Year One of the Rural IMPACT Project

Posted November 21, 2016, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Blog yearoneruralimpact 2016

Agency offi­cials, fun­ders, pol­i­cy­mak­ers and ser­vice providers gath­ered at a White House sym­po­sium on Novem­ber 17 to dis­cuss ear­ly imple­men­ta­tion lessons and future plans for Rur­al IMPACT — a pub­lic-pri­vate effort to reduce child pover­ty in rur­al and trib­al communities.

With sup­port from mul­ti­ple agen­cies and pri­vate foun­da­tions includ­ing Casey, the ini­tia­tive pro­vides tech­ni­cal assis­tance and a peer learn­ing net­work to help 10 pilot sites align hous­ing, edu­ca­tion, nutri­tion and employ­ment ser­vices to bet­ter sup­port par­ents and children.

The U.S. Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices released a new qual­i­ta­tive study dur­ing the con­ven­ing, Imple­men­ta­tion of the Fed­er­al Rur­al IMPACT Demon­stra­tion, which high­lights activ­i­ties, accom­plish­ments and chal­lenges from the first year, as well as rec­om­men­da­tions for incor­po­rat­ing two-gen­er­a­tion strate­gies in fed­er­al, state and local policy.

Dur­ing the event, T’Pring West­brook, who co-leads the Foundation’s two-gen­er­a­tion research and eval­u­a­tion efforts, pre­viewed a new video that pro­vides a snap­shot of Rur­al IMPACT sites and fam­i­lies. She empha­sized Casey’s com­mit­ment to the whole-fam­i­ly approach” and shared excite­ment about the momen­tum the project is gaining.

Some of the key rec­om­men­da­tions high­light­ed in the report include:

  • engag­ing and main­tain­ing strong col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ships with local, state and region­al enti­ties — as well as fam­i­lies and oth­er stakeholders;
  • tai­lor­ing tech­ni­cal assis­tance to spe­cif­ic site cir­cum­stances; and
  • host­ing peer-to-peer learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties pro­vid­ed through web meet­ings and in-per­son meet­ings to share infor­ma­tion and build networks.

While all 10 sites made sub­stan­tial progress in their first year, they also iden­ti­fied bar­ri­ers to change, includ­ing the lim­it­ed funds for infra­struc­ture invest­ments to co-locate pro­grams and ser­vices and the long dis­tances, geo­graph­ic iso­la­tion and lack of pub­lic trans­porta­tion in rur­al com­mu­ni­ties that make ser­vice deliv­ery and coor­di­na­tion more difficult.

In the com­ing months, sites will con­tin­ue receiv­ing tech­ni­cal assis­tance and sup­port from Rur­al IMPACT to build on the strate­gies already in place from year one.

Read the full report

Watch the video

Addi­tion­al Resources

Rur­al IMPACT Overview
Build­ing Capac­i­ty for a Bet­ter Tomorrow
Rur­al IMPACT Infographic

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