Ascend 2Gen Survey
This survey may take between 15-20 minutes to complete.
Introduction to The Ascend 2Gen Surveys

This tool is designed to help policymakers, practitioners, and researchers in the human services, early childhood development, postsecondary education and workforce development, and health, to deepen their understanding of two-generation practices and policies.

In all of these fields, innovative practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and thought leaders have been designing and implementing the “2Gen” approach.

This survey is based on their promising practices, policies, and programs and their lessons learned. It allows you to compare your thinking and actions with what is being tried across the U.S., and perhaps will inspire you to try new things.

Your responses to each item will be kept confidential. But data from all respondents will be aggregated and used to help Ascend and its Network Partners develop useful information, tools, and other products and services for others following a 2Gen path.
What is the 2Gen Approach?

The 2Gen approach seeks to create an intergenerational cycle of opportunity for children, parents, and families with low-incomes, generating a measurable increase in their economic security, by improving their educational success, economic supports, health and well-being, and social capital. "If the goal is to get good outcomes for children, you have to work with their parents," says Mark Greenberg, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "If you want good outcomes for parents, you have to recognize that they are parents and build in attention and recognition for the role of children."

To accomplish this, the 2Gen approach develops, implements, and assesses innovations in policies, programs, and practices in the fields of human services, early care and education, health, post-secondary education, and family economic security.

The 2Gen approach is a way of thinking that starts with this core concept: provide opportunities for and meet the needs of children and their parents and families together, instead of using fragmented approaches that address the needs of parents and children separately and leave either parent or child behind.

The 2Gen approach recognizes, for instance, that 30 percent of students at community colleges are parents with dependent children and therefore have to balance the competing demands of family, work, and education. It recognizes that millions of children in child care centers have parents who are seeking to improve their families’ economic security by working, training for better jobs, and/or going to school to get a GED, English language competence, or a certificate or degree from a 2- or 4-year college.

In both of these examples, organizations implementing 2Gen find ways to support the parents of children in child care and the children of parents in post-secondary education.

The 2Gen idea has been embedded in diverse cultures for centuries and two-generation programs can be found in the early settlement house movement and in the Head Start program launched in 1965. But a 21st century version of the 2Gen approach has emerged in response to contemporary conditions and insights, including:

- More than two in five of all children in the U.S. live in low-income families, with one in four children growing up in a single-parent family, many headed by women, and in which children and parents of color are disproportionately low income.
- Many current funding streams and policies do not reflect the demographic realities of 21st century American families.
- Research shows that the return on investment in children and their parents is high: Every $1 invested in early childhood education saves at least $57 in social costs later and increases children’s economic and education outcomes. Parents with health insurance are more likely to seek regular care for themselves and their children.

Children with a savings account designated to pay for college are more likely to end up enrolling and graduating from college—even if the account has less than $500 in it. And when parents save money for their children’s college, they become banked, increase their financial capability, and build their own long-term goals.

Dual outcomes are at the heart of true two-generation programs. Outcomes for both children and their parents must be embedded in policies and programs that use two-generation approaches to improve family economic security and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
Please enter your name below *

Enter your organization’s name below. [If you are not with an organization, enter “none.”] *

Please indicate what type of organization you work for *

Identify your organization’s purpose. *

Please enter your job title/description *

Street Address, City, State, Zip Code. Please also note state/province, tribe, or nation. *

Please describe your organization’s current interest in/commitment to 2Gen. *

What prompted your organization’s interest in learning about and/or using the 2Gen approach?

2Gen Core Components

The core components that create an intergenerational cycle of opportunity are:

- early care and education
- post-secondary and employment pathways
- economic asset building
- health and well- being
- social capital

In each component many 2Gen innovations in practice and policy are underway, highlighted in this section.
Indicate your level of interest in learning more about and/or implementing each of the following 2Gen approaches.

Helping home visiting programs to increase efforts to support economic security outcomes for families through education and employment, while supporting young children’s school readiness and health and well-being

Reforming state and federal government policies to increase access to and quality of early childhood settings for children and to ensure greater access to job training and education for parents.

Reforming state and federal policies to strengthen family connections through support and promotion of work opportunities for noncustodial parents.

Promoting partnering between human services agencies and higher education institutions to increase bundled services and access to benefits for low-income student-parents.

Reforming state and federal government policies to maximize opportunities for whole-family diagnosis and treatment for mental health.

Reforming post-secondary financial aid need calculations to include transportation needs; cover childcare as an allowable expense, not just for class time but also for critical study time; and offer the other broader supports that low-income student parents need.

Encouraging states and local workforce boards to provide support services (e.g., child care, career coaching) to support parents as they participate in training.

If your organization has incorporated ways to listen to families and ensure that their perspectives and experiences inform program and policy design and implementation, please describe how this was done and what changes/improvements it resulted in.

If your organization has assessed its policies and programs to identify and address gender and/or racial and ethnic inequities, please describe how this was been done and what changes/improvements it resulted in.

2Gen Data/Information 

Collecting and analyzing information about both the children and parents in a family, not just the parent or just the child, helps an organization to understand how a 2Gen approach can meet both of their needs. For instance, a 2Gen 2- or 4-year college collects data to understand the number of students who are also parents of young children and what their needs as student-parents are. Or a 2Gen early care and education organization collects data about the economic and educational situation of the parents of the children it serves, which allows it to consider a variety of 2Gen options.
Does your organization collect any of the following information from/about the people it serves?

Which children are on track to be developmentally prepared for kindergarten

Which children receive regular comprehensive screening for health and well-being

The progress of children on social, emotional, physical, and cognitive scales

Which adults have dependent children

The ages of any dependent children

Which adults are single or married

Which adults have full-time or part-time jobs

Which adults receive public benefits (childcare assistance, SNAP, TANF, healthcare benefits, etc.)

The educational attainment of adults being served

Which adults are taking GED, Adult Basic Education, or similar courses

The English language competence of adults

Which adults are taking ESL or ESOL courses

The work experience and career interests of adults being served

Which adults are enrolled in 2- or 4-year college programs, or job-training programs

Which adults have incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level

Which adults have student loans to repay

How does the organization obtain its information about families’ situations and needs?

2Gen Organizational Readiness

For most organizations, taking a 2Gen approach involves new ways of working—with the people it serves or supports and with organizations in other fields. As organizations adopt a 2Gen approach, the critical factors for their success include the leadership’s commitment, the ability to partner with other organizations, and capacity to collect and analyze 2Gen data and to assess the effectiveness and impact of the 2Gen approach it implements.
Please indicate your organization leadership’s commitment to taking a 2Gen approach:

Please indicate your organization’s experience in partnering with other organizations

What is your organization’s experience in sharing client data with other organizations?

How does or would your organization assess the effectiveness and outcomes/impacts of its 2Gen policies and/or practices?

If your organization has assessed what resources—financial and staffing, for example—it will need to proceed with its 2Gen approach, what has it concluded?

If you have any additional comments or suggestions, please enter them below.

May we contact you by e-mail to follow up on your responses?

Thank you for completing the survey!  You are one step closer to joining the Ascend Network.

*To complete the registration process and have access to Ascend 2Gen Connect, an online, password protected directory, please click the button below and click "Register" to set up your profile. 

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