January 10, 2020
County pilot programs across the state begin to see successes in addressing intergenerational povert
SALT LAKE CITY (Jan 10, 2020) — Now in its eighth year, Utah intergenerational poverty initiatives have seen progress throughout the state; most recently through county pilot programs. The Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission and Advisory Committee met yesterday afternoon to discuss these changes and look to the future.
“I’m thrilled about the incredible progress taking place in our pilot counties,” said Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, chair of the Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission. “Our commission is anxiously looking forward to these programs continuing to make improvements to the lives of those experiencing intergenerational poverty, and we’re uplifted by what this could mean for our state as a whole moving forward.”
Seven counties across the state, ranging from urban to rural, received a grant two years ago as part of the pilot group to create their own innovative programs to address intergenerational poverty. Two of these counties reported on their success in yesterday’s meeting. These programs were each created to meet the unique needs of individuals in their communities. They range from coordinating and centralizing resources from partner organizations to providing pathways to education after individuals interact with the criminal justice system. After experiencing success with these programs, many of the counties are dedicated to continuing their efforts despite the end of their grant.
Additionally, research efforts will be expanded to better understand and address intergenerational poverty through the work of numerous state research partners. The 2019 annual report revealed that the number of individuals experiencing intergenerational poverty has decreased since the initiative began by providing the first progress analysis of the initial research cohort from 2012. The report also highlights success in closing the graduation gap with 74% of students experiencing intergenerational poverty graduating in 2018 and an increase in child readiness for kindergarten through preschool programs.
“The momentum and collaboration we’re seeing right now in Utah around intergenerational poverty is critically important for the lives of children and families whose reality this is,” said Tracy Gruber, senior advisor to the commission. “The more counties and leaders that come together and the more insight we gather through expanded research efforts, the greater the impact this initiative will continue to have on the lives of Utahns.”
For more information on the initiative please visit intergenerationalpoverty.utah.