Two Generation Approach to Family Health and Well Being

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Every year since the Annie E. Casey Foundation released
its first national KIDS COUNT Data Book a quarter century
ago, it’s been the same bad news for Georgia. This state trails
most of the nation in almost every indicator of child and
family well-being.

And, like much of the South, Georgia
contends with higher levels of poverty than the rest of the
nation, along with lower levels of educational achievement
and physical health. Even as Georgia has improved from
48th to 42nd over the past 25 years, the numbers are still
disappointing.

Though it’s easy to become numb to the dismal statistics,
it is essential to the future well-being of this state that we
measure what matters. By looking at multi-decade trends
we can uncover a more complete understanding of where
Georgia has been, where it is, and where it’s going. This
snapshot examines trends in:

  • low birthweight,
  • teen births,
  • births to mothers with less than
  • 12 years of education, and
  • first-time mothers age 20 years or older with 12 years of education.

These key indicators serve as predictors for future health,
education, economic, and community outcomes. They
also provide a snapshot of infant health and well-being in
Georgia. Each of these indicators is related to the other
three, as well as others, such as reading proficiency, healthy
development, and on-time high-school graduation.
If we are to remedy the chronic poverty and close the gaps
in educational achievement, workforce preparedness, and
physical health that are hindering Georgia’s potential to
prosper, we must intervene with two-generation solutions.
The two-generation approach focuses on improving
conditions for vulnerable children and their parents,
together. It’s a family approach—a family connection

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Two Generation Approach to Family Health and Well Being