Report Promotes Hogan Administration’s Family-Centered Approach to Service Delivery

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Two-Generation Family Economic Security Commission, led by Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, issued its interim report, proposing statewide strategies and pilot programs intended to mitigate multigenerational poverty by linking state policies, systems, and programs together to simultaneously serve vulnerable parents and children. Established in March of last year, the interagency, multidisciplinary Commission is part of a public policy initiative that seeks to break the cycle of multigenerational poverty through a family-centered approach to service delivery. The Commission’s interim report identifies early childhood development, health, education, and family economic stability as key factors to addressing this issue, in addition to aligning current services and delivery programs in a more family-centric manner.

Data show that many children who grow up in poverty or in low-income families go on to experience economic hardship as adults, and that those living in multigenerational poverty often face difficulties in making sound long-term personal and financial plans. To address these challenges, the Commission held numerous meetings across the state where they heard from Maryland families about the struggles they faced as they navigated their paths towards self-sufficiency. Discussions also focused on barriers faced by both constituent and service providers to identify opportunities for intervention.

“Poverty must not be the legacy that’s handed down from generation to generation, or accepted as a way of existence. Ending the cycle of multigenerational poverty is critical to ensuring a better quality of life for all Maryland families,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “Our administration is committed to breaking this cycle by finding solutions that address the needs of an entire family, and the policies and pilot programs in this interim report will help us continue or efforts to combat poverty through a family-centered approach to service delivery.”

The report proposes pilot programs that would include a multi-generational educational opportunity where parents and children can simultaneously receive high-quality education and training in Prince George’s County and an intergenerational community center in Dorchester County where services for seniors, parents, and children are all provided under the same roof, creating an environment where community development is fostered along with the family development.

Additionally, as a means to identify families ready for these programs, a uniform assessment tool rooted in identifying personal and family strengths and assigning interventions accordingly will be used to match families to programs that are specifically selected based on each family’s unique situation.

Following an evaluation of the pilot programs, the Two-Generation Family Economic Security Commission will meet to submit a final report that will include lessons learned from the programs as recommendations to the General Assembly’s 2019 legislation session.