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Mother Carrying Her Daughter

Two-Generation Approach

Focusing on child and parent together creates lasting change.

Investing in two-gen programs can lead to long-term cost savings by reducing the need for costly social services and public assistance programs. When families achieve self-sufficiency, the demand for government support decreases.

What is the Two-Generation Approach?

Two-Generation (Two-Gen) approaches recognize whole family units – as families define themselves – to consider the variety of pathways for promoting positive, pragmatic, and effective outcomes for everyone. We work with families as experts and meaningfully engage parents and caregivers in designing policies and programs that affect them in order to develop holistic, integrated, and equity-focused solutions.


This family-centered lens helps to immediately identify whole families’ needs and goals to inform integrations and alignments to programs that serve them, which maximizes long-term impact for families and communities.

We have found through engaging with families that the well-being of parents is crucial to their children’s social-emotional, physical, and economic well-being. And at the same time, parents’ ability to succeed in school and the workplace is substantially affected by how well their children are doing. By acknowledging this connection, we are increasing our effectiveness and the ability of families to move themselves from poverty to opportunity. 

By generating a legacy of family well-being that passes from one generation to the next, two-gen helps communities become stronger and more vibrant, socially and economically.

Key Components of Well-Being

Well-being is a multifaceted process and lifelong pursuit. An individual’s or family’s well-being isn’t a solo endeavor, and financial, social, mental, and spiritual health depends on a person and family’s context, the resources and opportunities available to them, and the support of others.


Two-Gen approaches have a robust vision to improve conditions for families by coordinating equitable access to the systems and structures that are necessary to thrive economically and socially.


Ultimately, Two-Gen approaches recognize six key components to improve families’ financial stability, social capital, health care, and quality education.


There are countless essential experiences and opportunities that are required for people to reach their full potential. To facilitate connections to these supports, all Two-Gen policies and programs are grounded in and guided by five core principles. Learn more about the Guiding Principles of the Two-Gen Approach.

JPP was featured in State of the Field: Two-Generation Approaches to Family Well-Being (pages 14, 29). This seminal report by the Ascend Institute highlights the JPP initiative as an example of Two-Gen innovation and impact. 

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