Communicating About Whole Family Work to Grantees

As noted in a recent Frameworks Institute report about 2Gen approaches, frames are powerful. They advance a set of ideas about the causes and consequences of social problems and who bears responsibility for addressing them. As such, frames shape opinions, attitudes, and policy preferences. The public understands social issues depending on how they are framed. If financial stability is framed as a problem that primarily concerns families struggling to make ends meet, the public will see the solution in individual terms, too. If framed as a matter of collective concern, then the public is more apt to see a shared stake in fostering people’s capacity to learn, work, and achieve financial stability. 

As the two-generation, whole family field grows, the opportunities for leading conversations also grow, as do the risks that come with being misunderstood. Ineffective framing leaves issues mired in public apathy and partisan bickering. 

The following resources support effective framing and communications techniques for advancing whole family approaches in communities, organizations, with parents, and other stakeholders. They also offer examples of how foundations have communicated about whole family work with their grantees and networks.

2Gen Messaging Guide – Ascend at the Aspen Institute with FrameWorks

Two-generation proponents have many opportunities to reach out to their communities, their colleagues, and policymakers to explain how we can build broader well-being by intentionally and simultaneously working with children and the adults in their lives together. These messages are based on the results of research and analysis by the FrameWorks Institute. They are not context-specific. Communicators like you should use them as a filter as you craft messages suited for specific audiences, channels, and topics.

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