United Way of Central Indiana publishes Great Families 2020 results

Summaries of the four-year initiative show that the Two Generation Approach is an innovative model to address family instability
United Way to present Great Families 2020 full reports at its virtual 2Gen Summit April 29

INDIANAPOLIS – In 2016, United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) was awarded a $7 million federal matching grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, for its innovative plan to address family instability by using the promising practice of the Two Generation Approach (2Gen). Four years later, that initiative – Great Families 2020 – has concluded and key findings released today indicate that model of serving the needs of children and their parents together is, in fact, a promising approach to helping families reach their full potential.
Championed by Ascend at the Aspen Institute, 2Gen builds family well-being by intentionally working with children and the adults in their lives at the same time. Goals for a 2Gen Approach are healthy parents with family-supporting jobs, healthy children meeting developmental milestones, and better-connected individuals able to participate in civic and family life.
Great Families 2020
United Way officially launched Great Families 2020 with the selection of eight grant recipients in five high-need Marion County neighborhoods. Modeling the 2Gen Approach, grantees formed new partnerships to integrate early childhood education programs for children, financial stability for adults, and health and social capital services for the whole family.
Great Families 2020 grant recipients were Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (CAFE), East Tenth United Methodist Children and Youth Center, Edna Martin Christian Center, Englewood Christian Church, Hawthorne Community Center, John Boner Neighborhood Centers, Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY) and the Martin Luther King Community Center.
In total, 734 families (789 adults and 1,121 children) enrolled in Great Families 2020. On average, most participants were women, in between the ages of 25-34, with 75% earning a household income of $10,100 (25% reported no annual income). 62% of participants were African American or Black, 22% Hispanic/Latinx, and 18% Caucasian.
Great Families 2020: The Results
United Way partnered with Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy at the IU Public Policy Institute and the Polis Center at IUPUI to evaluate Great Families 2020 based on outcomes in early childhood development, employment pathways, economic assets, health and well-being, and social capital. Researchers conducted surveys, interviews, and focus groups with participants and community partners.
Overall, Great Families 2020 families reported meaningful improvements in their households:

  • Average monthly incomes increased.
  • Parents and caregivers reported improvements in physical and mental health.
  • Parents and caregivers said they were better prepared to provide care for their children.
  • Young children participated in high quality early childhood education to prepare them for kindergarten.
  • Families were better able to work through challenges they experienced together.
  • Families were more likely to engage in their community.
    “Four years ago, United Way recognized that far too many families in our community were facing multiple challenges at the same time, under the same roof, and we needed an innovative way to address that need,” said Ann Murtlow, president and CEO of United Way of Central Indiana. “Today, I’m proud of our United Way team and the Great Families 2020 partners for their hard work to help families achieve success in this pilot. With the results in, we’re confident that 2Gen is more than a promising practice – it’s how we address upward family mobility now and in the future.”

    Great Families 2020: The Future
    The practice of 2Gen and what United Way has learned through its work with Great Families 2020 will be incorporated in the second installment of Two Generations: One Future, a 2Gen Summit on April 29, 2021. Leaders, practitioners, and experts in the fields of human services, workforce and education will share information and spark discussion on the impact of 2Gen on families living in poverty. Donna Thompson-Bennett, Executive Director of the National Parent Leadership Institute, will serve as keynote speaker for the session. The virtual event is free and registration is open to the public.
    Full Reports
    The comprehensive report on Great Families 2020 by the Corporation of National Community Service is available on the AmeriCorps Evidence Exchange.
    The IU Public Policy Institute has published three key briefs on Great Families 2020:

  • Research Page
  • The Impact of Great Families 2020 on Organizations
  • Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Financial Stability
  • Promoting Policies and Principles to Advance 2Gen Efforts
    The Polis Center at IUPUI has published outcomes of Great Families 2020 from each of the five areas/neighborhoods and a data dashboard that houses the aggregate results for the program across all neighborhood sites: Far Eastside, Near Eastside, Near Westside, Northeast side, Northwest/Midtown, and data dashboard.




    United Way of Central Indiana is a community of donors, advocates, volunteers, and partners who fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. United Way invites all members of our community to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering to improve lives in Central Indiana. Visit www.uwci.org to learn more.
    The Corporation for National and Community Service is the federal agency for volunteering, service, and civic engagement. The agency engages millions of Americans in citizen service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the nation’s volunteering and service efforts. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.
    The Center for Research on Inclusion & Social Policy (CRISP) was created to address complex social issues and the effects of social policy through applied, data-driven, and translational research. CRISP analyzes and disseminates community-relevant research about social disparities and policy issues. The Center is housed within the IU Public Policy Institute (PPI), which also supports the Center for Health & Justice Research (CHJR), the Manufacturing Policy Initiative (MPI), and the Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (IACIR).
    The Polis Center–a unit in the IU School of Informatics and Computing-IUPUI—works with community partners in Indiana and beyond to develop innovative place-based policies and practices for healthier and more resilient communities. It supports disaster mitigation, population health management, community development, quality-of-life efforts, and more. Polis Center experts use geospatial technologies to integrate, manage, and visualize the rapidly growing information on the places where we live and work. The center helps organizations understand gaps in service, trends, assets, and ways to build capacity. Visit https://polis.iupui.edu/ and https://www.savi.org/.
    United Way of Central Indiana
    Jessica French | c 317.292.5608 | jessica.french@uwci.org
    Bryn Eudy | c 812.390.1274 | beudy@voxglobal.com
    IU Public Policy Institute
    Leslie Wells | o 317.278.9670 | wellsle@iu.edu
    The Polis Center
    Allegra East | o 317.278.4946 | c 317.410.8646 | aleast@iupui.edu