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About Generations United
Generations United (GU) is the national membership organization focused solely on improving the lives of children, youth, and older people through intergenerational strategies, programs, and public policies. GU represents more than 100 national, state, and local organizations and individuals representing more than 70 million Americans. Since 1986, GU has served as a resource for educating policymakers and the public about the economic, social, and personal imperatives of intergenerational cooperation. GU acts as a catalyst for stimulating collaboration between aging, children, and youth organizations providing a forum to explore areas of common ground while celebrating the richness of each generation.
Generations United (GU) gratefully acknowledges the support of JustPartners, Inc. and the Annie E. Casey Foundation which allowed for the development of this publication. A warm thank you to Paula Dressel of JustPartners whose wisdom, coupled with her commitment to elders as resources to children and families, has been invaluable in advancing intergenerational practices. Thank you to Carol Farquhar, Grantmakers in Aging and Stephanie McGencey Washington, Grantmakers for Children,Youth and Families for their early involvement in the Stronger Together meeting and webinars that proceeded this paper. GU is grateful for the initial work done by Karabelle Pizzigati and John Cornman to develop this agenda. Thank you to the GU staff who contributed through review, research, re-writes and reflection in particular Jaia Peterson Lent, Sheri Steinig, Donna Butts and Terence Kane.
This research was funded in part by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. We thank them for their support but acknowledge that the findings and conclusions presented in this report are those of the author(s) alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Foundation. Grantmakers in Aging and Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families believe in supporting a public policy agenda that recognizes and values people of all ages. While each organization has its own policy agenda and priorities, they support the concept of a Stronger Together framework. © Generations United 2009, reprinting with permission only.
Generations United 1331 H Street NW Suite 900 Washington, DC 20005 202/289-3979 www.gu.org
A Results Ready Agenda for Improving the Futures of Vulnerable Children, Elders, Families and Communities
A Results Ready Agenda for Improving the Futures of Vulnerable Children, Elders, Families and Communities
Purpose and Background
A number of political events have combined to create opportunities to improve the futures of vulnerable children, families, and elders by using an intergenerational approach that maximizes fiscal and human resources. The purposes of this paper are 1) to identify those opportunities made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) and new Administration’s budget, 2) to illustrate the power and cost effectiveness of the intergenerational approach, and 3) to recommend an action agenda that will attract the active support of various interest groups committed to improving the futures of vulnerable children, elders, families, and communities. In December, 2007, the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) convened a conference of grantmakers “to determine areas of policy convergence that bridge the interests of children, youth, families and older adults, and to develop strategies to promote intergenerational collaboration.” The results of the conference are summarized in “Stronger Together,”1 a report prepared by Generations United, a conference convener along with Grantmakers in Aging (GIA), Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families (GCYF) and JustPartners, Inc. The agenda that follows draws on the work of the conference, but the recommendations are those of Generations United (GU) alone, also drawing on GU’s experience in developing and promoting intergenerational public policies and programs. This working document seeks to highlight policy, program and research examples that demonstrate “economies of scope” or how a single intervention can mobilize and benefit all members of society and thus maximize the outcomes from limited dollars. When generations work together and are leveraged on each other’s behalf, resources go further and each age group benefits while communities thrive. While this paper goes beyond the conclusions and principles developed by the conference, it is offered in the same spirit of “Stronger Together,” with the intention of providing several key recommendations that overlap the policy agendas, and will attract the active support, of various interest groups committed to improving the futures of vulnerable children, elders, families, and communities. This “Stronger Together” framework promotes innovations that have political, service and fiscal implications which ask policy and decision makers to think differently about resources and outcomes. Therefore, besides making specific policy recommendations, the agenda seeks to encourage: • advocates for children, youth, families, older people, and poverty reduction to work together on behalf of policies that reach across generations and envision their constituencies as allies rather than competitors, policy makers and interest groups to recognize how bringing different age groups together in support of issues affecting children, elders and families can improve the lives of all Americans while saving tax dollars, and the use of an intergenerational strategy – the intergenerational lens, if you will – in the design and evaluation of public policies and programs to improve the futures of vulnerable children, elders, families and communities.
“My grandmother… She’s the one who taught me about hard work. She’s the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she’s watching tonight and that tonight is her night, as well.”
Barack Obama accepting his party’s nomination for President of the United States
A Results Ready Agenda for Improving the Futures of Vulnerable Children, Elders, Families and Communities
Several events have combined to make this an auspicious moment to advance such an agenda, including: • • the election of President Barack Obama, who made reducing poverty a central part of his campaign message, and now resides in a multigenerational household, the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), legislation that offers short term opportunities to expand key anti-poverty and communitybuilding programs, the presentation of the administration’s FY 2010 federal budget that includes similar opportunities to both expand and launch new poverty reduction, family support, and community development programs, the increased pressure to fix Social Security’s long-term funding shortfall, a dynamic that opens the way to efforts to improve the benefits for vulnerable children, families, and elders and the growing political push to reform the nation’s health care system, an effort that must include improving health care services for lower income children and families along with elders.
The two overarching and six specific federal policy recommendations presented here are designed to take advantage of these events, which are unfolding rapidly. For the most part, they call for the redirection or focusing of federal dollars and attention within the funding and goals imbedded in the Recovery Act, the administration’s proposed FY 2010 budget, and parameters for fixing Social Security and reforming health care. It is important to note that the Recovery Act provides temporary funding and cannot be counted on to extend past two years. In many cases matching dollars are needed; for this reason, some state and local policy makers are reluctant about accepting funds their constituents may come to depend on. This makes intergenerational approaches even more valuable, as they build broader constituent support and increase the reach of limited dollars. Therefore, innovative examples of these economies of scope are woven throughout the recommendations.
Two Overarching Recommendations Recommendation: Incorporate an intergenerational approach into policy and program development at all levels of government in order to benefit all generations, magnify pol icy and program outcomes, exact cost efficiencies, and strengthen relations across gener ations.
The public sector is challenged to restore public confidence in government, to use resources – including the human capital of older and younger populations – as efficiently and effectively as possible, and to strengthen the sense of community across the country in this time of economic distress and international crises. Research and experience have shown that intergenerational practices benefit all generations, magnify policy and program outcomes, exact cost efficiencies, and strengthen relations across ages.2
A Results Ready Agenda for Improving the Futures of Vulnerable Children, Elders, Families and Communities
An intergenerational approach to policy making and program planning values children, youth, families and elders and • calls for policies and programs that involve and impact more than one generation, incorporating the experience, skills, and commitments of the country’s increasing older population and engaged youth. views the younger and older populations as a resource to be enlisted on behalf of the common good, not as problems that will divide the nation across generational lines. encourages policy makers and program designers and evaluators to seek and develop broad inter-departmental and inter-programmatic links. stresses intergenerational sharing of program sites and resources.
• • •
Most recently the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009 exemplifies this approach. The Act reauthorizes the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and creates valuable new and innovative intergenerational civic engagement opportunities for both young and old. The Serve America Act will more than triple national service positions from 75,000 to 250,000 to help match the increased desire of both young and old to serve. The Act also encourages new corps-based programs for education, health, poverty and the environment to consider intergenerational approaches to grantmaking and service delivery. In addition, the Act increases the emphasis on innovation with the creation of a new Social Innovation Fund which will help support testing new approaches, such as providing transferable educational awards an older adult volunteer can give to a child, and leveraging resources and scaling up researchproven programs.
Intergenerational Community Decision-making in Falcon Heights, Minnesota
A local example is found in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, which has created a community for all ages. Mayor Sue Gehrz sparked the effort by making intergenerational interaction a high priority and bringing together dozens of young and older people to discuss improving community safety and preparedness in the wake of 9/11. This effort led to the creation of the “Neighborhood Commission,” one of the city’s permanent advisory groups that help to guide decision-making for the city. Additional policies and structures within city government facilitate communication and decision-making by all generations. They include the City Council’s public policy goal of intergenerational interaction, the requirement for policy proposals to incorporate the ideas and concerns of multiple generations, and the availability of city facilities without charge to intergenerational groups.
Recommendation: Confirm the best strategic investments in intergenerational practices through improved data collection.
Increasing the knowledge base will help provide needed insights on intergenerational families and other issues and will help inform the development and growth of sound public policies and programs that support all generations. For example, grandparents and other relatives raising children (grandfamilies) were included in the National Family Caregiver Support Act (NFCSA) when it was signed into law in 2000 as a part of the reauthorization of the Older American’s Act. The law authorizes states to spend up to 10% of their National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) funds on supportive services for these grandfamilies. A General Accounting Office study about the impact of the NFCSP funds and how states have expended their dollars would be beneficial as policy makers consider additional supports for the families. The age threshold for the NFCSP was lowered in 2006 to open access to a larger number of grandfamilies. Again, knowing how this change has been implemented in states and counties would inform future policy making. Beyond multigenerational families, further identification of policy and practice barriers which inhibit, if not prohibit, the development of intergenerational programs is important to encourage widespread implementation. For example, a report regarding co-located intergenerational activities was issued in 1995 by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. Entitled Co-Located Intergenerational Activities in Department of Health and Human Services’ Programs, the report indicated that combining facilities and programs could increase the level and quality of services. The need for policy guidance and waivers were indicated in several areas including fire safety codes, immunization and nutritional requirements. Updating this report and documenting progress and findings would be beneficial to policy makers and program planners.
Six Specific Recommendations
The six specific recommendations were selected from an array (see appendix A) of policies and programs that, if using an intergenerational approach when enacted, could increase the likelihood of children, families, elders and their communities achieving success. The recommendations focus on: • • • • increasing and sustaining adequate income and workforce participation, expanding high-quality early, continuing education and skills training, ensuring affordable, cost-effective, and efficient preventive and primary health care, and investing in community connections and infrastructures.
The six recommendations, which are each given equal weight, are to: • Encourage high quality child care and early education opportunities for low-income families including those provided through intergenerational shared site programs that improve outcomes for multiple age groups.
Promote permanency and family connections for children by fully implementing the Fostering Connections to Success and Improving Adoptions Act (Fostering Connections) of 2008 in order to provide critical supports to grandfamilies and ensure their inclusion in other child welfare reform policies. Support family economic success by expanding basic Social Security benefits for vulnerable populations. Increase social supports and educational resources for disadvantaged children and families by encouraging Senior Community Service Employment Programs and volunteer civic engagement opportunities. Coordinate and integrate the various transit programs serving children, youth, older adults, low income workers and persons with disabilities to increase critically needed transportation services and improve availability in a cost effective and efficient manner. Improve access to affordable, high quality, comprehensive health care for children, families and elders by ensuring that reform of the nation’s health care system includes key investments across the lifespan, encourages the development of community health centers that serve all ages, and encourages the participation of older people in health care programs and services for children and their families.
Each recommendation is followed by a brief discussion including how, if adopted, it would enhance the well-being of vulnerable children, families, and older adults and its connection to current opportunities such as those outlined in the Recovery Act and the proposed federal budget. The recommendation concludes with one or more examples illustrating the innovative, successful intergenerational models related to the recommendation.
Recommendation: Encourage high quality child care and early education opportunities for low-income families including those provided through intergenerational shared site programs that improve outcomes for multiple age groups.
High quality early childhood programs provide many well documented benefits for low-income young children and their families. These benefits cover important dimensions of child and family well being, helping prepare children to succeed in school and providing working families with critical support so that they can secure and maintain employment.3 Children who attend high quality programs are less likely to be held back a grade, less likely to need special education, and more likely to graduate from high school. Additionally, children who have been in pre-K programs have higher earnings as adults and are less likely to become dependent on welfare or involved with law enforcement.4 Because of the success of early care and education there is increased public and political support which can help further the reach and accessibility of the programs. At the same time, intergenerational programming in early childhood settings has demonstrated the benefits for young children and older adults in ways that enrich the lives of both generations. For example, a study at the Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Intergenerational Institute in Findlay, Ohio found that children in intergenerational care had higher personal/social developmental scores (by 11 months) than children in non-intergenerational care.5
A study at the Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Intergenerational Institute in Findlay, Ohio found that children in intergenerational care had higher personal/social developmental scores (by 11 months) than children in non-intergenerational care.
Intergenerational shared sites are demonstrating cost benefits as well as benefits for the participants. An analysis of intergenerational shared site facilities operating costs by Virginia Tech indicated such programs show cost savings in personnel and rent, generally the two largest budget line items.6 To further illustrate this point, the United Retirement Center in Brookings, South Dakota reports the staff turn-over average in their co-located Child Development Center and nursing home campus is 10% compared to the national average of 77%, thereby providing continuity of care as well as cost savings resulting from less investment in recruiting and training new staff.7 There are however, some existing barriers. By reviewing and addressing some of the regulatory issues raised in a report that reviewed Administration on Aging and the Administration on Children and Families programs, many of these perceived obstacles could be eliminated. They include differences such as nutritional requirements, fire safety codes and sanitation standards.8 The Recovery Act includes important temporary funding boosts for two programs: Head Start, the premier federally supported early education program and the major federal child care program, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which helps low-income families and families receiving or transitioning from public assistance obtain child care. The President’s FY 2010 Budget builds on this investment and sets a direction for the coming years that sharpens the focus on improved program quality, benefits for children and families served, and cost-effectiveness. Intergenerational programming and the use of shared sites and resources offer valuable, cost effective approaches to achieve those objectives. In addition to commitments already made, the Administration should consider ways to encourage intergenerational practices by including these models as options on websites and in materials and funding opportunities for existing programs such as Early Head Start and Head Start.
Examples: Jewel Intergenerational Program
Mount Kisco Child Care Center (MKCCC) and Family Services of Westchester’s My Second Home (MSH) recently released the results of a three-year study by Fordham University of their JEWEL Intergenerational Program collaboration. JEWEL (Joining Elders with Early Learners) is a ten-year-old program which brings children and older adults together to learn, nurture each other and develop meaningful relationships under one roof. The new study, released in April 2009, assessed several components of the program including benefits to the children, children’s attitudes about older adults, and program satisfaction of all program participants, (children’s caregivers, older children, elders, elders’ caregivers and staff). Among the benefits to children, researchers found children learned the importance of sharing and compromising, or socialization skills, and their overall view of older adults was more positive as compared to preschoolers not involved in programming with elders. It found that children enjoy being with older adults and that the elders enjoy being with the children, because it makes them feel younger. Additional results included an increase in the elders’ energy and happiness levels as a result of interacting with children through dancing, gardening and arts & crafts. The older adults also developed closer relationships with the children through those daily activities and small group settings. Older adults reported feeling helpful and valuable while the staff recognized the children enjoyed the seniors’ talks about their pasts. Caregivers felt that the elders’ attitudes were more positive on days they interacted with children. 6
Grand Traverse Pavilions
Grand Traverse Pavilions in Michigan is an award winning model intergenerational health care and residential community. Their Intergenerational Community Center includes licensed child care services, assisted living, adult day and overnight respite services. They were one of the first Head Start Family Child Care programs in the State of Michigan and offer full-day and fullyear services including Early Head Start for infants and toddlers and traditional Head Start for pre-schoolers. There are more than 50 children who interact daily with elders through their Kids R Us approach that includes, among other activities gardening, storytelling, fishing, reading and bowling. The age-exchanges that take place daily are thoughtfully designed to be positive, and purposeful.
Generations Adult Day Care Program and Child Care
Generations Adult Day Care Program and Child Care located in Columbus, Ohio, is a collaborative partnership of Heritage Day Health Centers and the YWCA of Columbus. Heritage Day Health Centers operates an adult day program for 45 older adults who need varying levels of care and supervision. The YWCA operates a child care center for 75 children in the same building. The children predominately live in homeless shelters or transitional housing with their families. The adults and children take part in intergenerational activities through music, cooking, art, games and more. A registered nurse is on site to provide health services to both adults and children. Intergenerational activities occur throughout the day.
If even half of the 2 million children being raised in grandfamilies outside of the formal foster care system were to enter the system, it would cost taxpayers more than $6.5 billion dollars each year and would completely overwhelm the system.
Recommendation: Promote permanency and family connections for children by fully implementing the Fostering Connections to Success and Improving Adoptions Act (Fostering Connections) of 2008 in order to provide critical supports to grandfamilies and ensure their inclusion in other child welfare reform policies.
According to the 2005 American Community Survey, there are over 6.7 million children living in grandparent- or other relative-headed households, also known as grandfamilies. This trend in families cuts across racial and class lines and is evident in both rural and urban areas. Overall, grandparent caregivers are more likely to live in poverty (almost 500,000 live below the poverty level) and to be uninsured than are grandparents not raising grandchildren.10 The children in these grandfamilies suffer higher-than-average rates of physical, mental, and emotional problems than other children, often due to the issues that brought them into relative care. The caregivers’ own health, regardless of health insurance status, often suffers as a consequence of the strains on them because of caring for children. These grandparents and other relative-caregivers perform an extraordinary service that allows hundreds of thousands of children to maintain vital ties to their families while simultaneously easing the burden on the public child welfare system. The cost savings – in both human and financial terms – are enormous. Of the approximately 2.5 million children living with grandparents or other relatives with no parent present, approximately 124,000 are in the foster care system – nearly one fourth of all children in foster care.11 The remaining almost 2 million are being cared for outside of the system by caregivers who often do not have access to any support services or financial assistance. If even half of these 2 million children were to enter the formal
foster care system, it would cost taxpayers $6.5 billion dollars each year and would completely overwhelm the system.12 The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 will expand access to services and financial supports that are so urgently needed for these families.
“My grandfather believed Social Security should be simple, fair, guaranteed, earned and available to all Americans. ...He was adamant that Social Security was an insurance program, not an investment plan or a welfare plan.”
— James Roosevelt Jr., grandson of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who signed Social Security into law in 1935
Fostering Connections aids grandfamilies by allowing states to use federal funds to support children moving from foster care to permanency through legal guardianship with relatives. This option not only allows children to exit foster care with a permanent family, but also gives states an opportunity to save resources. The Act also requires notice be given to adult relatives when a child is removed from the parents home, authorizes new grants to connect grandfamilies to the supportive resources they need through Kinship Navigator Programs, promotes sibling connections and establishes policies to improve access to education and health care. States can also receive federal support if they expand foster care beyond age 18. As always, the difficulty is in the detail, so it will be important to closely monitor the development of the Act’s implementing regulations and policy guidance to ensure that in practice Fostering Connections will fully meet its promise to support children and their families. It will also be critical to fully educate states on the benefits of the optional provisions in the Act and encourage them to implement these. Beyond Fostering Connections implementation, several other child welfare programs have been proposed or are up for reauthorization and can offer additional support to grandfamilies. These include home visiting programs, which would provide professionals to families with young children to support and educate the parents, and respite care programs which would provide a reprieve to caregivers by offering time away from their responsibilities. While the President has made home visiting a priority in the FY 2010 budget outline, it is limited to those staffed by nurses while there are many other promising programs models. It is also not clear as it currently stands if the home visiting program proposed would address the unique challenges of grandfamilies or incorporate an intergenerational approach of using older adults as resources to support children and families. In addition, the upcoming reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) provides an opportunity to incorporate innovative intergenerational interventions and strengthen respite care. The National Family Caregiver Support Program, which provides information, counseling, support services and respite to age qualified grandparents caring for grandchildren, should be reviewed during the next reauthorization of the Older Americans Act to ensure it is adequately supporting grandfamilies.
Examples: State of California
The state of California has introduced legislation to amend its KinGap program13 to take advantage of the new Fostering Connections federal funding and allow children to exit foster care to a permanent home with a relative. Additionally, legislation has been introduced to expand foster care beyond the age of 18.
The Traveling Grannies and Grandpas
The Traveling Grannies and Grandpas of Michigan provides in-home supports for at-risk, pregnant and parenting teens aimed at increasing their self-sufficiency and improving their wellbeing and that of their children. Among other services the older adults teach positive parenting techniques, promote non-violent disciplinary approaches, encourage continued education, assist with securing pre- and post natal care, and provide transportation to medical appointments and job interviews. In 2003, Traveling Grannies and Grandpas reported weekly school attendance increased by 54% for youth receiving services, repeat pregnancies were down and that many children graduated from high school and went on to college or full time jobs.
Recommendation: Support family economic success by expanding basic Social Security benefits for vulnerable populations.
Social Security (SS) is the nation’s preeminent intergenerational and poverty reduction program, providing financial benefits to children, families, and persons with disabilities, as well as to older persons. SS lifts one million children under age 18 and 13 million seniors above the poverty line. More than 30 percent of SS benefits go to children, families with children and persons with disabilities.14 SS benefits are important sources of income for grandfamilies households with at least one child, which comprise 4.1 percent of all households in the nation, and 9.5 percent of all AfricanAmerican households. Even with SS benefits, 22 percent of grandparent-headed families are poor. Without SS benefits, the poverty rate would be 59 percent or more.15 The poverty rates for grandparent-headed families and families headed by a surviving spouse can be lowered with several adjustments to the SS program. For example, SS benefits could be strengthened for widows (ers), for caregivers, for seniors who were low-income workers, and for grandparents raising grandchildren.16 It is likely that within the next four years President Obama and the Congress will take action to fix Social Security’s long-term funding shortfall. Policy discussions in recent years about the future of Social Security have raised numerous options for making that fix, including cutting benefits.17 However, benefit cutback proposals and their proponents rarely, if ever, address how the cutbacks would impact vulnerable children and families or persons with disabilities. It is imperative that the interests of vulnerable children and families be vigorously and effectively represented in the coming debate over the future of Social Security.
During a 2005 Congressional briefing on Social Security, a grandmother, Morrisella Middleton, testified that she would not be able to raise her grandson without SS benefits. Her son, the boy’s father, had been widowed and was raising his son until he developed job-related cancer. In his last days, he asked his mother to take care of his son and gave her his Social Security number. The grandmother stated that the benefits made the critical difference in her ability to support her grandson rather than leave him to be raised by others.
Recommendation: Increase social supports and educational resources for vulnerable children and families by encouraging Senior Community Service Employment Programs and volunteer civic engagement opportunities.
There are about 37.9 million Americans over the age of 65, or around 12.6 percent of the population. This number is expected to increase each year, and by 2030 the number of people over the age of 65 is expected to be over 70 million.18 Older people are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. An estimated 12.4 million people over the age of 65 exercise in one form or another. As people age, many long to be engaged. They want to give back to their communities. According to the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practice, people 65 and older each contribute about 96 volunteer hours annually.19 Fifty-six percent of boomers say civic engagement will be at least fairly important in their retirement and working with children and youth was the most popular activity they looked forward to during the next chapter in their lives.20 Younger generations are engaged as well. According to a survey done by Independent Sector in 2002, volunteering among high school students has reached its highest level in fifty years.21 Unfortunately all too often younger and older people are untapped resources to their communities. They can offer support to one another, along with bringing volunteer and paid assistance and expertise to address community issues and strengthen community ties. Intergenerational programs provide a venue for volunteer service with younger people serving older people, older people serving younger people, and both generations serving together. Although additional research assessing outcomes is needed, the results thus far are promising and the experiences of intergenerational programs provide rich examples of benefits for young and old alike.22 23 The recently passed Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act reauthorizes the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and creates valuable new and innovative intergenerational civic engagement opportunities for both young and old. The Serve America Act will more than triple national service positions from 75,000 to 250,000 to help match the increased desire of both young and old to serve. The Act also encourages new corps-based programs for education, health, poverty and the environment to consider intergenerational approaches to grantmaking and service delivery. In addition, the Act increases the emphasis on innovation with the creation of a new Social Innovation Fund which will help support testing new approaches, such as providing transferable educational awards an older adult volunteer can give to a child, and leveraging resources and scaling up research-proven programs. There are also resources in the Recovery Act for AmeriCorps and other service programs, community and workforce development through Community Development Block Grant funding, and specific funding for Senior Community Service Employment Programs for part-time employment pathways to economic self-sufficiency for older individuals and families. Efforts should be made to ensure that a significant portion of these supplemental resources are targeted to opportunities to serve disadvantaged children, families and elders through intergenerational programs.
Examples: Experience Corps
Experience Corps, an award-winning national program, engages people over 55 in meeting their communities’ greatest challenges. The program began in 2004. Today, in 23 cities across the country, 2,000 Experience Corps members tutor and mentor elementary school students, help teachers in the classroom, and lead after-school enrichment activities. Independent research shows that Experience Corps boosts student academic performance, helps schools and youthserving organizations become more successful, and enhances the well-being of the older adults in the process. A longitudinal study of Experience Corps by Washington University in St. Louis was released in April 2009. They reported that over a single school year, students with Experience Corps tutors made over 60 percent more progress in learning two critical reading skills - sounding out new words and reading comprehension - than similar students not served by the program.
Swampscott High School and Senior Center
Having the senior center at the Swampscott High School has been a blessing. Our older adults use the facility and are thrilled with the opportunities. They walk the indoor track in the morning, take dance and yoga classes in our dance studio, use our exercise room, and attend classes in the computer rooms. Our partnership with the seniors also includes using their experiences in our classrooms as guest speakers, tutors, and volunteers in the library. Our students volunteer at the center by performing at various senior functions, decorating for the holidays, and providing support to their elders on such things as how to fully use a cell phone, IPod, etc. Last spring our American Studies class provided a breakfast for those senior citizens who had participated in the class as guest lecturers throughout the year. At first both older adults and students were nervous and intimidated by each other as the new high school opened. Now our students feel supported and the seniors welcomed in our positive relationships. When our budget was cut and we had to share our librarian with the middle school two days a week, it was a group of older adults who volunteered to have training and cover the hours our librarian is not available. This allows us to keep the library open all week long for our students.
Larry Murphy Principal Swampscott High School Swampscott, MA
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
The mission of the Portage County, Michigan Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is to make a positive impact on the community by recruiting older volunteers to help nonprofit and public agencies deliver priority services to people of all ages. In 2003, one of their volunteers, Charles Fernandez, was nationally recognized with the Older Adult Volunteer Highest Honor presented by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. To reach youth before they face detention, Mr. Fernandez, who didn’t learn to read or write until he was 13, began volunteering with at-risk students and implemented a new program at the alternative high school aimed at reaching these students using non-traditional methods. He recruited additional volunteers and began a mentoring program designed to teach students basic woodworking skills using power tools. The goal of the program is to instill an interest in learning. Annually, Charles serves over 500 hours volunteering with youth. He has been an inspiration to many juveniles who, through him, set personal goals to pursue after leaving the detention center.
“JABA recognized that rapid population growth and in particular, the coming “age wave,” would bring profound changes and opportunities for which the entire community would need to be prepared. As a member of the school board at the time, I knew our community’s ability to attend to the needs and desires of today and tomorrow's older population was linked in so many ways to the well-being of children and youth.”
Gordon Walker, Chief Executive Officer, Jefferson Area Board for Aging, Charlottesville, VA
Senior Community Service Employment Program
At age 93, Mildred Mazander came to the senior employment program in Hot Springs, Arkansas looking for a way to increase her income after her car insurance rate increased, due not to her age but instead due to the purchase of a newer car. She was placed at the St. Michael’s Day Care Center where she worked 20 hours a week, preparing salads, serving beverages and clearing and washing dishes for the children at the center. After lunch, she watched over the three-year-olds during their naptime. She was a tireless worker and role model for the children.
FISH (Friends in Schools Helping)Program
In 2006, the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) began FISH (Friends in Schools Helping) program to engage older volunteers to mentor students who were identified as “at-risk.” The program now serves 18 public schools with an after school program which takes place at one of JABA’s housing facilities. Volunteers primarily tutor in reading and math and help English as Second Language students providing needed personal attention, enabling students to close the achievement gap. An additional benefit is that elders who no longer have children in the schools become advocates for the schools because of their renewed association with this public institution.
Recommendation: Coordinate and integrate the various transit programs serving chil dren, youth, older adults, low income workers and persons with disabilities to increase critically needed transportation services and improve availability in a cost effective and efficient manner.
People of all ages and abilities need transportation to get them to school, jobs, health care centers and appointments of all kinds. But in too many communities, buses and vans sit idle while many people go without critical transportation. Sharing transit resources and dollars can increase the ability to serve multiple age groups and purposes. Those purposes include assisting low-income individuals get to and from jobs in suburban areas from their inner city, urban or rural neighborhoods; transporting children to and from schools and programs such as Head
Start; helping older persons to get to and from health care and other services and to programs where they volunteer; and, assisting persons with disabilities to travel to jobs and appointments. United We Ride (www.unitedweride.gov) coordinating council on access and mobility has demonstrated the improved capacity created by collaboration and coordination between transportation and human services programs. United We Ride was created by Executive Order in 2004 requiring multiple federal departments to work together to ensure transportation services that are seamless, comprehensive and accessible. The program seeks ways to simplify access to transportation services for persons with disabilities, persons with lower incomes, and older adults. It has three goals: more rides for target populations for the same or fewer assets; simplify access; and increase customer satisfaction. As a part of their work, they undertook a regulatory review of the 62 human service transportation programs and found little uniformity in program delivery, reporting, and eligibility requirements. Many of the programs cited by the 2003 General Accounting Office report support human service transportation have uniquely different primary missions such as the provision of employment or health care services. No single law or statute created federal human service transportation programs, meaning that there is no single or uniform requirement on how they are delivered, and each program developed its own idiosyncratic regulations, eligibility requirements, and operating procedures. Because they have developed autonomously, many Federal programs also unwittingly fund the same type of service as other Federal programs. At least 37 programs have been identified that provide reimbursement to consumers for transportation expenses in order to access employment, health care, or other specific types of services. At least 26 programs fund the purchase of vehicles, the operation of vehicles, and/or facilitate contractual arrangements with existing providers. Eight programs provide transportation to school. The problem stems more from a lack of coordination between programs and the resulting gaps, duplications, and inefficiencies in service.24 One way to accelerate serving “transportation disadvantaged” populations would be to build on this effort and include transportation services for vulnerable children and their families. Other federal transit programs to consider include but are not limited to the following examples. • The Federal Transit Administration’s Job Access and Reverse Commute Program which serves low-income individuals who find it difficult to access jobs in suburban areas from their inner city, urban or rural neighborhoods. Federal Transit Law, as amended by SAFETEA-LU, requires that projects selected for funding under the Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities (Section 5310), Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC), and New Freedom programs develop plans that meet the needs of people with disabilities, older adults, and people with low income. The Federal Head Start Program regulations require local human service agencies to coordinate transportation resources across human service agencies to control costs and improve the quality and availability of transportation services. Head Start vehicles, when not being used to provide transportation services for children enrolled in Head Start, may be used to transport older adults, people with disabilities, or to provide a broader level of community transportation service.
The concept of creating multi-purpose transportation programs is embedded in several federal transit programs, but the concept could be broadened and improved by using an intergenerational strategy to create new or additional links between these programs. Such innovations would be consistent with and support the administration’s goals of creating job opportunities for lower-income workers, increasing educational opportunities for vulnerable children, encouraging older persons to volunteer in programs supporting children and families, and increasing physical access to health care and other basic services. In addition, ways to encourage states and local school districts to make fuller uses of school buses when not needed to transport children to schools can be beneficial to communities. For example, one county in Pennsylvania was able to increase the number of older adult school volunteers by allowing them to ride the buses to school with the children. Other transportation resources can be used by multiple age groups as well. In an unusual sharing of resources, one California town used the correction facility buses to transport seniors to appointments and activities when they were not needed to transport inmates.
Examples: Community Use of School Buses
One example is the city of Vineland, New Jersey which has Policy 8651 that states: In accordance with the statutes of the State of New Jersey and the regulations of the New Jersey Department of Education, the Vineland Board of Education will permit use of school buses owned or leased by this district for the purpose of transporting senior citizens’ groups to and from events within the district or any contiguous district, for transporting handicapped citizens in any district, and for transporting children and adults participating in a recreation or other program operated by the City of Vineland. Such events shall include but not be limited to civic, social, cultural, educational, recreational, nutritional, and health programs and activities. The transportation of children and adults participating in a recreation or other program operated by the City of Vineland may be beyond this district or any contiguous district.
Senior Connections, which is a long-term care provider for the senior population in DeKalb County, Georgia, entered into a partnership with the DeKalb Community Service Board (DCSB) to provide better transportation services across age and special needs groups. Combined, the two agencies operate over 100 vans. Senior Connections began taking welfare to work clients to and from job sites and, on the way, drops off and picks up their children at daycare centers. During the rest of the day the agency shuttles seniors to medical and dental appointments and takes disabled clients to medical appointments or to job sites. For example, Senior Connections transports a group of young mentally retarded adults to a job site where they work in an electronic assembly plant. The riders mixed well and looked forward to seeing each other when they boarded the van.
Recommendation: Improve access to affordable, high quality, comprehensive health care for children, families and elders by ensuring that reform of the nation’s health care system includes key investments across the lifespan, encourages the development of community health centers that serve all ages, and encourages the participation of older people in health care programs and services for children and their families.
Access to affordable, high-quality, comprehensive health care coverage has critical implications for children, youth, families, and older adults. Yet, many vulnerable persons do not have access to such care. Strategic investments in the health and wellbeing of all generations not only improves the lives of individuals, their families, and communities, these investments yield very high returns related to increased worker productivity, lower cost medical interventions at all stages of life, and a stable public health infrastructure better prepared to handle health emergencies. Expanding comprehensive health care coverage to every person while reforming the health care system is critical. During this time of debate, policy makers have a unique opportunity to implement reforms throughout the country’s health care system to improve quality, increase access, and bring down spiraling health care costs that imperil the short- and long-term financial stability of the U.S. economy. Because health care spending is projected to consume an increasing share of the federal budget if costs are not brought under control, timely system-wide reforms can move the country away from an unsustainable path while improving health care quality and availability for all people. While major reforms are under consideration, immediate opportunities exist through the Recovery Act that will help states direct resources now to health care programs and services for children, older adults, people with disabilities, and their families – many of whom have lost coverage because of unemployment or receive insufficient assistance because of state budget cuts. Strengthening local health care systems to support vulnerable individuals and families can stabilize communities, relieve some of the pressure on state budgets, and lay the foundation for long-term economic recovery. As recognized by the Recovery Act, innovations and improvements in health care delivery systems – such as the development of community health centers - are needed to provide better, more affordable care and improve the country’s long-term fiscal outlook. While the issues of reform and cost containment will attract considerable attention, an effort to expand and improve the quality of care and key preventative investments provided by community health centers may not receive the attention it deserves. Community health centers have long provided care to vulnerable children, families and seniors in a variety of underserved areas. As noted by the Health Resources and Services Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services, health centers cared for more than 16 million patients in 2007, including 2.8 million who received dental services and 617,000 who received mental health care. Health Centers also employ more than 100,000 people in underserved communities and leverage more than $9 billion in other health resources. They also are able to narrow or even eliminate disparities in behavioral health treatment and outcomes by removing common barriers to care and closely coordinating their behavioral health and primary care services.25
Older persons can act as mentors and aides in health care settings and improve the quality of outcomes of care provided disadvantaged children while increasing the cost effectiveness of delivering services. Retired health care professionals can and should be encouraged to volunteer their expertise at community health care centers and other health care sites serving disadvantaged populations. It falls to advocates for intergenerational approaches to not only promote expansion of the community health care program, but also to ensure that the intergenerational perspective is reflected in the approaches to providing health care in under-resourced communities. Such efforts can be carried out within the administration’s proposals to increase the number of community health care centers around the country and to provide additional funding for health care in underserved rural areas. The Recovery Act’s inclusion of $155 million to help create 126 new community health centers across the country to help people in need access primary and preventive health care is an important first step and short term response to this need.
Examples: Volunteers in Medicine
Volunteers in Medicine was founded by a doctor who retired to Hilton Head, South Carolina and was struck by the number of low income workers and their families who lacked access to health care. At the same time, a group of retired medical personnel (physicians, nurses, dentists) began expressing an interest in finding a way to continue practicing their profession on a voluntary, part-time basis to help those without access to care. These two groups came together to create the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, a 501 (c)(3) free health clinic utilizing retired health care professionals. The clinic roots its work in a “Culture of Caring” that views how people are treated during a clinic visit as important as the medical care they receive. The work recognizes the strengths of those of all ages in need and respects their dignity.
Bon Secours Health System recruits volunteers to assist with their CARE-A-VAN program which began in 1997 and serves the greater Richmond, Virginia area. The program consists of two mobile health clinic vans which travel throughout the metro area to provide free primary, urgent and preventive health care to children, families and elders. Services include health screenings, immunizations for children, school physicals for uninsured children, and examination and treatment of sick, uninsured patients. Older adults who still have active medical licenses but are phasing out of full time work provide medical services alongside paid health professionals. In addition, volunteers fill a number of other roles including assistance with set-up and break-down of sites, helping with patient flow, registration, medical interpretation and other tasks as requested. About 80% of the volunteers are older adults. Along with medical services, the volunteers also help manage the Care-A-Vans“ Reach Out and Read” program that includes reading to children who visit the van and distributing books for them to take home. The vans provide about 15,000 patient visits each year and distribute well over 3000 books. Patients speak an array of languages including English, Spanish or Arabic and volunteers and staff on the Care-A-Vans are available to assist diverse populations.
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” – George Washington Carver
Public policies should meet the needs of all generations, and resources are more wisely used when they connect generations rather than separate them. This intergenerational approach to framing public policies as demonstrated in this paper is especially important now as the country faces serious economic challenges and unprecedented investment opportunities such as those outlined in the Recovery Act and the new Administration’s budget. The need for programs and services that help vulnerable children, older adults and families better cope with the effects of this recession and beyond is acute. The opportunity exists to re-think single age strategies and make investments that help to re-weave the country’s social fabric. This agenda is designed to remind policymakers and the public that generational interdependence, or reciprocity between generations, is the reality in which we all live. Public policies should protect and encourage the mutual giving and receiving of resources, which have been characteristic of societies throughout time. Recognition of our generational interdependence, and the strengths of each age group, will help us prevail over difficult economic conditions, promote social progress, and ensure future economic stability.
Generations United. (2008). Stronger Together: A Call to Innovation for Funders of Children, Youth, Families, and Older Adults. Washington, DC. Author. Corporation for National and Community Service (November 2005). Youth Helping America. Washington, DC. Author; Fried, L.P. et. al. (March 2004). A Social Model for Health Promotion for an Aging Population: Initial Evidence on the Experience Corps Model, Journal of Urban Health, Vol.81, No.1, p.64-78; Generations United (2008). Intergenerational Shared Sites: Saving Dollars While Making Sense. Washington, DC. Author; and Hayden, C.D. (2003). Financial analysis & considerations for replication of the ONEgeneration Intergenerational Daycare Program. Oakland, CA: National Economic Development and Law Center. Shonkoff, J.P. and Phillips, D. (2000). From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The science of early child development. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Pre-K Now (no date). Fact Sheet: The Benefits of High-Quality Pre-K. Washington, DC: Pre-K Now. Accessed January 29. 2009 at http://www.preknow.org/advocate/factsheets/benefits.cfm. Rosebrook, V. (2006). Research Indicates Intergenerational Interactions Enhance Young Children’s Personal/Social Skills. Together. Washington, DC. Generations United (2008). Intergenerational Shared Sites: Saving Dollars While Making Sense. Washington, DC. Author Generations United (2008). The 2008 Intergenerational Shared Site Best Practice Awards: Showcasing Organizations that Successfully Unite the Generations Under One Roof. Washington, DC. Author Department of Health and Human Services. (1995). Co-located intergenerational activities in Department of Health and Human Services’ Programs. (Office of the Inspector General, ADF-IM-92-12). Washington, DC. American Community Survey. US Census Bureau.2005. Washington, DC. Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the AFCARS Report Preliminary FY 2006 Estimates as of January 2008 (Washington DC: 2008). Available online at http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/tar/report14.pdf This figure was calculated based on the Federal share of the 2000 average monthly foster care maintenance payment, which as estimated at $545 (2000 Green Book, Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives) California’s Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment Program, providing a permanency option for children in appropriate, long-term foster care placements with relative caregivers, first became effective on January 1, 2000. National Academy of Social Insurance (February 2008). Social Security An Essential Asset and Insurance Protection for All. Washington, DC. Author. Snyder, A.R., Mclaughlin, D.K., Coleman, A.J. “Grandparent-Headed Households with Children: Poverty and Intergenerational Income Sharing.” Presented at the 2006 Population Association of America annual meetings in Los Angeles, and currently under review at Journal of Gerontology Social Sciences.
Reno, V.P. & Lavery, J. (January 2009). Strengthening Social Security for Vulnerable Groups. Washington, DC: National Academy of Social Insurance. Sass, S., Munnell, A.H. & Eachruth, A. (2007) The Social Security Fix-It Book. Boston, MA: The Center for Retirement Research, Boston College. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Adminstiration on Aging. (2008). A Profile of Older Americans: 2008. Washington, DC: Author. National Governors Association Centers for Best Practice. (2006). Fast Facts: Civic Engagement and Older Americans Volunteerism. Washington, DC: Author. Peter D. Hart Research Associates. (August 2003). The New Face of Retirement: An Ongoing Survey of American Attitudes on Aging. San Francisco, CA: Civic Ventures. Independent Sector. (2002). Engaging Youth in Lifelong Service. Washington, DC: Author. The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2005). Making what difference? How intergenerational programs help children and families. Baltimore, MD: Author. Butts, D. (2003). “Intergenerational Service Learning and Volunteering.”Philanthropy Across the Generations. Edited by Burlingame, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Report to the President Human Services Transportation Coordination Executive Order 13330. (2005). United We Ride. Accessed 4/13/2009 www.unitedweride.gov/1_866_ENG_HTML.htm Health Resources and Services Administration. US Department of Health and Human Services. 2009. Washington, DC. Available at www.hhs.gov/recovery/hrsa/healthcentergrants.html.
FAMILY ECONOMIC SUCCESS
Nearly one in five children grows up in poverty and increasing numbers of children and families face hardship in the current economic crisis. Efforts that combat job losses, increases earning and invest in income support programs directly benefit children, families and older adults in poverty and at the margins.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Opportunities
Financial Assistance to lowincome families —$3 billion for TANF Emergency Contingency Fund —$14 billion for one-time Social Security Economic Recovery Payment in 2009 of $250 for retirees, veterans, and people with disabilities — financial incentives for states to make programs accessible to more lowwage workers An additional $2 billion in child care funding under the Child Care and Development Block Grant to help low-income working families pay for child care $3.95 billion for Workforce Investment Act training and employment services (funds to localities for job training, and employment services for dislocated workers, youth, and adults) $120 million for Senior Community Service Employment for part-time employment pathways to economic self-sufficiency for older individuals and families Transportation infrastructure funding
FY 2010 Budget Opportunities
Transitional jobs and career pathway programs Increased investments in YouthBuild, expanding opportunities for disadvantaged young people to complete high school, learn valuable skills, and build affordable housing; job training support for exoffenders returning to their communities Increased funding for public transit to support commuters, improve air quality, and reduce greenhouse gases
Upcoming national discussion by the Administration and Congress on the future of the Social Security Program Workforce Investment Act reauthorization expected in the 111th Congress and consideration of intergenerational training and workforce opportunities Exploration of joint programming and blended funding across FTA (Job Access and Reverse Commute Grant) programs and community development initiatives (CDBG)
Poverty reduction Increasing income for lowincome individuals and families Assistance to families in overcoming obstacles to keeping good jobs and meeting the needs of their children and other family members Support for under-skilled persons and persons laid off because of economic downturn in competing for new jobs created by public investments Give priority to funding Senior Community Service employment programs that offer supports to children and families Improve transportation to and from jobs
CAREGIVING, FAMILY STRENGTHENING AND SUPPORT
Intergenerational caregiving of all kinds is on the rise. If not for grandparents and other relative caregivers, millions of children would be denied the opportunity to remain in stable, loving homes.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Opportunities
An additional $2 billion in child care funding under the Child Care and Development Block Grant to help low-income working families pay for child care
FY 2010 Budget Opportunities
Development of regulations and policy guidance for Fostering Connections to Success and Improving Adoptions Act and utilizing opportunity to apply intergenerational lens to array of child welfare programs and services Scheduled reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) opportunity to strengthen respite care; continuing efforts on appropriations to fund Lifespan Respite Care Act Increased support for National Family Caregiver Support Program, which can provides information, counseling, support services and respite to grandparents caring for grandchildren
Every child has a safe, nurturing and permanent family Assistance to families in overcoming obstacles to keeping good jobs and meeting the needs of their children and other family members Guarantee child care assistance to low-income families, including grandfamilies Make workplace policies and practices more flexible (e.g., family and medical leave; intergenerational shared sites and resources) for working parents and grandfamilies
Maintenance of additional investment in child care funding
Investments in the health and wellbeing of all generations improves the lives of individuals, their families, and communities, as well as increases worker productivity and reduces the need and cost for health care interventions at all ages.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Opportunities
$87 billion in federal Medicaid matching funds FMAP – the federal match for Medicaid to help pay for health care for families struggling during the economic crisis and help states facing budget shortfalls
FY 2010 Budget Opportunities
Access to affordable, highquality, comprehensive, culturally sensitive health and mental health care services for all generations, especially low income families and children
Establishment of a reserve fund of more than $630 billion over 10 years to finance health care system reform $73 million to improve access to and quality of health care in rural areas by strengthening regional and local partnerships, expanded communitybased prevention efforts and modernization of the health care infrastructure in rural areas
National health care reform agenda provides opportunities for intergenerational partnerships and shared sites/resources as efficient and cost-effective vehicles
$155 million to help create 126 new community health centers across the country to help people in need access primary and preventive health care, creating some 5,000 jobs in the process $19 billion for health information technology and $1 billion for comparative effectiveness research
Older adult volunteers provide valuable assistance to Head Start, Early Head Start, Pre-K child care and K-12 programs to help children, especially those from families with low incomes, develop the skills they need to achieve success in school and beyond.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Opportunities
$13 billion additional funding for Title I including $3 billion for school improvements to finance the additional academic support and learning opportunities to help disadvantaged students progress along with their classmates Increased funding for IDEA Parts B, C and Section 619 (Preschool) Increased funding for education and for community service initiatives Increased funding for Education of Homeless Children and Youth $40 billion in state stabilization funds to help avert education cuts and given to states in exchange for a commitment to begin advancing education reforms; $8.8 billion for other key services, including school modernization; and additional funds for school construction
FY 2010 Budget Opportunities
Incentives and supports for States to build comprehensive, coordinated, highquality early childhood “Zero to Five” systems, building on the early childhood investments in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Investments in school systems and non-profit organizations with demonstrated track records of success in raising student achievement and in implementing new innovative approaches through the “Innovation Fund, ” that will include support for “Promise Neighborhoods,” modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone Scaled-up support for successful models for turning around low-achieving schools Investments in efforts to strengthen teacher and principal preparation programs
Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act potential for increased focus on intergenerational approaches Policy language related to parental role and involvement should include grandparents and other relatives raising children in addition to other guardians
Learning opportunities support healthy brain development and functioning. Support for education and other initiatives that close achievement gaps, improve successful early and later learning, and boost high school completion Expand service learning efforts in schools that involve older adults as teachers and mentors Increase multigenerational learning opportunities In retrofitting or building new schools, give priority to projects which utilize effective and cost-saving shared site/shared resources approach Retool teacher preparation, recruitment, retention and rewards and support programs that attract and train retired persons to assist in schools Policy development and support to improve teacher preparation, recruitment, and retention
CIVIC AND COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT
Younger and older people are proven resources for their communities, bringing volunteer and paid assistance and expertise to address community issues and strengthen community ties.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Opportunities
$201 million to support expansion of AmeriCorps state and national and AmeriCorps Vista programs, including initiatives as part of Faith-based, urban and community efforts $1 billion in additional Community Development Block Grant Funding for some 1,200 state and local governments to invest in their own community development priorities
FY 2010 Budget Opportunities
Funding that sets AmeriCorps on a path to expand from current 75,000 slots to 250,000 Creation of a new Social Innovation Fund charged with testing new approaches, leveraging resources and scaling up researchproven programs Expansion and improvement of Senior Corps to tap experience of “baby boomers” Additional resources for Learn and Serve America
Implementation of the newly reauthorized Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and expanded national service programs CNCS development of new strategic plan to guide efforts beginning in 2011 –opportunity to expand focus on innovation, intergenerational efforts and shared site/resources approaches
Surrounding children and youth with the opportunities, resources, supports, and role models they need to become successful and contributing citizens Recognizing and engaging local opportunities for welldefined neighborhoodbased family strengthening efforts aimed at improving results for children and families facing economic and social disadvantage Increased opportunities for intergenerational engagement to achieve results by engaging young and old in meaningful civic life
Better information required to correctly assess needs and impact of programs and services, as well as to refine existing and develop new policies and programs to benefit children, families, and older adults.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Opportunities
$1 billion funding for Census effort
FY 2010 Budget Opportunities
$4 billion of additional funding in budget proposal
Ongoing discussions in academic and policy circles about restructuring poverty measure, population categories, etc. Data requests in scheduled reauthorizations and agency reporting in areas that provide support for intergenerational programs and services
Fragmented and differing funding and eligibility criteria for services and supports across agencies and programs are major problems and require national focus to reduce barriers Updating poverty measure Ensure good data to help make good decisions with an accurate 2010 census to provide low-income population and communities their fair share of public resources and representation Maintain Census collection of data on children in relative care, including grandfamilies, and expand data collection to include information on other relatives raising children Improve data and reporting on grandfamilies across programs
Broad funding measure does not address specific barriers
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