A new study of the United Way of Central Indiana’s Great Families 2020 initiative found the two-generation approach is effective in helping families achieve economic success and stability -- especially in creating the capacity of nonprofit organizations.
The IU Public Policy Institute's Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy conducted the research. Director of Evaluation Roxy Lawrence said the model invests in human capital for parents and children.
“And in doing so, you're sort of helping the family move into more self sufficiency and economic stability versus just the child becoming better off or the parent becoming better off,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence said the program was especially helpful creating capacity for nonprofit organizations.
Great Families 2020 was started five years ago. The model focuses on creating and connecting people with services including early childhood education, employment and mental health.
The UWCI focused on five Indianapolis neighborhoods and invested in eight nonprofit providers.
Lawrence said the program also showed success in providing financial coaching.
“They benefited from understanding how to create a budget, how to make payments on time, how to increase your credit scores, and how to manage debt,” she said.
The study found families were able to improve their financial stability.
Thirty-four families enrolled in Great Families 2020, most participants were women earning about $10,000 a year.