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Two-Generation Approach Needed to Lift TX Kids Out of Poverty

PHOTO: A dual focus on both kids and their parents is needed to ensure a brighter future for the millions of Texas children living in low-income families, according to new Annie E. Casey Foundation research. Photo credit: Wendy Piersall/Flickr.
PHOTO: A dual focus on both kids and their parents is needed to ensure a brighter future for the millions of Texas children living in low-income families, according to new Annie E. Casey Foundation research. Photo credit: Wendy Piersall/Flickr.
November 12, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas - For the millions of Texas children growing up in low-income families, a new report finds a
two-generation approach is needed to give those kids the best shot at succeeding later in life. The KIDS COUNT report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says strengthening families will take more integration of state-and-federal employment, education and childcare programs.

Jennifer Lee, research associate with the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin, says that will create better opportunities for the entire family.

"The two-generation approach is really a coordinated approach that will help kids get a good start and give parents skills and tools that will help them support their kids and family," says Lee.

The report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation also points to the importance of access to job-skills training, finding that in nearly 80 percent of low-income families with young children, parents do not have a post-secondary degree.

Lee notes, increasing the opportunities for parents to land better-paying jobs, while also providing a high-quality early childhood education for the kids will require the private, public and non-profit sectors all working together.

"A lot of it is about core meeting services that are provided by nonprofits or charities, public schools, colleges and businesses," Lee says. "All of them coming together to look at families holistically and the environments in which kids are growing up in."

The latest figures show more than half of the children in Texas are growing up in low-income households.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - TX