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"Two-Generation Approach" Could Make a Dent in NV, U.S. Poverty

PHOTO: Working with parents and children together, rather than separately, may help advance efforts to end the cycle of poverty in Nevada and across the U.S., is the finding of a new report. Photo courtesy Nevada Dept. of Health and Human Services
PHOTO: Working with parents and children together, rather than separately, may help advance efforts to end the cycle of poverty in Nevada and across the U.S., is the finding of a new report. Photo courtesy Nevada Dept. of Health and Human Services
November 12, 2014

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Efforts to end the cycle of poverty in Nevada may advance if policymakers focus on a two-generation approach that involves parents and children. That's the finding of a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation on creating opportunity for families.

Louise Helton, executive board member on the Nevada KIDS COUNT Executive Committee, says working with children and parents together may provide more long-term benefit than working with them individually.

"If you improve the conditions of the parents' lifestyle or opportunities, you've increased and improved the opportunities available to their children, especially with very young children," Helton says.

The report finds 123,000 Nevada children ages five and under are growing up in low-income families and a child raised in poverty is more likely to become an adult living in poverty, less likely to graduate from high school or to remain consistently employed.

Helton says before the recession, Nevada had child care and other programs in place for working parents. While the economy continues to recover, she says the state has yet to restore funding for programs that provide opportunities for young families to get ahead.

"We've actually lost ground with the number or organizations closing down because of lack of funding and the funding has not been reinstated or increased," says Helton.

Nevada's economy, adds Helton, can also benefit from the two-generation approach, because parents will likely miss less work if they have access to quality child care.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV