2Generation Opportunities pilot program

2Generation Opportunities, or 2GO, is an effort to help communities innovate and create their own ways of engaging in a two-generation approach to service delivery. In November 2018, the 2GO pilot awarded 10 grants of $100,000 each to regional and community collaborators who have proposed innovative ways to create a path to the middle class for whole families. 


The 2GO pilot grants will be used to build community readiness and to collaborate with other community leaders. This pilot could create new partnerships to better serve families and ensure outcomes for the whole family.  Following an initial planning stage, awardees will receive funding to pilot their ideas for demonstrating feasibility and effectiveness.

Awardees were asked to consider the following questions as they developed their proposals:

  • Are the families in our community being “cut up” and served by funding stream and topic, rather than by need? How might we solve this challenge and make it easier for families to work and to parent while receiving support?
  • How can our community bring support systems together to help the entire family thrive? Can we do this in a way that supports the development of assets including social capital?
  • Are families aware of and fully accessing the current services?  If not, how can we involve them in solving this challenge? What are the additional supports that families desire and need to access, and how can we improve access with their involvement?
  • Are there racial or gender disparities in services which we need to address?  How will we include equity in all of our thinking?   
  • How will our community know that we are supporting solutions to intergenerational poverty through these changes?

Recipients of the 2GO grants

The Colorado Department of Human Services held a press conference at the Colorado Capitol on Nov. 19 to announce the 2GO awards.
The Colorado Department of Human Services held a press conference at the Colorado Capitol on Nov. 19 to announce the 2GO awards.

Here are the 10 recipients of the 2Generation Opportunities grants, as well as how each is using the award money.

Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services will work with the community to develop and implement prevention and early intervention strategies for identifying and matching the needs of families living with poverty with the right supports in order to improve child well-being and the success of caregivers.  By identifying the social determinants of health (employment and income, food, safety, education, health and well-being, and housing), they will improve the development of family assets and child outcomes including child maltreatment. 

Denver Department of Human Services will use the two-generation model for working with the growing number of kinship providers (relatives or close family friends who care for children who have been removed from their birth parents). They will develop responsive family systems and engage with kinship providers to better meet the needs of children and providers with the goal of improved outcomes through access to appropriate and desired supports.  

Eagle County Department of Human Services will partner with Valley Settlement and the Mobile Intercultural Resource Alliance to expand family services, including parenting support and family development through goal-setting and home visitation, and resource connection and follow-up.  These partnerships will bring services directly to families and provide one-stop services in local communities and in homes.  

The Family Center/La Familia in Larimer County will provide two-generation support for children and parents in their housing communities through partnerships with Loveland Housing Authority, Harmony Village and Lago Vista Mobile Home Park, Estes Valley Investing in Children, and the Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development Department. The focus will be on providing culturally proficient supports such as mental health, trauma-informed care, recreational services, and post-secondary services and employment to parents and children in their housing communities. 

Family and Intercultural Resource Center (Summit Family Resource Center) will lead the community partnership in Summit County to integration and coordinate two-generation efforts to improve the delivery and access to family support. This effort will create an interagency approach to ensure families achieve education and economic success through the identification of barriers to success in conjunction with families and providers, including opioid use and addiction, and create support systems for the whole family.  

Focus Points Family Resource Center in Denver will expand home visitation and training opportunities to families by supporting parents to the workforce while obtaining early childhood education for their children. Families from the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods will have access to expanded home visitation, education, and a co-op incubator, Huerta Urbana, which will provide job training and skill building through the operation of an urban farm.  Partners include The GrowHaus, the National Western Center, and home visitation programs.  

Joint Initiatives for Youth and Families in El Paso County will target low-income families who live in areas of concentrated poverty to reduce incidences of child maltreatment, and to improve economic and educational success for parents. They will apply a two-generation approach to services, including the creation of a community hub and a virtual hub to support the diverse needs of residents and provide longer-term supports as a community.

Mesa County Department of Public Health is leading the Child Care 8,000 Initiative to support early childhood education expansion and ensure that working parents are able to obtain early childhood education.  This collaboration with Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC) will address the gap in child care for working parents and for employers by working with providers, parents, and employers on costs and workforce development.  

Routt County Department of Human Services is creating an innovative approach to working with families when a parent is temporarily unable to be connected with their child(ren) through the creation of safe spaces, behavioral health and supervised visitation as well as a formalized resource and referral process for families at risk of child maltreatment.  Parenting supports will be provided to parents at risk of separation from children, to parents who are incarcerated within the county jail, and to parents requiring supervised visitation with the goal of improving outcomes for the child and building assets with the parent.  

SAFY (Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth of Colorado, Inc.) at the Colorado State University Center for Family and Couple Therapy in Fort Collins will address multigenerational poverty and trauma through an integrated family trauma assessment and treatment program and expanded behavioral health supports. This effort will create new ways to support parents and children in therapy.  Community partners, clinicians, and families will help design and pilot the approach with results shared for replication.

What is the two-generation approach and why is it important?

Fragmented approaches to serving families that separately address the needs of children and their caregivers can leave either the child or the caregiver behind, reducing the likelihood of success for all members of the family. The two-generation approach brings all family members along together, assesses all family members together and provides all family members with opportunities, together, to be successful. 

The two-generation approach focuss on creating opportunities for and addressing needs of both children and the adults in their lives together. The approach recognizes that families come in all different shapes and sizes and that families define themselves. This approach has proven effective at breaking children and their families free from the traps of poverty and empowering them to live up to their full potential. The two-generation framework helps children and families get the education and workforce training, social supports like parenting skills, and health care they need to create a legacy of economic stability and overall well-being that passes from one generation to the next.

To learn more about the two-generation approach, visit Ascend at the Aspen Institute's website. And learn more about how CDHS uses the two-generation approach here