Introduction

United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) established the Great Families 2020 (GF2020) model in 2016. The goal of GF2020 is to improve financial stability among families and educational outcomes of children in Indianapolis by using a two-generational (2Gen) approach to service delivery.

The family coaching process involves developing a relationship with a family coach and creating a Family Success Plan (FSP) that helps the family set and maintain goals in the five areas of the 2Gen model—high quality early childhood education, economic assets, postsecondary and employment pathways, social capital, and health and well-being. Additionally, GF2020 connects families to services in those five areas that are provided by participating subgrantee agencies. 

Study Goals

The goals of this evaluation are to:

  1. Examine the implementation of the GF2020 service delivery process and model (implementation study)
  2. Assess the extent to which the GF2020 model is associated with improvements in outcomes of the GF2020 model to achieve short-term outcomes during the first six months to two years of enrolling families (outcomes study)

Research Questions

The evaluation includes both implementation and impact research questions. The research questions include:

  • Implementation questions:
    • To what extent is GF2020 being implemented with fidelity?
    • According to GF2020 staff perceptions, has collaboration between sites and partner/contracted service providers and agencies improved?
    • What factors affect GF2020 participant recruitment, enrollment, and retention? 
    • In what ways has programming differed by site? 
    • How have initial implementation plans changed after program initiation? 
    • To what extent do participants perceive opportunities and short-term and long-term benefits of the following programmatic component 
    • What participant characteristics are associated with perceptions of GF2020 programming? 
    • To what extent do subgrantee staff perceive short-term and long-term benefits of the programmatic components? 
    • For programmatic components that are perceived to be most beneficial for participants, what is necessary for proper implementation? 
    • What is the level of parent/caregiver and child participation at each program site? 
    • What barriers exist for consistent data collection and entry? 
    • What lessons/takeaways have grantees and subgrantees learned about 2Gen programming generally? 
    • What perspectives can GF2020 provide for UWCI’S ongoing local programming? 
  • Outcomes questions:
    • What proportion of GF2020 children are performing at age-appropriate functioning? 
    • To what extent do GF2020 participants differ from Centers For Working Families (CWF) participants on short-term outcomes? 
    • To what extent do GF2020 participant outcomes change from baseline to follow-up? 
    • Which GF2020 program components are associated with parent outcomes? 
    • To what extent do participant outcomes vary by site? 
    • Which GF2020 parent characteristics or program components are associated with child outcomes? 

Findings

The implementation study found the following: 

  • GF2020 is largely being implemented with fidelity across three core components of early childhood education, economic assets, and employment coaching, with subgrantees varying slightly in how they implement the model. 
  • More than half (60%) of the participating adults are bundling CWF services, and financial counseling continues to be the most popular CWF service. 
  • Subgrantees have improved data collection and entry, primarily due to continued technical support from UWCI, though capturing and documenting data for referrals and social capital events can be improved. 
  • Coaching is largely perceived as an integral component of GF2020. Frequent engagement with participants and flexibility of engagement approaches help to retain families and ensure services are appropriate. 
  • More families set and work toward their goals, though the type and number of goals differ by subgrantee. These variations can be attributed to differences in participants’ abilities to reach goals and the nature of short-term versus long-term goals.
  • The outcomes study found the following:
    • Programmatic components, including length of coaching interactions and referrals were associated with improvements in some parent outcomes. Adults with longer coaching interactions, referrals from a GF2020 coach, and who attended a referral appointment were linked to better parent outcomes.
    • Despite slight variations in GF2020 implementation, site-level differences did not affect participant outcomes. However, key programmatic aspects—such as the proportion of referrals to health activities, length of coaching interactions, and perceived quality of collaboration—matter for participant outcomes. Participants at sites with higher levels of perceived collaboration experienced improvements in nurturing, attachment, and social support. When accounting for site-level differences, the average length of coaching was also positively and significantly associated with nurturing, attachment, and change in income
    • Sociodemographic characteristics—like race, ethnicity, baseline income, and age—did not affect improvements in income. This indicates that GF2020 did not contribute to disparate outcomes related to income. At the same time, being Hispanic/Latinx was associated with greater concrete supports.

For more information, download the report materials.

 full report

Report brief
 

Full report

Full Report

Further information

Program/Intervention
2 Generation Service Delivery Model
Implementing Organization
John Boner Neighborhood Ctr, E. 10th United Methodist Children & Youth Ctr, Englewood Christian Church, Edna Martin Christian Ctr, MLK Jr Community Ctr, Hawthorne Social Service Assn, Marion CTY Commission on Youth, Community Alliance of the Far Eastside
Intermediary(s)

United Way of Central Indiana

AmeriCorps Program(s)
Social Innovation Fund
Age(s) Studied
0-5 (Early childhood)
18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
Focus Population(s)/Community(s)
Schools
Nonprofits
Urban
Low-income
Outcome Category
Financial literacy
School readiness
K-12 success
Nonprofit development
Employment
Study Type(s)
Outcomes
Implementation
Study Design(s)
Quasi-experimental (QED)
Level of Evidence
Preliminary
Researcher/Evaluator
Indiana University Public Policy Institute and The Polis Center
Published Year
2020
Study Site Location (City/County)
Indianapolis
Study Site Location (State)
Indiana