What is Rural IMPACT?

Rural IMPACT logo - LIFT Community Action AgencyPresident Obama recognized that every child, no matter where they are born, should have an opportunity to succeed. In April, 2015 the White House Rural Council launched “Rural Impact”, a cross-agency effort to combat poverty and improve upward mobility in rural and tribal places. And in August, 2015 HHS announced a new demonstration project, Rural Integration Models for Parents and Children to Thrive (IMPACT), to help communities adopt a two-generation approach to addressing the needs of both vulnerable children and their parents, with the goal of increasing parents’ employment and education and improving the health and well-being of their children and families.

Often, programs are structured to serve either adults or children, rather than focusing on the entire family to improve outcomes. The Rural IMPACT Demonstration will help communities adopt a comprehensive, whole-family framework for addressing child poverty.
The Demonstration project was administered by HHS with support from the Community Action Partnership and the American Academy of Pediatrics and implemented in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Labor, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

LIFT CAA Chosen as One of Ten Demonstration Sites

LIFT CAA was chosen to be one of ten sites from the White House Rural Council to address the challenges of rural child poverty bringing together federal agencies and public and private resources. The Rural IMPACT initiative program works with “focus” families within the Early Head Start program to test strategies to increase self-sufficiency through a two-generational model and identify “best practices”. While the children receive direct services through Early Head Start, the program works with families to address barriers and gaps to services and help families attain employment, educational and/or vocational goals as well as child and family wellbeing to achieve greater self-sufficiency.

A group of 40+ community partners and advocates was convened who participate regularly on the Rural IMPACT Community Partner Advisory group to keep the whole family, 2-Gen model moving forward.

The Rural IMPACT program addresses concurrently the needs of both vulnerable children and their parents with a goal of increasing parents’ employment, educational and vocational goals and the well-being of their children and families. If the entire family is successful, the child will be successful.

The program is designed to leverage technology, forge new partnerships, and explore new models of program delivery, to ensure that all children have an opportunity to succeed. It is built around the thought that if communities are assisted in re-aligning and restructuring services to serve the whole family and collectively work to intentionally and simultaneously increase the capacity of children and parents, then rural child poverty will be reduced.

What is a 2-Generational (2-Gen) Approach?

The 2-Generational approach focus on creating opportunities and addressing the needs of children and adults. This approach recognizes that families are all different and families are able to define themselves.

LIFT Community Action Agency - Rural IMPACT 2 Gen Approach

The Child-Parent approach focuses primarily on the child but is moving towards a two-generational approach on services and opportunities for the parents as well. The Parent-Child approach focuses primarily on the parent but is moving towards a two-generational approach on services and opportunities for the child as well. However, the Whole-Family approach focuses equally on services and opportunities for children and adults simultaneously. ~ Ascend – The Aspen Institute

For more information about the Rural IMPACT program or to participate on the Community Partner Advisory group, please call (580) 326-3351.

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