Resource Library

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values and inform the work on our priority areas, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.

We invite you to check back often, as this list is regularly updated.

 

ACEs and counter-ACEs: How positive and negative childhood experiences influence adult health

October 29, 2019 – Young Children, Older Youth

Numerous studies over the past two decades have found a link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and worse adult health outcomes. Less well understood is how advantageous childhood experiences (counter-ACEs) may lead to better adult health, especially in the presence of adversity. Published in the Child Abuse and Neglect International Journal, this study from Brigham Young University concludes that counter-ACEs protect against poor adult health and lead to better adult wellness. When ACEs scores are moderate, counter-ACEs largely neutralize the negative effects of ACEs on adult health. Ultimately, the results demonstrate that a public health approach to promoting positive childhood experiences may promote better lifelong health.

Measuring Student Poverty: Dishing Up Alternatives to Free and Reduced-Price Lunch

October 29, 2019 – Families, Young Children, Older Youth

For decades, state policymakers and researchers have used receipt of free and reduced-price lunch as a way to estimate student poverty, but changes to the program have made it a less reliable proxy. This is in large part because of the expanded use of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which provides free lunch to all students in qualifying schools and districts. An accurate count is critical for distributing funding and assessing achievement gaps, so some states use other measures, looking only at participation in safety net programs or using census estimates. This tracker from Urban Institute shows how each state estimates its share of low-income students for funding and accountability purposes and what share of students were enrolled in CEP schools.

Applying the Research and Evaluation Provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act

October 29, 2019 – Families, Older Youth, Young Children

The federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 (Family First Act) has changed the landscape of federal child welfare funding in significant ways to support children to remain safely in their homes and encourage family-based placement when foster care placement is necessary. With specific requirements around evidence-based programs and tools, the legislation expands opportunities to use research and data to drive decision making and direct funding to ensure that children and families receive the most effective services. This brief from Child Trends outlines these research and evaluation requirements and highlights next steps for state agencies, legislators, and researchers to achieve the Family First Act’s goals.

A Spotlight on Professional Development in Head Start

September 4, 2019 – Young Children

Using data from the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), Mathematica explores professional development among Head Start staff. The brief finds that training and conferences are the most common kind of professional development among program and center directors, although program directors are the most likely to report participating. The Office of Head Start’s Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center is identified as an especially useful technical resource, and there are few differences in the kinds of supports available across programs. However, smaller programs do struggle to provide some specific resources to staff, and the report concludes by recommending targeting additional resources to smaller centers, and center directors (rather than just program directors).

Born to Win, Schooled to Lose

August 5, 2019 – Older Youth, Young Children

New research from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce finds evidence that children are sorted into adulthood socio-economic status groups according to their affluence in childhood, not their merit (i.e., test scores). The report finds, among other insights, that “the highest-SES students with bottom-half math scores are more likely to complete college degrees than the lowest-SES students with top-half math scores.” The authors recommend continuing academic interventions beyond just early childhood education and providing nonacademic supports for high schoolers to improve their transition to adulthood.

The New Economy and Child Care: Nonstandard-Hour Work, Child Care, and Child Health and Well-Being

August 5, 2019 – Young Children, Families

Mathematica and the American Public Health Services Association released a report on the intersections between non-standard-hour work, childcare, and child wellbeing. Using existing data from the Fragile Families study, plus primary data from 34 states’ childcare administrators, the study finds associations between mothers working at least some nonstandard work hours and childcare instability for their children. Data from the states indicate that while supporting parents who work nonstandard hours is a recognized challenge, most states could not quantify demand for nonstandard care, and admitted that it was not the highest priority amid competing demands in the childcare landscape. The authors suggest increased overall funding for childcare subsidies, incentivizing the provision of nonstandard hours, and better supporting informal providers with funding and training.

Child Care Subsidy Stability Literature Review

July 19, 2019 – Young Children

The Administration for Children and Families released a new literature review on childcare subsidy stability. The report finds that “implementation and administration of subsidy policy may be as important for subsidy stability and the policies themselves;” that longer-term use of subsidies is more important than uptake rates in ensuring childcare arrangement stability, and that longer eligibility periods are associated with subsidy stability. The report concludes with a call to acknowledge policy context in childcare subsidy research.

Does Head Start work? The debate over the Head Start Impact Study, explained

July 19, 2019 – Young Children

A publication from the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center Chalkboard initiative dives deeply into the mixed reports around the Head Start Impact Study, with attention to the methodological issues in the study. Due to challenges in random assignment in the original study, some “control group” students actually enrolled in Head Start, and vice versa. Using sophisticated modeling techniques, the Brookings report concludes that Head Start indeed improves cognitive skills. The report also suggests that while increasing experimental education research can be useful, researchers and policymakers should also retain a focus on the methodical rigor of the actual study, not just its design.

Child Care and Early Education Equity: A State Action Agenda

June 28, 2019 – Young Children

A report from CLASP details action steps for state policymakers seeking equity in child care and early education. Specific agenda items include evaluation of policies and consultation with experts (including low income families); supporting workforce development through training and compensation; expanding the reach of existing efforts like child care subsidies, quality standards systems, and Head Start; and making specific strategic investments in early childhood programming.

Wellness Check: Food Insecurity Among Families with Infants and Toddlers

June 28, 2019 – Families, Young Children

A factsheet from the Urban Institute finds that families with children younger than three have especially high rates of food insecurity, with one-in-four (26.6 percent) experiencing it in the past 12 months. Among low income parents of very young children, rates increased to more than half (50.9 percent). The report emphasizes that lack of adequate, nutritious food is especially damaging for young children, and concludes with action steps for policymakers and practitioners, including expanding screenings and supporting federal nutrition programs. (https://www.urban.org/research/publication/wellness-check-food-insecurity-amongfamilies-infants-and-toddlers

Report: Does Supportive Housing Keep Families Together?

June 6, 2019 – Families, Young Children, Older Youth

In 2012, the Children’s Bureau in the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families funded Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System, a five-year, $25 million demonstration that provided supportive housing to families in the child welfare system, in five sites. The Urban Institute has completed a six-year cross-site evaluation, a mixed-methods randomized controlled trial that included 807 families. Research focused on answering the following: Does supportive housing improve access to services, keep families stably housed, help keep families together and reduce their time spent in the child welfare system, and improve the health and social and emotional well-being for parents and children?

Family Resilience And Connection Promote Flourishing Among US Children, Even Amid Adversity

May 24, 2019 – Young Children, Older Youth

A new article in Health Affairs explored the concept of "flourishing" among US children age 6-17, measured with indicators on curiosity, persistence, and regulating emotions. The authors found that 40 percent of US children are flourishing, and that across levels of adverse childhood experiences, household income, and special health care needs, children were more likely flourish when levels of family resilience and connection were high. The article also estimates prevalence of flourishing for each state, finding that Maine's rate (35.7 percent) was significantly lower than nationwide.