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.


Policy Brief: More Adequate SNAP Benefits Would Help Millions of Participants Better Afford Food

September 4, 2019 – Families

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explores the adequacy of SNAP benefits by addressing some of the key assumptions underpinning SNAP allocations. The brief finds that the assumptions of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP)—the estimated “bare-bones” diet upon which benefit levels are based—are misaligned with recipients’ ability to put time into meal planning, shopping, and cooking in a way that would maximize their SNAP dollars. The authors note that food-insecure SNAP recipients say that increasing SNAP benefits by $10 to $20 per person per week would result in a more realistic SNAP allocation, and smooth uneven food expenditure patterns across the month.

Creating Moves to Opportunity: Experimental Evidence on Barriers to Neighborhood Choice

September 4, 2019 – Families

A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research tests whether low income families live in neighborhoods that offer few opportunities for income mobility because they prefer these places (e.g., to be near family), or because they experience barriers to relocating. By providing services that reduce barriers—financial assistance, but also rental search assistance and landlord brokering—the authors find that the share of families who move to higher opportunity areas increases from 14% in the control group to 54% in the treatment group. Families who make these moves do not express having made sacrifices to do so, and express high satisfaction with their new neighborhoods. The authors conclude that these structural barriers are a driver of residential income segregation, and suggest that more customized housing supports are an especially important component of affordable housing programs.

Assessment and Mapping of Community Connections in Home Visiting

August 5, 2019 – Families

Child Trends has published a report on their work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services creating a tool for assessing and mapping community connections among those served by home visiting programs. Proposed for use by administrators, early education professionals, researchers, and other stakeholders, this tool would allow users to map and generate reports on the resources available to families served by home visitors, including by service type (e.g., mental health providers), neighborhood context (e.g., neighborhood disadvantage), and service accessibility (distance from families), among others. Driven by input from home visiting stakeholders, the report on the development of this tool sheds light on the challenges faced by home visiting stakeholders in accessing and using data to support families.

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.

Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report 2019

July 19, 2019 – Families

A report from the Food Research and Action Council (FRAC) documents participation in Summer Nutrition Programs (SNPs) in 2018. The report funds that SNPs’ reach declined by 5.7 percent between 2017 and 2018. Only 14.1 children received a summer lunch for every 100 low-income children who received a school lunch in the previous school year, suggesting that the program struggles with access; the number of Summer Food Service Program sites declined slightly (less than 1%) in the same period. The report identifies Maine as one of the top-performing states in the nation, where—along with DC, Vermont, New York, and New Mexico—at least one in four low income children received a summer lunch.

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. (

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.