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Family Economic Mobility

Increasing family economic mobility, school readiness, and reducing intergenerational poverty

Photo of smiling family

ACF supports state and locally-driven efforts, reforms, and innovations to address multi-generational poverty through the integration of welfare, workforce, and early childhood education programs.  States and local human services agencies are striving to produce efficiencies with existing resources and meet the needs of low-income families by providing them with the tools to become self-sufficient.

ACF supports efforts to address the needs of low-income, vulnerable children and their parents together to help break the cycle of poverty.  These holistic and integrated approaches help families achieve economic stability, upward mobility, and healthy child development.  ACF elevates state and local solutions that have helped transition low-income families from federal assistance and give them the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.

Promising state and local strategies:

  • Ensure families have access to the economic and social supports needed to provide the parents with pathways to jobs and ensure that their children meet their full potential.
  • Support linkages between high quality educational services for children and workforce development services for their parents.
  • Support programmatic efforts to help parents gain the skills, knowledge, and tools to support their child’s development.
  • Help families build social capital that can support upward economic mobility.
  • Focus on improving outcomes and results for the parent and their children, including increasing employment, school readiness, and reducing intergenerational poverty .


Federal to State and Local Partnerships

We support and promote innovative public-private partnerships so that government agencies can work together effectively with national, regional, state, local, and philanthropic partners to discuss local challenges, needs, and share solutions to increase family economic mobility, school readiness and reduce poverty.

ACF works closely with:

  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • other federal agencies


Whole Family Approach to Jobs

ORO’s Region 1 Office, the National Conference of States Legislatures (NCSL), New England states and philanthropy formed a partnership in 2017. Its goal was to help lead­ers in the New England improve family well-being while also increasing eco­nomic security through employment. Two years later, the six states identified state and regional priorities and working independently and together to address them through legislative action, gubernatorial leadership, state agency reforms and public-private partnerships.

The partnership –

  • doubled the philanthropic investment and engaged employers and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston;
  • led to 17 new state policies and legislation enacted; and
  • the National Conference of State Legislatures’ adoption of a national resolution to address benefits cliffs and work disincentives.

Read the report here.


2019 HHS State of the Department Address - ORO Highlights

  • In FY19, ORO’s top two accomplishments (Whole Family Approach to Jobs initiative and the convening of 900 stakeholders for the Child Care Roundtables) were highlighted and recognized in the State of the Department address by Secretary Azar.  Watch the address here.

Last Reviewed: October 23, 2020

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