SVP Tucson, All We See is POTENTIAL
We believe there is even more potential to leverage SVP’s unique model in the Tucson community. Over the past year, the SVP board and a group of partners have been determining how SVP Tucson can increase its community impact. Through research, which included evaluating how the SVP model is evolving in other cities and assessing the need and opportunity here in Tucson, the partnership has set a vision to establish a Community Impact Goal. This strategic shift challenges us to measure SVP’s success not just through the growth and success of our non-profit partners, but to hold ourselves accountable to community-level impact, realizing meaningful and measurable outcomes in the lives of Tucson’s children.
In 2019, following a period of research and stakeholder meetings, SVP made a commitment to build a robust and vibrant community of nonprofits that will create measurable 2-Generation (2-Gen) change. 2-Gen is an innovative approach that focuses on both parents and their children, so that together they may unleash their full potential.
Our Community in Crisis
It’s no secret that the challenges in our community are growing. With every news story and research report our concern grows. Here are the sobering facts:
• Nearly 30 percent of children in Pima County live in poverty
• Arizona ranks 42nd nationwide for the economic well-being of children
• 90 percent of brain development takes place in the first five years of a child’s life
• Only 40 percent of 3 to 4-year-olds in Pima County are enrolled in early education
• 70 percent of adults in Pima County lack a postsecondary degree
Research shows that the well-being of parents is crucial to their children’s social-emotional, physical and economic well-being. At the same time, parents’ ability to succeed in school and the workplace is substantially affected by how well their children are doing.
Existing policies and programs often focus on one population or one generation at a time, limiting their effectiveness and the ability of families to move from poverty to opportunity. Here is another way to think about it, if a child goes to a high-quality preschool where he or she learns to read, but then goes home to parents who can’t read or are unavailable to read with their child, the impact of the early learning experience is diminished. Similarly, if a parent participates in a workforce training program but doesn’t have access to safe and affordable child care, he or she may not be able to accept or keep the job trained for.
This single-generation approach ignores the responsibilities and dependencies of parent-child relationships.
A 2-Gen approach creates opportunities for both children and the adults in their lives. With a 2-Gen approach, workforce development, adult education and parenting skill programs can be paired with child care assistance programs, literacy, social emotional learning and trauma-based services for children. Evidence shows that doing so increases the value of both sets of services and leads to better outcomes for parents and children.
SVP will build a “community of nonprofits” that bridges the gap between the early childhood learning community and nonprofits focused on adult job attainment. This 2-Gen network will provide a continuum of services for families with young children, providing the intervention and learning opportunities children need, along with the resources parents need in order to stabilize their lives.
The 2-Gen approach to help families break the cycle of poverty is taking hold in states across the country yet is lacking any significant community effort in Southern Arizona. Some small-scale efforts have been attempted by nonprofits in Tucson but have not yet made significant community progress. The challenges these organizations face is real: 1) not having adequate resources to build or sustain their collaborative efforts and 2) the realization that many of the nonprofits that provide these services need capacity building in order to meet the need.
SVP Tucson is poised to address both of those issues by 1) building the capacity of nonprofits focused on early childhood education and/or adult workforce development, and 2) convening and organizing this community of nonprofits to identify and solve the challenges they experience in working together to serve the entire family.
Building Capacity for more Nonprofits
Beginning in 2020, SVP will increase the number of nonprofits we work with. Using our capacity building resources and the time, talent and expertise of our Partners, we stabilize, strength and scale nonprofits. Over the next three years, we will build our Partner resources and provide our proven, capacity building model to 6-10 nonprofits at a time. (Read our 10 Year Impact Report for an illustration of SVP’s capacity building results.)
Convene, Organize and Build a Community of 2-Gen Nonprofits
An effective 2-Gen approach takes coordination, and organization of nonprofits. Currently Tucson has a strong network of early childhood education providers that needs investment, and scaling, and on the other side we have a loose affiliation of nonprofits that provide education and work force development to adults. Neither is meeting the need – and no real coordination of services exists. Building on our established and trusted relationships, SVP will convene our nonprofit partners, and co-develop a plan to coordinate services between providers. SVP will serve as the backbone of this nonprofit network – providing resources, support, and accountability.