Human Services Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT CONCERNING A TWO-GENERATIONAL INITIATIVE.
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Human Services Committee
REASONS FOR BILL:
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RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
Roderick L. Bremby, Commissioner, Department of Social Services; in opposition to this bill.
While the Department recognizes how critical this effort is, the Governor's budget does not provide sufficient funding for a separate initiative, though they will continue to implement these concepts into their work.
Joan Barere, Senior Policy Analyst, Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors; in support of this bill.
Since 2015, when Connecticut first passed a two-generational implementation bill, there were no guidelines and yet it led to working across agencies and sectors, communities working cohesively, and a creation of models which put families at the center of their focus. Locally, it was learned to coordinate the services of parents and children, which avoids a duplication of services. Since this initiative works off TANF dollars in CT, it has focused on low-income families and allows them to overcome barriers to success and break the cycle of poverty.
Each Two-Gen site is unique, and has a unique set of characteristics- urban, suburban, and rural; large, medium, and small. Each is learning from its networks of local parents, from applying Two-Gen principles to existing service models, to finding its own service gaps, barriers, and solutions. A critical feature of the Initiative is its learning community, which allows local Two-Gen practitioners to meet, share, and transmit their learning to one another and to the Interagency Working Group. The Interagency Working Group then considers the policy implications of the local work, and the local learnings, which then inform their agencies, helping to improve efficiency and effectiveness at the state level, which can result in system changes that benefit all families statewide.
They summarized by saying that the initial cost of a two-generational initiative in CT would pay for itself by ultimately reducing dependency on services and preventing duplication of services for families as a whole.
Scott Jackson, Commissioner, CT Department of Labor; in opposition of his bill While the Department of Labor believes this initiative to be worthwhile and beneficial, they do not feel as though there are the resources to continue it, given the current fiscal climate.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; in support of this bill;
The experiences of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is that a two-generational approach is a holistic, systems-oriented approach that can positively impact generations to come. They emphasize that single parents are one of the populations with the greatest need and that by allowing them access for both themselves and their children, it creates thriving children, employees, and employers.
Richard Porth, United Way of Connecticut; in support of this bill.
Stresses the act of working with families as a whole. Given examples of Meriden, where families go through the intake process as one unit, which creates a network of assistance including transportation and childcare. The efforts being made to facilitate a coordinated approach across agencies is the main component to helping families thrive.
Janine McMahon, Parent Ambassador, Asylum Hill Family Center; in support of this bill;
As a parent partner for Asylum Hill, she was astounded by how involved the parents were in the process, as this had not been her experience in the past. She stresses the emphasis on understanding the needs of the family in relation to needs of the individual- and that many of these needs can be met simultaneously.
People who spoke to the needs to treat family as one cohesive unit: in support of this bill
● Sarah Dudzic, Site Alignment Coordinator for the Statewide Project; in support of this bill
● Elaine Zimmerman, Regional Administrator, Children and Families;
● Kathryn Parr, Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut School of Social Work;
Kyle Pilon, Coordinator of Two-Gen Initiative in Meriden, CT;
● Catherine Battista, Director, Meriden Family Resource Centers;
● Caroline Austin, Parent Ambassador, Catholic Charities Family Center;
● Jacquelyn Delaney, Cradle to Career Family Navigator; in support of this bill.
● Elizabeth Fraser, Policy Manager, CT Association of Human Services (CAHS);
● Tiffany Hall, Senior Manager of Child and Family Development Programs, Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford;
● Jamal Jimerson, Program Coordinator, MoveUp!;
● Krystal Maxwell, Care Service Coordinator, Human Services Council in Norwalk, CT;
● Dr. Deborah Poerio, President, Integrated Health Services
● Veronica Rosario, personal testimony; in support of this bill.
● Ray Rossomando, Connecticut Education Association; in support of this bill.
● Alfreda Turner, Bridgeport Prospers; in support of this bill.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Reported by: Kayleigh Royston