Ten rural and tribal communities across the country will participate in a new federal program aimed at improving outcomes and upward mobility for both parents and children.
The Rural Integration Models for Parents and Children to Thrive, or IMPACT program, which is part of a cross-agency effort to increase employment, education, and health in rural areas, will help the 10 communities plan and roll out anti-poverty programs and policies. All communities will receive technical assistance during planning and implementation, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, and participate in a network to share best practices.
A 2014 report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation lauded this approach, and urged communities to launch ‘two-generation’ programs that help both parents and children, such as job-training programs that take into account needs for child-care, or systems that automatically enroll children in state health insurance if they are also eligible for food stamps. An announcement by the USDA said that during the IMPACT program, the Obama Administration hopes to work in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and several other nonprofits that have experience with the two-generation approach.
Here are the 10 communities that will participate in the program:
- Berea (Ky.), Partners for Education at Berea College (Serving Knox County, KY)
- Blanding (Utah), The San Juan Foundation (Serving San Juan County, UT)
- Blytheville (Ark.), Mississippi County, Arkansas Economic Opportunity Commission, Inc. (Serving Mississippi County, Ark.)
- Hillsboro (Ohio), Highland County Community Action Organization, Inc. (Serving Highland County, Ohio)
- Hugo (Okla.), Little Dixie Community Action Agency, Inc. (Serving Choctaw, McCurtain and Pushmataha Counties)
- Jackson (Miss.), Friends of Children of Mississippi, Inc. (Serving Issaquena, Sharkey and Humphreys Counties, Miss.)
- Machias (Maine), Community Caring Collaborative (Serving Washington County, Maine)
- Marshalltown (Iowa), Mid‐Iowa Community Action, Inc. (Serving Marshalltown, Iowa)
- Oakland (Md.), Garrett County Community Action Committee and the Allegany Human Resources Commission (Serving Garrett and Allegany Counties, Md.)
- White Earth (Minn.), White Earth Reservation Tribal Council (Serving Mahnomen County and portions of Clearwater and Becker Counties)
An additional four communities will participate in a pilot program announced by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to specifically link health and human services to rural children and families in need. These four communities will receive a total of $3.9 million over the next three years to utilize tele-health services to bring a broader range of health care options to rural families. Research shows that rural children often lack access to health care and are more likely than their urban peers to face certain health issues, like asthma and obesity. Those participants are:
- Georgia Partnership for Telehealth (Waycross, Ga.)
- Oglala Sioux Tribe of Pine Ridge Reservation (Pine Ridge, S.D.)
- University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute (Kansas City, Kan.)
- University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, N.M.)
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.