Elizabeth Lower-Basch to Speak at the APHSA National Health and Human Services Summit

On May 24, 2017, Elizabeth Lower-Basch discussed opportunities around two-generational strategies and TANF at APHSA’s National Health and Human Services Summit.


Although the needs of family members are often intertwined, programs, policies, and funding streams at both the federal and state levels are typically siloed across different agencies. The corresponding sets of budgets, regulations, and policy and reporting requirements pose challenges to providing appropriate, coordinated, and seamless services to low-income parents and their children. Two-generation strategies create opportunities for achieving better outcomes for both generations by intentionally and strategically developing and linking policies, programs, and services aimed at low-income parents and their children. In this session, presenters will provide a brief overview of two-generation policy, and share findings from a recent review of state efforts to implement two-generation state policy, describe opportunities for states to leverage recent changes in federal law to support two-generation state policy, and highlight strategies to develop and implement two-generation policy. One example which this session will highlight is using TANF to as an opportunity to achieve two-generational goals for poor families with infants. TANF is inherently a two-generational program, but too often, barriers to access, underfunded services, and work requirements that do not take the needs of infants into account or reflect the realities of today’s labor market hold parents back and make it harder for them to lift themselves and their infants out of poverty. A growing body of evidence shows that early poverty is a grave threat to children’s long-term health, well-being, and educational success, with persistent and deep poverty causing the most damage. By thinking about TANF in the context of the first year of life, states can establish a vision for what a reformed TANF might look like and identify steps that they can take now, including in the areas of access to cash assistance, work requirements, child care, and connections to other services. NGA and CLASP presenters will also describe an upcoming opportunity for states to receive up to two years of technical assistance through the “Two-Generation State Policy Learning and Action Network”, a new initiative funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.