Governor announces Two Generation grant program fostering community innovation

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, with Colorado Department of Human Services Executive Director Reggie Bicha and foster parent Mario Perricone looking on, announces the 2GO program on Aug. 23.

Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Executive Director Reggie Bicha announced on Aug. 23 a new pilot program that will support innovative ways of ensuring Colorado families achieve educational and economic success.

Gov. John Hickenlooper joined Bicha to introduce 2GO, a community innovation pilot program that will provide 10 communities across the state with $100,000 grants to plan and implement Two Generation (2Gen) approaches to policy or programs. The intent is to address the needs of parents and children together, to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

“It’s innovation like we will see in this grant program that will keep Colorado at the forefront of 2Gen work nationally,” Governor Hickenlooper said. “We look forward to seeing the creative ideas that will no doubt transform our communities."

Social services traditionally are framed to address the needs of children and their parents or caregivers separately. The 2Gen approach intentionally focuses on serving whole families, in an effort to give those families the support they need to create a path to permanent economic success.

“CDHS embedded the 2Gen approach into all of our services, recognizing that our clients only succeed when their providers or children also get the support they need,” Bicha said. “The next step is to help communities try new ways of doing business. By applying a 2Gen lens, local programs will see greater outcomes by making sure multiple generations within the same family have the tools needed to break the cycle of poverty.”

CDHS has set aside $1 million for the grant program. 2GO grants must be used to build community readiness and collaboration 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 proof of concept and effectiveness. CDHS anticipates that up to four years of additional funding may be available for successful projects.

The request for proposal is expected to be released on Aug. 29. Proposals must be received by the department no later than Sept. 28. For more information about 2Gen approaches and the 2GO grant program, visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/2gen-pilot.