Children and Families

We believe that to achieve measurable and sustainable results, the Foundation needs to focus on improving outcomes for Maine children. And, as research and our own programmatic work has shown, the best way to do that is with comprehensive approaches that strengthen the families and improve the conditions around them that are critical to their success.

Too many Maine kids are dealing with anxiety, neglect, trauma, economic insecurity and other obstacles whose negative effects can last a lifetime. The John T. Gorman Foundation takes an upstream approach to address these critical issues. By working to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) – which can include abuse and neglect, or growing up in a household with substance misuse or family instability – and build resiliency, we can improve outcomes later in life.

At the same time, we know that children do well when their families do well, and vice-versa. By investing in a two-generation approach, we can serve children and families simultaneously, ensuring that parents and caregivers have the tools and supports they need to be successful. Strengthening a system of supports for these families includes five key areas: education, social capital, physical/mental health, wealth and assets, and employment navigation and supports.

Taken together, we believe this will make Maine a more equitable place where all children and their families can thrive.

Examples:

  • The Foundation has been a longtime partner of Bangor Housing’s Moving Families Forward program, which helps parents along career, education, and asset-building pathways; gives families access to a range of services to improve their overall well-being; and offers quality afterschool and summer programming to children through the connected Boys & Girls Club of Bangor.
  • We collaborate with MaineHealth’s pediatric clinics to identify and provide support to children who are at high risk of experiencing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as well as their caregivers.
  • We have partnered with CEI to increase the number of high-quality, culturally appropriate childcare slots in the City of Lewiston’s Tree Streets Neighborhood.
  • We have worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine to offer trauma-informed after-school and summer programming to children living temporarily in hotels.
  • We partner with McAuley Residence to support women in substance use disorder recovery and their children with a two-generation approach that involves family reunification, parent coaching, educational support, and career pathways.