DWS Press Release
April 1, 2015

Policy Vision Set for Addressing Intergenerational Poverty
New 5- and 10-Year Plan Outlines First Key Outcomes

SALT LAKE CITY - â€‹Policy makers and community leaders now have a clearer picture of how to help Utah’s children stuck in intergenerational poverty, thanks to a new report issued today.

"Utah’s Plan for a Stronger Future: Five­ and Ten­Year Plan to Address Intergenerational Poverty" outlines clear benchmarks the state can meet to help thousands of Utah families unlock their full economic potential. The plan focuses on outcomes at the five­ and ten­year mark in four key focus areas: early childhood development, education, health and economic stability. The outcomes are specifically geared toward addressing circumstances that our research has shown increases children’s risk of being impoverished when they grow up.

"For the first time, we have a clear policy direction," said Executive Director Jon Pierpont. "We’re using the combined resources of the Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission members to apply the best research to this issue and outline steps moving forward. The key is community engagement by partners at all levels to really make a difference for these families."

Since the passage of the 2012 Intergenerational Poverty Mitigation act by the Utah Legislature, Workforce Services has been actively engaged in understanding and addressing intergenerational poverty. The 2012 law created the Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission as the chief body to vet policy solutions and make proposals to the legislature.

Over the next 12 months, the commission and it's partners will communicate this plan to key stakeholders throughout the state, and build collaborative strategies to meet the benchmarks outlined for the next decade.

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Additional material below: Statements from committee members

Statements from members of the Intergenerational Poverty Advisory Committee:

Bishop H. David Burton, Intergenerational Poverty Committee Chair

"We have the roadmap, where we need to go and the things we need to do, and we have base data that gives the direction. What we need to do now is generate the public and private compassion, and passion, to go forward and do what we need to do to intercept the cycle of intergenerational poverty. It is going to take the passion of the public, legislators, ecclesiastic and government figures, and communities to work together and build a far far better community and future for Utah."

Mayor Joe Piccolo, Price, Utah

"The plan provides the ability for local governments to manage intergenerational poverty in their own areas. It is invaluable. The goals set in this plan need to be in our general planning sessions. I hope the awareness of this plan will bring local communities and the general population a knowledge about intergenerational poverty, which will hopefully build a thought process that will lead to creating actions. If not, this problem will become monumental in our state."

Honorable Paul Lyman, Juvenile Court Judge, Sixth Judicial District

"Every juvenile I work with comes before me one at a time. I believe it is absolutely essential that we help them one at a time to solve their problems. We need to do the same thing with this initiative and help families one at a time get out of this cycle of intergenerational poverty. When we help a child and youth escape poverty, we stop the cycle and allow future generations to contribute a lot more to society."

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