Two-generation approaches generally align existing programs and funding toward outcomes that improve the health, well-being and economic security of families. Two-generation strategies often involve a complex mix of federal, state, local and private-sector funding. Legislators, as holders of states’ purse strings, play a critical role in funding these approaches.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG)
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
- Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)
- Child Support
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP and SNAP E&T)
- Head Start/Early Head Start
- Social Services Block Grant (SSBG
- Maintenance of Effort (MOE)
- General Fund
- Dedicated Funds
- Child Support
- State Workforce Funds
- State Child Care Funds
- Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
- Philanthropic Contributions
The federal funding in the table above flows from three departments, five agencies and nine offices, each with their own priorities. All play a role in supporting two-generation strategies.
Federal Funding Sources
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is one of the largest and most flexible funding streams that can be used to implement two-generation strategies. Its four core purposes are fundamentally aligned with two-generation approaches:
- Assist needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes.
- Reduce dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage.
- Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
- Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
In addition, the Administration for Children and Families, which administers TANF at the federal level, released an information memorandum in 2016 promoting the use of TANF in two-generation approaches.
In fiscal year 2016, TANF and state maintenance of effort (MOE) spending totaled nearly $31 billion. This spending supported activities that could be part of a two-generation strategy, including:
- Work supports and supportive services (2.9 percent of total TANF spending).
- Prekindergarten/Head Start (7.5 percent).
- Child care (16.6 percent).
- Work, education and training activities including financial education and asset development (9.2 percent).
- Fatherhood and two-parent family programs (0.5 percent).
- Child welfare services (7.4 percent).
- Refundable tax credits (9 percent).
- Services for children and youth, which may include home visiting (2.1 percent).
- Out-of-wedlock pregnancy prevention (1.4 percent).
Child Care Development Block Grant
The Child Care Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (CCDBG) reauthorized the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) to continue supporting high-quality child care for low-income families. States can combine TANF and CCDF funds when TANF funds are transferred to their CCDF or spent directly on child care services. In fiscal year 2016, states spent $8.7 billion in federal, state matching and state MOE funds from the CCDF.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), enacted in 2014, governs and funds employment and training programs. It is “designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.” The program specifically requires collaboration among labor, education, agriculture, and health and human services departments to administer the program, making it capable of being leveraged to support two-generation strategies in states.
In addition to WIOA, in 2016, the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration awarded $54 million to 14 grantees in 11 states—Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia—as part of the Strengthening Working Families Initiative. These grants were awarded to support and break down child care barriers for working parents. Work includes identifying career pathways, training necessary to enter those career pathways, and advancement opportunities. These efforts are to be paired with services to help families find and access affordable, high-quality child care for their children.
Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting
The federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) funds home visiting programs in all states and territories and many tribes to improve maternal and child health, prevent child abuse and neglect, encourage positive parenting and promote child development and school readiness. MIECHV's budget in fiscal year 2017 was $370 million. Most of the funding must be used on evidence-based home visiting programs, with up to 25 percent of the funding eligible for innovative practices that will undergo rigorous evaluation. As mentioned above, Connecticut uses a state innovation grant to redirect unused funds from the MIECHV program to help home visiting clients find and retain jobs.
Child Support Enforcement
The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) administers child support programs across the country. State child support programs are primarily funded through state and local funds, federal matching funds and federal incentive payments. States also collect fees from child support participants. These fees account for 3 percent of total funding. Child support is one of the most cost-effective programs in the country with more than $5 collected for every $1 spent on the program.
As a federal matching grant program, state and local governments must spend money to receive federal funding. For every state or local dollar spent, the state child support program receives 66 cents from the federal government. This federal-to-state transfer is known as federal financial participation (FFP). Federal incentive payments, on the other hand, are intended to encourage strong performance by states on key measures, including paternity establishment, order establishment and cost effectiveness.
In 2012, OCSE launched the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration Project to identify effective policy alternatives to increase the ability of underemployed and unemployed non-custodial parents to pay child support. California, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin received five-year awards through this demonstration project. An interim evaluation report focuses on implementation, participation uptake and project partnerships. It also addresses early implementation challenges and lessons learned. Further evaluations of the impacts on noncustodial parents and their children are forthcoming. OCSE Commissioner Scott Lekan recently reinforced the program’s focus on parent employment, stating “HHS is eager to grant exemption requests that would allow states to use their incentive payments to provide employment programs for noncustodial parents” when certain requirements are met.
The Colorado Parent Employment Project (CO-PEP) is an example of a state’s five-year demonstration grant program under the federal Child Support Parent Employment Demonstration project. CO-PEP pairs noncustodial parents involved with the child support program with job training, parenting classes and child support case management. The project has led to more consistent payment of child support and improved relationships between parent and child. Early results show increases in employment among noncustodial parents and child support payments. After six months, 74 percent of participants were employed, having entered the program un- or under-employed. During the same period, 79 percent of participants paid some child support after receiving services, compared to 57 percent prior to receiving services.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/SNAP Employment & Training
In federal fiscal year 2015, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provided food and nutrition services (food stamps) to some 46 million low-income people. SNAP also provides employment and training services to promote self-sufficiency and economic stability among its participants. This two-generation approach of providing food security to parents and children, while helping parents become more self-sufficient through employment and training, makes SNAP an important tool in the state legislative toolbox.
SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) services include job training and job-search assistance, community services, work experience, such as on-the-job training and apprenticeships, self-employment assistance, educational programs, vocational education and job-retention assistance. SNAP E&T programs may also provide services to assist parents in achieving their goals. These services include transportation, child care, safety equipment and uniforms, as well as school supplies and books.
Funding for these services is available to states through grants (also known as 100 percent funds) and 50 percent reimbursement funds. The 100 percent funds are formula grants to all 50 states. They totaled $90 million in federal fiscal year 2016. This funding is meant for states to plan, implement and operate SNAP E&T services. The 50 percent funds are reimbursement grants to states for the cost of services above and beyond that provided by the formula grants. This funding is typically used to pay for supportive services for parents and children not covered by formula grants. For every dollar that states spend on these additional services, the federal government will reimburse 50 cents.
Head Start/Early Head Start
Head Start and Early Head Start, which funds and delivers services through 1,700 local agencies in every U.S. state and territory, is often heralded as the original two-generation program. Head Start and Early Head Start services include early learning and child development; school readiness; and health care services, such as child screenings, nutritious meals, oral health and mental health support. Head Start and Early Head Start also make referrals to medical, dental and mental health services for parents and children. Because overall family well-being is a high priority, programs also support parents in achieving housing stability, continued education and financial security.
Medicaid is jointly funded with federal and state dollars to provide medical and well-being services to low-income individuals. Through waiver programs, Medicaid funding also can be used for certain services related to supportive housing. As such, Medicaid could be an important component of a state-directed two-generation strategy in your state. Learn how your state and others use Medicaid funds.
Medicaid also can be used for maternal depression screening and treatment. Maternal depression can have a significant negative impact on the health and well-being of mothers and their children, including impaired child development. Screening for maternal depression is a simple way to identify mothers who are suffering and connect them with treatment for themselves and sometimes their children. States can cover these screenings for Medicaid-eligible mothers and can also cover maternal depression screenings for non-Medicaid eligible mothers during their Medicaid well-child visit. When a screening indicates the presence of depression, states can then cover treatment focusing on the effects of the mother’s condition on her child when both the mother and child are present. Treatment can also focus on services for the direct benefit of the child.
For more information on Medicaid-funded treatment for maternal health and depression see the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services’ May 2016 information bulletin.
Social Services Block Grant
Social Services Block Grants (SSBG) are another source of flexible federal funding that allow states to implement locally appropriate social services to increase self-sufficiency and independence. The grants are intended to reduce the need for social services, and with five policy goals and 28 service categories, states can tailor services to meet the needs of their residents. Categories include child welfare and services for at-risk youth, counseling, day care for children, health and well-being, services for people with disabilities, supports for vulnerable and elderly adults, among others. This flexibility and mix of services provided by states opens the door to using SSBG funds to create or support two-generation strategies in states. See the SSBG 2015 Annual Report for more on how states use this funding source.
State Funding Sources
States allocate general and dedicated funds for state and local workforce services and child care. In addition, state funds are typically used to match federal funds or to draw down federal dollars through maintenance-of-effort agreements. These agreements require states to sustain state funding levels at a specified level to remain in compliance with contract requirements.
Connecticut is among a small number of states that have appropriated state general fund dollars expressly for two-generation initiatives. Connecticut’s fiscal year 2016-2017 state budget includes $25,000 of general fund in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 for a statewide two-generation council. In addition, the state also appropriated $1.5 million in TANF funds in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 for a two-generation pilot program to decrease poverty and increase employment in the communities of New Haven, Greater Hartford, Norwalk, Meriden, Colchester and Bridgeport.
Local Funding Sources
Community Services Block Grants
The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) provides assistance to states and local communities through a network of community action agencies and neighborhood-based organizations for poverty reduction, revitalization of low-income communities and self-sufficiency for low-income families and individuals in rural and urban areas.
In fiscal year 2014, the federal Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services awarded more than $650 million in community services block grants to states, tribes and U.S. territories to achieve the following six national performance goals:
- Low-income people become more self-sufficient.
- The conditions in which low-income people live are improved.
- Low-income people own a stake in their community.
- Partnerships among supports and providers of services to low-income people are achieved.
- Agencies increase their capacity to achieve results.
- Low-income people, especially vulnerable populations, achieve their potential by strengthening family and other supportive systems.
The goals outlined by the CSBG program align with two-generation strategies happening in states across the country. In addition, the Administration for Children and Families released an information memorandum in 2016 encouraging the use of CSBG funds to support and implement two-generation approaches.
Community Development Block Grants
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is one of the longest running programs within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition to providing funds directly to cities and counties for the development of housing and economic opportunities, the CDBG program also allows states to award grants to local governments. Through the CDBG State Program, states can award grants to smaller units of local government that develop and preserve affordable housing, provide services to the most vulnerable and create and retain jobs, all of which support whole families.
As described throughout this toolkit, philanthropic organizations can play a significant role in two-generation initiatives. Not only are they vital sources of funding, they often have policy specializations and the social capital to convene stakeholders.
One example of a two-generation program that leverages philanthropic assets is the Jeremiah Program, which provides early childhood education, housing and life skills training to single mothers and their children. The program, with urban locations in Minnesota, Texas, Massachusetts and North Dakota, receives approximately 67 percent of its funding from corporate gifts and philanthropy, according to its 2016 annual report.
Rural IMPACT Grants
In 2015, the White House Rural Council announced a demonstration program known as Rural Integration Models for Parents and Children to Thrive (Rural IMPACT). The goal of the program was to blend federal leadership and intensive technical assistance with community-level partnerships and resources to implement two-generation approaches in rural communities.
A team of representatives from the U.S. departments of health and human services, agriculture, labor and education designed the project, with assistance from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Community Action Partnership and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The demonstration was rolled out to sites in 10 states—Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah. Each site was led by one local organization that teamed-up with other key partners in the community. Sites determined their own models for implementing two-generation approaches, including co-locating services, centralizing intake systems, establishing and expanding service partnerships and relationships, adopting family-centered assessments and implementing two-generation pilot programs.
Rural IMPACT is a public private initiative. Funding was provided through state general funds; state-administered federal funds; direct federal funding, e.g., SNAP E&T; The Annie E. Casey Foundation, John T. Gorman Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.
Check out this video describing the Rural IMPACT program.
Understanding how funding sources can be used to simultaneously support parents and children will help legislators lead or support two-generation strategies:
- Braiding coordinates multiple sources of funding, such as TANF and SNAP, to support whole families in ways that can’t be accomplish by a single funding source. For example, as described above, TANF and SNAP can be braided together to support families in different ways. Braiding funding often leads to coordinating eligibility requirements or colocation of services.
- Blending combines multiple sources of funding for one purpose. For example, Head Start, CCDBG, and local preschool funding can be blended to support early care and education. Accounting for each dollar is often seen as a barrier to blended funding streams.
- Pooling combines multiple sources of highly flexible funds with few accountability requirements to support common outcomes. Rather than blending funds for common programs, pooling brings sources of funding together for common outcomes and can help fill the gaps in available funding for strategies that support the whole family.
- Public-Private Partnerships are just that, partnerships between government agencies and businesses, philanthropies or other nonprofit organizations with shared goals. For example, Michigan, created the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) in 2005. ECIC is Michigan’s hub for information and investment in early childhood. The group was charged with implementing the Great Start system in Michigan, which provides services in five key areas: pediatric and family health, social and emotional health, child care and early learning, parenting leadership and family support. ECIC’s leadership includes representatives from business, philanthropy, communities and state government.
- Some state two-generation strategies have included partnerships with private businesses to coordinate workforce training and services. For instance, Tennessee created a public-private partnership with Nissan manufacturing plants to provide education and training aimed at preparing workers for advanced manufacturing jobs. As previously mentioned, helping parents obtain job skills and higher education credentials has an important impact on children’s educational outcomes.