Two-generation (2Gen) approaches partner with families as equals, working intentionally and simultaneously in the lives of children and their caregivers together.

For more than 25 years, Friends of the Children has been impacting generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with professional mentors for 12+ years, no matter what. With our two-generation approach, we are leveraging our proven model to impact generational change for both youth and caregivers.

Read Our 2Gen Case Study

What is a Two-Generation Approach?

Two-generation (2Gen) approaches build family well-being by intentionally and simultaneously working with children and the adults in their lives together. As children, parents, and families grow and change across their lifespan, 2Gen approaches align opportunities to help families pursue their goals and thrive, optimizing each person’s potential along the way. The results are healthy children meeting developmental milestones, healthy parents with family-supporting jobs, and better-connected individuals able to participate in civic and family life.

Friends of the Children: 2Gen Approach

Caregivers have told us that what they need to achieve their hopes and dreams are people who believe in their power, potential and contributions. They've told us that trusting, long-term relationships with Friends empower change across generations – for both themselves and their children.

The youth and families we serve are resilient in the face of systemic and institutional barriers: systems that are inequitable, unfair and working against them at every turn. Those systems, and the resulting trauma they create, negatively impact both our youth and their caregivers, which is why Friends of the Children is adopting a two-generation approach.

Emerging research shows when a child does better, a parent does better and vice versa.

As we continue to build Core Assets, collaboratively set goals and empower youth to meet long-term outcomes, our 2Gen approach leverages the power of the Friend relationship with caregivers to support them to meet their own goals as caregivers. We do this by:

  • SUPPORTING caregivers to understand their child's needs and strengths
  • EQUIPPING caregivers with social and emotional learning skills
  • PROMOTING self-advocacy within complex systems, like education and child welfare
  • CONNECTING families to concrete supports, and
  • CREATING opportunity for peer-to-peer and community connections
FOTC Impact Report 2020 2 Gen Approach

2Gen Impact

Accountability for results is in the Friends of the Children DNA. After 12+ years with a Friend, we want caregivers to be able to say that their families are more stable, that their relationship with their child is stronger and that they see themselves as contributors with strong ties to the community.

In just two years since implementing our 2Gen approach, caregivers have reported that Friends of the children has helped them with:

  • Stronger family relationships (88%)
  • Improved understanding of how to support their child's school success (91%)
  • Systems navigation and advocacy (77%) and
  • Connections to resources that enrich and stabilize their family (92%).

According to the Harvard Business School of Oregon, every $1 invested in program youth returns $7 to the community. That $7 return on investment becomes almost $27 when siblings, classmates and the next generation are included in the equation.

Our model is real, and it works – for youth, for caregivers and for the next generation.