United Way for Greater Austin announces $300,000 in funding to jump start expansion of support services for parents and children in Austin/Travis County
AUSTIN, Texas – United Way for Greater Austin (United Way) announced today that it is providing $300,000 in funding designed to accelerate expansion of 2-Generation (2-Gen) family support efforts in Austin/Travis County in line with the Family Opportunity Roadmap: Austin/Travis County 2-Generation Strategic Plan 2019-2023. 2-Gen efforts include the development and promotion of services and programming that support both parents and their children together. United Way is also working to eliminate barriers families with low income often face in accessing those services. To create a community of change, United Way will award funding to six nonprofit organizations launching “turnkey” 2-Gen programs or services at a total of $300,000 over two years.
In partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, United Way led a year-long strategic planning process that resulted in a comprehensive, community-supported roadmap for providing comprehensive,
intergenerational support to entire families so they can break the cycle of poverty. Implementation of the Family Opportunity Roadmap began in January 2019, and these investments support immediate increases in the number of organizations serving families through a 2-Gen approach and the number of families receiving services in this manner.
These new Community Investment Grant partners are:
- Austin Area Urban League. In partnership with Child Inc., the Austin Area Urban League will provide onsite childcare for parents participating in workforce training and job readiness programs.
- AVANCE. In partnership with Austin Community College, Economic Growth Business Incubator, and Thinkery, AVANCE will offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and entrepreneurship classes to AVANCE parenting program alumni while their children are in childcare.
- Foundation Communities. In partnership with Austin Independent School District, Foundation
Communities will expand their Pre-K program, offered concurrently with adult education for parents.
- Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA). In partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Austin, HACA will provide workforce training programs for parents in conjunction with after school programs for children.
- PelotonU. In partnership with Open Door Preschools, PelotonU will expand post-secondary education services by co-locating their third location with Open Door Preschools at M Station.
- YMCA. In partnership with Austin Community College (ACC), YMCA is providing drop-in childcare at
ACC’s Highland Campus. This funding will be used to waive childcare fees for eligible ACC student parents.
All families deserve access to opportunity. However, systems that perpetuate intergenerational poverty threaten the well-being of Austin’s residents and its economy, leaving far too many families behind. Although there are many promising anti-poverty programs, most focus solely on adults with low income or their children, missing the opportunity to foster economic mobility and stability for whole families.
There are numerous efforts to grow the economy by developing the local workforce in the Austin area; however, the lack of quality, affordable child care and out-of-school time (OST) programming remain significant barriers to participation in education, training, and the workforce for parents, particularly those with low incomes. Similarly, the benefits of quality early childhood education and OST are well known, but the likelihood of a child succeeding later in life is still affected by the education and income levels of his or her parents.
Research indicates that a 2-Gen approach to whole-family support can lead to better outcomes for both generations of a family. These investments ensure that more families in Austin/Travis County have access to services that recognize the importance of serving the entire family in a coordinated and strategic manner – providing them the support they need to succeed.
United Way for Greater Austin
United Way for Greater Austin (www.unitedwayaustin.org) brings people, ideas and resources together to fight poverty in our community. We are here to bring the community together in a united way – to serve as a convener of and backbone for powerful collaborations and to lead a collective fight against poverty.
Since 1924, we have been dedicated to providing families and individuals in need with the tools and resources needed to thrive. We drive impact by partnering with and investing in efforts to address the immediate needs of families in poverty while also leading efforts to address long-term community change.
Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (www.msdf.org) is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. Headquartered in Austin, TX with additional offices in New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa, the Dell Foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood wellness and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. The foundation has committed more than $1.6 billion to global children’s issues and community initiatives to date.
Family Opportunity Roadmap: Austin/Travis County 2-Generation Strategic Plan 2019-2023
Over the course of 2018, nearly 200 individual stakeholders from Austin and Travis County came together to develop the Family Opportunity Roadmap: Austin/Travis County 2-Generation Strategic Plan 2019-2023 (www.unitedwayaustin.org/2gen2018/) in order to integrate the 2-Gen approach within our entire community. This roadmap – the first community-wide strategic plan for 2-Gen in the nation – articulates common goals and strategies to strengthen and expand 2-Gen services and resources for Austin families.
About the 2-Gen Approach
The 2-Gen approach is both a strategy for economic development and a mechanism to create economic and social opportunity for families. Rather than being a new or different intervention in and of itself, the 2-Gen model is a paradigm for thinking about social service delivery in which parents and children from the same family are served deliberately and simultaneously, leading to greater economic mobility over time. This benefits participating families as well as the economy. Economic mobility across generations – or the ability for children to do better financially than their parents – has diminished over time. Austin is no exception, with lower mobility rates than many major cities. The 2-Gen model aims to reverse this trend, helping families with low income create an intergenerational cycle of opportunity by intentionally focusing on the separate but linked needs of both parent and child.
2-Gen approaches work to better coordinate services across generations and to better coordinate systems and sectors that are traditionally siloed. 2-Gen approaches can take various shapes and forms, but most encompass some combination of the following supports and services:
- For children: ECE for children 0-5, OST programs for children six and older, mentorship.
- For parents: parenting classes, financial education, English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Basic Education (ABE), high school diploma or equivalency (HSE), postsecondary education (associate or bachelor’s degree programs), workforce training, and certification programs.
- For whole families: home visiting, health and mental health services, stable housing, financial stability, case management, and networks of support.
Nationally, the most effective 2-Gen approaches incorporate strong connections and coordination between services for parents and children, making it easier for families to participate and succeed. Additionally, 2-Gen models with the greatest impact include high-quality programming in the above areas.