Ascend at The Aspen Institute is committed to creating opportunities for both children and parents to move up the economic ladder together, sustaining a legacy of economic security and educational success across generations. The Ascend Programs profiles include a range of emerging and established two-generation programs from across the United States that provide opportunities for and meet the needs of vulnerable children and their parents together. Ascend seeks to build a network and political will, elevate effective two-generation solutions, and spark and expand new conversation around two-generation programs.
Two-generation approaches can be found along a continuum. Whole-family approaches focus equally and intentionally on services and opportunities for the parent and the child. Child-parent approaches focus first or primarily on the child but are moving toward a two-generation approach and also include services and opportunities for the parent. Parent-child approaches focus first or primarily on the parent but are moving toward a two-generation approach and also include services and opportunities for children. There are three key components of the two-generation approach: Education, Economic Supports, and Social Capital. Health and well-being is an emerging component.