Casey Invests in Multiyear Effort to Support Young Parents and Their Kids

Posted January 11, 2021
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Young parents with their child

The Unit­ed States is home to an esti­mat­ed 4.5 mil­lion youth and young adult par­ents, most of whom are Black or Lati­no. The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is work­ing with part­ners in four cities — Austin, Char­lotte, Mia­mi and San­ta Fe — as well as sev­er­al nation­al orga­ni­za­tions to bet­ter sup­port these young par­ents and their children.

Called Expand­ing Oppor­tu­ni­ties for Young Fam­i­lies, this mul­ti­year effort aims to bol­ster the edu­ca­tion­al and eco­nom­ic suc­cess of young parents.

Young peo­ple who become par­ents by their mid-20s often face unique chal­lenges that make it hard to earn, learn and raise a fam­i­ly,” says Rosa Maria Cas­tañe­da, a senior asso­ciate at the Casey Foun­da­tion who man­ages invest­ments in two-gen­er­a­tion approach­es. This effort is about under­stand­ing and address­ing those chal­lenges and help­ing young par­ents achieve the goals they have for them­selves and their children.”

Five Goals of Expand­ing Oppor­tu­ni­ties for Young Families

Expand­ing Oppor­tu­ni­ties for Young Fam­i­lies has five pri­ma­ry objectives:

  1. tap into young par­ents’ desire to suc­ceed and help them engage in lead­er­ship roles with­in their communities;
  2. help youth-serv­ing pro­grams bet­ter engage with and sup­port young parents;
  3. strength­en young par­ents’ path­ways to oppor­tu­ni­ty, includ­ing work­force train­ing and post­sec­ondary education;
  4. improve access to ben­e­fits that meet basic needs, includ­ing ear­ly child care; and
  5. expand coach­ing, peer sup­port and oth­er strate­gies that help young par­ents suc­cess­ful­ly nav­i­gate life’s challenges.

The Casey Foun­da­tion and its nation­al part­ners — Advo­cates for Youth, Amer­i­can Pub­lic Human Ser­vices Asso­ci­a­tion Cen­ter for Law and Social Pol­i­cy, Child Trends and Nation­al Crit­ten­ton — are pro­vid­ing tech­ni­cal assis­tance to a col­lab­o­ra­tive that is dri­ving local efforts in each of the four par­tic­i­pat­ing cities. This assis­tance is designed to help sites strength­en their lead­er­ship and orga­niz­ing efforts; iden­ti­fy sys­temic bar­ri­ers; advance pol­i­cy solu­tions; improve access to edu­ca­tion­al and skill-build­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties; and posi­tion young par­ents for careers and earn fam­i­ly-sus­tain­ing wages. Casey is also facil­i­tat­ing peer-learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, which offer net­work mem­bers a chan­nel for shar­ing best prac­tices and promis­ing approach­es on an ongo­ing basis.

Learn more about Expand­ing Oppor­tu­ni­ties for Young Families

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