A Theoretical Framework for Two-Generation Models

Two-generation models target low-income children and parents from the same families in hopes of interrupting the cycle of poverty. However, the models themselves vary widely and policymakers and practitioners need guidance on how to best design them to achieve their ambitious goals and capitalize on their multiplier effects. To that end, this brief builds on the insights from the Housing Opportunities and Services Together (HOST) Demonstration to present an updated theoretical framework for two-generation models. The framework emphasizes the importance of using family goals as the lens for targeting individual family members, setting individual goals, and aligning tailored appropriate solutions. This lens also necessitates prioritizing relationship building over programs, designing flexible evaluation approaches, and working for systems change to support families in their efforts.

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Molly M. Scott, Susan J. Popkin, and Jasmine K. Simington
January 2016