2Gen approach practice guidePublication details: Fitzroy, Vic. Brotherhood of St Laurence 2018Description: 137 pSubject(s): DDC classification:
- 372.21 TWO
January 2018 This is a work in progress and some sections are yet to be completed.
PDF avalible on f drive see library staff.
For future information contact: Dr Anita T Kochanoff, Senior Manager Early Years Development, Children Youth and Families Brotherhood of St Laurence
The desired outcome from the BSL’s work in the early years is to help children flourish and thrive by providing high-quality educational experiences and by enhancing parents1 capacity to be their child’s first educator and provide a rich home learning environment. This vision closely aligns with the BSL’s guiding objective to prevent and reduce poverty and exclusion from mainstream society. In particular, the 2 Generation (2Gen) Approach – described in this guide – reflects the strategic priorities of the BSL set out in its Strategic Plan 2015-2020, particularly its focus on the early years: “We will enhance opportunities for vulnerable children and families by improving delivery of and access to early intervention services for children and families in disadvantaged communities.” In recognition of strong evidence of the link between a child’s early years and the elimination of poverty, the BSL established an Early Years Transition Leadership Team (EYTLT) to advocate and progress work in this space. The EYTLT has developed a number of new approaches to improve its work with children and families experiencing disadvantage; much of this work was informed by the outcomes of programs that have been delivered by the BSL for families with young children, particularly at the Connie Benn Centre in Fitzroy. The development and implementation of a new ‘supported and intentional’ playgroup model at the BSL commenced from late 2013 and evolved over time. The approach is family centred and encompasses best practice in early learning as well as clearly focusing on building parents’ capacity as their child’s first teacher and supporting social connectedness. It is an early intervention model specifically for vulnerable and disadvantaged families. The key elements include supported intentional playgroups, home visits, peer support sessions, a dad’s playgroup and a digital education support program. Our research demonstrated that there is a need for intentional programs for mothers and children under three years that build the mother’s capacity to be their child’s first teacher (See Chapter 5) and that there is evidence of positive outcomes in this regard. However there is increasing evidence that this may not be enough to change a child’s life chances in the long term. The Aspen Institute and Annie E. Casey Foundation, two organisations in the USA that have supported several interventions using a two generation approach, argue that what is required is an holistic approach that simultaneously addresses issues for parents and children together. The fundamental issues that need to be addressed are: • The child’s early education and care • The parent’s economic participation and development of a career pathway • The learning relationship between the child and the parent which assists the parent in their role as their child’s first teacher and sets a foundation for ongoing learning for both. The 2Gen Approach that we are implementing focuses simultaneously on children and parents from the same family in these three critical intervention areas.