In 2012, the Utah State Legislature passed the Intergenerational Poverty Mitigation Act which created the Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission. The commission is tasked with reducing intergenerational poverty among Utah children.
Since 2012, Utah has utilized research and data to embark on a strategic campaign to ensure that we foster the well-being of all children, including and especially those children experiencing intergenerational poverty who are often overlooked in national and statewide data reports. Lt. Governor Cox has served as the chair of the commission since 2016.
Under the direction of Lt. Governor Cox, the Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission has strengthened its focus to support rural counties experiencing the highest levels of intergenerational poverty in our state. 13 counties have now developed their own strategic plans and allocated specific funding to support implementation. Lt. Governor Cox works to align the efforts of these 13 counties and the commission with other government agencies that support this population through improving the quality of the data collected. The state is working toward accomplishing the goals outlined in the 5- and 10-Year Plan, which are available here: http://www.housing.utah.gov/edo/intergenerational/plans.html.
Through years of analysis, Utah has developed an increased understanding of the children experiencing intergenerational poverty throughout the state. It has gained this understanding through evaluation of indicators within four areas of child wellbeing: early childhood development, education, family economic stability and health. The analysis across multiple areas recognizes the interrelated nature of these areas of well-being and the contribution each plays in disentangling poverty’s impact on limiting opportunities for children. Each area must be addressed in a comprehensive manner to ensure these children are provided the foundation for success from their earliest years and into and through adulthood. Across each of the four areas of child well-being in which progress is measured and tracked, incremental improvements continue, while gaps remain. The Intergenerational Poverty Initiative is a long-term effort demonstrating the state’s willingness to continue to build on successes while reducing the gaps. You can learn more about Utah’s Intergenerational Poverty Initiative by visiting https://jobs.utah.gov/edo/intergenerational/.