As of 2017, 27 percent of children nationwide live in families lacking secure parental employment. These children are more likely than others to fall into poverty, a risk factor affecting child development. Many parents are unable to secure stable work that provides sufficient income to meet basic needs; and even with full-time work, many will still earn wages too low to escape poverty. Parents often face obstacles to obtaining the credentials necessary to achieve family-sustaining work as they juggle the need to provide and care for their children.
FCCC seeks to remove these barriers and improve outcomes for families through Comprehensive Community Initiatives (CCIs). CCIs are place-based collaborations that bring resources to under-invested low-income neighborhoods and provide opportunities for residents to improve their well-being. The evidence on their ability to disrupt intergenerational poverty is mixed, though most have shown some success in improving outcomes for individual families.
FCCC embeds two-generation approaches in CCIs. The underlying theory is that two-generation models that meet children's and parents' program and service needs can disrupt intergenerational poverty. While the three FCCC initiatives differ in many ways, including extant contextual factors in each community, all include quality childhood education, partnerships with local elementary schools, employment and training for adults, financial education, and coaching to help parents set and achieve goals. The evidence on the impact of two-generation models is limited because many of these initiatives are new.
This session will discuss four papers that highlight findings from multiple years of the FCCC evaluation. The first paper draws on four years of program documentation, qualitative data from site visits, and secondary data on community characteristics to illustrate how the three FCCC communities have navigated the external forces that have affected their efforts to provide equitable services. The second paper draws on interviews with staff at Casey, the communities, and evaluation partners, as well as program documentation to highlight how the three communities leveraged Casey's capacity-building resources to promote racial and ethnic equity and inclusion in service delivery. The third paper draws on interviews with staff across the communities to discuss how the service partners in each community developed shared data capacity and leveraged it to provide more equitable service delivery. The fourth paper presents the innovative coaching model employed in the Columbus demonstration and uses program implementation data to describe the work in practice.
Together, these papers provide important contributions to the literature by highlighting critical factors at play in efforts to deliver equitable services in the context of two-generation CCI partnerships.