Ascend at the Aspen Institute Publishes Recommendations to Advance Family Well-Being

September 15, 2021

The 2Gen approach has been embraced by leaders and scaled at community, state, and national levels.

Contact: Brendan Creamer
Communications Manager, Ascend at the Aspen Institute

Washington, DC  Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s recently released report – State of the Field: Two-Generation Approaches to Family Well-Beingshowcases the two-generation (2Gen) approach’s accomplishments over the past decade and presents immediate opportunities to improve families’ educational success, economic security and health.

The 2Gen approach intentionally and simultaneously works with children and the adults in their lives to build family well-being. By working with families to solve problems, the 2Gen mindset provides a holistic, responsive model to address inequities and provide the essential experiences all people need to survive and thrive.

Across the country, the 2Gen approach has been embraced by leaders and scaled at community, state, and national levels.  Ascend has constructed a multi-sector National Network of almost 450 organizations that are implementing and advancing 2Gen programs and policies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Currently, the 2Gen field serves more than 10 million children and families and has garnered more than $300 million in public and private funding to support 2Gen approaches.

“We are in a moment of unprecedented energy and need for bold change,” said Anne Mosle, Vice President of the Aspen Institute and Executive Director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute. “The coronavirus has devastated families, exacerbated complex, overlapping challenges, and compounded decades of inequities. After a national realization of racial oppression in the U.S., many communities are demanding justice and the 2Gen approach offers a proven, equitable, and family-centered model to address unfair consequences of institutional practices and pave new pathways for all families to prosper.”

This publication highlights opportunities for public, private, and nonprofit sectors to align systems and address shortcomings of current policies. From enacting a universal paid family and medical leave policy, building more holistic parental mental health screenings, to adapting postsecondary education pathways to support student parents, there is tremendous need for systems to solve problems with families and improve public good for families, communities, and the country. Funding added by the recently enacted American Rescue Plan offers the opportunity to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic while also deconstructing barriers that perpetuate inequities and expanding opportunities for all families.

The 2Gen report serves as a blueprint for moving families forward and includes useful insights, recommendations, and accomplishments from the past decade.


Ascend at the Aspen Institute is a hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to our work – focusing on children and their parents together – and we bring a gender and racial equity lens to our analysis. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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