost of living.
This new state policy brief from The Working Poor Families Project examines the employment experiences of low-income adults in college and the work-study model. It also highlights promising state work-study programs that provide students with more meaningful work off campus and for higher pay. The brief notes that by directing more attention to this issue, WPFP and its state partners can promote state policies that address the financial needs of low-income students and improve their chances for postsecondary completion and employment.
Millions of American breadwinners work hard to support their families. But, despite their effort, almost one in three working families are mired in low-wage jobs that provide inadequate benefits and offer little opportunity for advancement and economic security. Compounding the problem are public policies that do not adequately prepare workers to advance to higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs or promote the creation of quality jobs.
The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) was launched in 2002 by national philanthropic leaders who saw the need to strengthen state policies affecting these working families. This national initiative is now supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce and Kresge foundations. WPFP focuses on the states because their policies and investments critically affect the lives of working families.
The WPFP is active in 22 states and the District of Columbia. In each state the WPFP partners with one or more nonprofit organizations to strengthen state policies to better prepare America's working families for a more secure economic future.
From New Mexico Voices for Children
Priced Out: Making College More Affordable for Low-Income Marylanders (September 2014)
Download the report (pdf)