Houlton, ME – U.S. Senator Susan Collins participated in a roundtable discussion at the Aroostook County Action Program’s (ACAP) Houlton Center to highlight local success stories and discuss the innovative two-generation, or whole family, approach to alleviating poverty that Senator Collins has advocated for at the federal level. Participants included Elaine Zimmerman, the Region 1 Administrator for the Administration of Children and Families, ACAP leadership and Whole Family Approach Program participants, and representatives from several agencies that are involved with two-gen efforts in Maine. Following the open discussion, Senator Collins participated in a Q&A and provided remarks. Some participants joined virtually.
“For nearly half a century, ACAP has served as a trusted community resource and helped Aroostook County residents achieve greater economic independence by connecting them with services they need to thrive,” said Senator Collins. “The current public health and economic crisis underscores the need to lift up struggling families and provide a brighter future for children in Maine and throughout the country. The bipartisan Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Act that I co-authored would expand the innovative whole family approach at the federal level, supporting the outstanding efforts of community organizations like ACAP.”
Earlier this year, Senators Collins and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Act, a bipartisan bill to align and link existing systems and funding streams to target both parents and children with support aimed at increasing economic security, educational success, social capital, and the health and wellbeing of whole families. In May, the Senators called for passage of their bill after a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that more coordination needs to be done at a national level to assist state and localities in implementing the two-generation approach.
The Aroostook County Action Program provides the people of Aroostook with services and resources that help individuals and their families achieve greater economic independence. ACAP’s Whole Family Approach Program combines elements from child-focused and parent-focused coaching to give families greater access to early childhood care, peer support, health services, post-secondary education and employment, and affordable housing and transportation.