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, we offer these research and best practice resources.

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

 

Economists Remain Worried About Slow-Growing Middle Class

June 28, 2019 – Families

Pew Trusts’ Stateline project explored the growth of the middle class by state, finding that while many states saw growth between 2016 and 2017, only Nebraska and the District of Columbia have a middle class as large as in 2000. Maine was one of the states where the middle class (defined as households earning between 66% and 200% of the state’s size-adjusted median household income) grew between 2016 and 2017, to 53.8 percent of all households. The report concludes with reminders that growth in the middle class should be interpreted as a positive indicator only if its growth is because people are moving up from lower-income groups, and not falling from higherincome ones; it is unclear whether this is the case for Maine.

Poll: Four in Ten Rural Americans Report Problems Paying for Medical Bills, Housing, or Food

June 28, 2019 – Families

Findings from a new poll on Rural America—a collaboration between NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—were published. Results show that 40 percent of rural Americans have struggled to pay medical, housing, or food bills in the past few years, and that nearly half could not afford an unexpected $1,000 expense. While rural residents have warm feelings about their communities, incomes, access to broadband internet, and homelessness remain important challenges for residents.

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?

Neighborhood Qualities and Parenting Among Mothers With Young Children

May 29, 2019 – Families

A study in the Journal of Family Issues explored the associations between neighborhood social processes (e.g., social disorder) and parenting qualities among mothers of children age 2-4. Higher levels of positive neighborhood characteristics were associated with reduced parenting stress and higher positive parenting qualities for all mothers, but neighborhood social processes were especially impactful for single mothers. The author suggests that enhancing neighborhood supports can be helpful for promoting healthier parenting across multiple dimensions, particularly for single mothers

Child Care and Housing: Big Expenses With Too Little Help Available

May 24, 2019 – Families

A new joint report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) focuses on assistance programs targeting two critical family expenses: child care and housing. The report finds that due to insufficient funding, only one in six eligible children receives child care assistance and one in five eligible families with children receives housing assistance. The authors indicate that both assistance programs are effective: for instance, housing vouchers reduced housing instability by four-fifths, and homelessness by three-quarters. The report encourages policymakers to consider elevating funding for these programs in their funding discussions around non-defense discretionary programs.

Opioid and Substance Use Disorder and Receipt of Treatment Among Parents Living With Children in the United States, 2015-2017

May 24, 2019 – Families

A new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine explores the prevalence of opioid use disorder (OUD) and other substance use disorders (SUD) among parents of resident children. The authors found that 0.9% of parents were living with OUD; those parents were more often low income, non-Hispanic white, and to have Medicaid than parents who were living with non-OUD SUDs. Parents with OUD were more likely to receive treatment than parents with other kinds of SUDs, but rates of treatment were less than one-third in this group. The authors suggest that primary care practitioners can play an important role in screening, diagnosing, and supporting patients with treatment decision-making.

What it would take to achieve quality jobs for all workers?

May 24, 2019 – Families

The Urban Institute published a detailed report exploring "What would it take to achieve quality jobs for all workers." Based on interviews, focus groups, and round tables with key stakeholders, the report identifies required actions from an array of business, policy, private players, including legislators, employers, industries, nonprofit agencies, and workers themselves. The report concludes with a list of priorities for better understanding how to improve job quality, including gathering additional data on non-standard work, a key area in which job quality may need to be improved.

Inequitable Access to Child Care Subsidies

May 20, 2019 – Young Children, Families

A new analysis from CLASP explores how access to child care subsidies varies by state and race-ethnicity. The report finds that only 8 percent of potentially eligible children received subsidies in 2016, with especially high rates of access among black children (15 percent) and especially low rates among Asian children (3 percent). Access by state ranged from 15 percent in New Mexico to 3 percent in the District of Columbia (Maine was among 13 states excluded from the analysis due to data quality issues). The authors concluded that improving data collection and better understanding the causes of racial-ethnic stratification in access should be next steps.

Improving ACA Subsidies for Low- and Moderate-Income Consumers Is Key to Increasing Coverage

May 16, 2019 – Families

A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) posits that the key to increasing health insurance coverage is to expand subsidies offered through the Affordable Care Act. Although cost is the main barrier to coverage for uninsured populations, the majority of the uninsured have low incomes and are eligible for ACA marketplace options. CBPP suggests that costs of expanded subsidies could be met by scaling back the tax cuts from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Working Together for Children and Families: Findings from the National Descriptive Study of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships

May 16, 2019 – Young Children, Families

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation at the federal Administration for Children and Families published findings related to its Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships grants, awarded in 2015. These grants aimed to connect the child development and family support services of Early Head Start with the flexibility and responsiveness of broader child care providers. The report found that partnerships were often between nonprofit, community organizations who were able to build on existing relationships and leverage funds from other sources to meet their community's needs. However, challenges around meeting Head Start Program Performance Standards, particularly around staff-child ratios and health and safety, caused about one-third of partnerships to end early. The study includes lessons on developing partnerships and supporting activities that improve the quality of service to infants, toddlers, and their families.

Is Maternal Income in Childhood Associated With Adolescent Health and Behavioral Outcomes?

May 16, 2019 – Older Youth, Families, Young Children

An article published in the Journal of Family Issues explores associations between maternal income during childhood and later adolescent health and behavioral outcomes. The authors find that net of other family income and demographic measures, higher maternal income in early childhood--that is, between 6 months of age and first grades--is associated with fewer adolescent problem behaviors at age 15, but not with changes in health outcomes. Maternal income in later childhood (Grade 3 through age 15) was not associated with either behavioral or health outcomes. The authors suggest that "investments in children between birth and first grade might be especially beneficial for reducing problem behaviors."