Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit www.jtgfoundation.org/resources/covid-19 or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

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 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.

 

Workers Not Receiving Mental Health Support During COVID

April 30, 2021 – General

Homebound workers and those out serving the public have struggled to keep their emotional equilibrium during a traumatic year of mass disease and death. Long work hours, tiring videoconference calls and tense mask wars have added to the stress. Their mental health is a growing issue for employers — who have not historically been of much help. Now, with more people heading back to their workplaces, companies need to make profound changes in how they approach employees' psychological and emotional well being, advocates say. #covid-19 #workforce #mentalhealth

Rural COVID-19 cases and deaths are declining, although rural vaccination rates lag urban rates

April 27, 2021 – Families

For the week of April 18-24, rural new COVID-19 infection rates declined by almost 15 percent in rural (nonmetropolitan) counties. Similarly, the number of weekly rural deaths also fell by over 10 percent, reaching the lowest point since mid-July 2020. The weekly rate of new infections in rural areas was 97 per 100,000 residents, lower than the urban new infection rate of 127 per 100,000 residents. States with clusters of “red-zone” counties with high numbers of new infections include Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, southern New York, and New Hampshire. #covid-19 #rural

West Virginia offers $100 incentive to young people who get vaccinated

April 27, 2021 – Older Youth

To encourage older youth and young adults to get a vaccine, the state of West Virginia is offering a $100 incentive, funded with CARES Act dollars. On Monday, April 26 Governor Jim Justice announced that any person ages 16-35 who gets, or has gotten, a COVID-19 vaccine will receive a $100 savings bond. After a strong initial vaccination roll out, West Virginia’s pace has slowed considerably even as the state has expanded vaccine eligibility to younger age groups. Simultaneously, COVID-19 infections are increasing among younger people, who now account for 26 percent of cases statewide as of mid-April. Given these factors, vaccinating young people has become a key focus in West Virginia’s plan. #covid-19 #vaccination

92 percent of children living in rural Maine will benefit from Child Tax Credit expansion in American Rescue Plan

April 22, 2021 – Older Youth, Families

Included in the American Rescue Plan Act is a temporary expansion of both the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). For the tax year 2021, these expansions raise the minimum EITC for childless workers from about $540 to about $1,500 and expanded the eligible age range to include both young adults ages 19-24 and adults 65 and over. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that EITC expansion will benefit 21 percent of workers without children living in rural Maine (a total of 38,000 workers). Some key changes to the CTC include expanding it to reach families with low or no earnings, to count 17-year-olds as dependents, and to increase maximum credits to $3,600 for children under six (and $3,000 for those over 6). In rural Maine, an estimated 92 percent of children under 18 years old will benefit from CTC expansion. #covid-19 #rural #Maine

Rural health leaders call for partnership and collaboration to address rural health gaps

April 21, 2021 – Families

A new article in The Journal of Rural Health synthesizes the proceedings from a 2018 national workshop and convening of rural health leaders to draw out lessons on rural research and health practice that can be applied to the COVID- 19 context. Using qualitative methodologies, the authors drew on notes, recordings, transcripts, and presentations of included discussions, concluding that rural health has been long overlooked. On the research side, the analysis revealed that investments are needed in dedicated rural health research mechanisms that allow researchers to build relationships with communities and understand appropriate research design. On the applied health side, the importance of recognizing the unique challenges of rural areas, the extent of rural diversity, and the role of culturally/linguistically appropriate approaches arose as especially important and actionable. Authors conclude that the COVID context has only deepened the need for the work called for in 2018. #covid-19 #rural

Rural seniors trail urban counterparts in vaccinations

April 20, 2021 – Seniors

National Public Radio has analyzed county-level vaccine data from the CDC to examine rural-urban disparities. Analysis shows that the share of adults vaccinated in rural and urban counties is generally similar; however, among people age 65 or older, most states have higher vaccination rates in urban counties than in rural. In Maine, the vaccination rate for urban seniors is 4.5 percentage points higher than rural seniors. In only seven states are rural seniors more likely to be vaccinated: New Hampshire leads this trend with rural senior vaccination rates 5.8 percentage points higher than among urban seniors. This pattern of rural lags is especially troubling given the age structure of rural places: with older populations, and therefore greater shares of the population eligible for vaccination earlier on, rural counties should have higher vaccination rates overall. The article highlights the successes of certain rural places in the Southwest that have focused on collaborative, community-based networks to dispense vaccines, and encourages other rural places to utilize those models for outreach. #covid-19 #vaccination #rural

Employment recovery has been uneven for youth by race-ethnicity and place

April 15, 2021 – Older Youth

A publication from Mathematica examines youth unemployment in 2020, finding that recovery has varied substantially by race-ethnicity and geography. In April 2020, the unemployment rate for young people ages 16-24 was more than double that of adults ages 25-54 (26.9 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively). While youth unemployment rates fell after the April 2020 peak, ending the year at 12.5 percent (versus 8.4 percent in December 2019), the pace of this recovery varied. Unemployment among white male youth declined earlier and faster than among youth of color, while rates among Black, Asian, and Latinx youth hovered near 20 percent until October. The authors attribute this in part to the types of job youth workers typically hold, and emphasize the importance of creating job opportunities quickly, so youth do not suffer scarred employment trajectories in the years to come. #covid-19 #workforce #racialequity

Study finds one third of COVID-19 survivors suffer subsequent mental health or neurological conditions

April 15, 2021 – Families

Experts at The Conversation discuss the findings of a large study on the longerterm impacts of COVID-19 in over 230,000 COVID-19 survivors. Six months after their initial COVID-19 infection, one third of post-COVID-19 patients had received at least one new neurological or psychiatric diagnosis. Specific conditions included anxiety or depressive disorders, substance use, nerve disorders, memory loss, and insomnia. While risks were greatest for patients whose COVID-19 was severe, longer-term impacts were also present among patients with less severe or even asymptomatic COVID-19. Even once acute COVID-19 infections are under control, the chronic impacts of the disease will present substantial clinical needs. #covid-19 #mentalhealth

American Rescue Plan Act enhances food assistance in response to high food hardship

March 29, 2021 – Families

A new report authored by prominent food scholars details the investments and expansions to food assistance programs included in the American Rescue Plan Act. Some of the major components include allowing states to continue the Pandemic-EBT program over the summer, extending the SNAP benefit increase, increased funding to states for the administrative costs of higher SNAP demand, investment in improving the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and targeted support for Puerto Rico and select U.S. territories. The temporary 15 percent SNAP maximum benefit increase, which was set to end June 30, has been extended through September 2021. This extension will impact an estimated 154,000 SNAP participants in Maine, and Maine will receive an additional $3.9 million for addressing increased SNAP state administrative expenses for fiscal years 2021-2023. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #Maine

Breadwinning Mothers Are Critical to Families’ Economic Security

March 29, 2021 – General

Building upon the groundbreaking research on breadwinning mothers from the Center for American Progress, this update explores the important economic role working mothers played in supporting their families in the five years leading up to 2020 and offers a glimpse at what is at stake if conditions do not improve—and quickly—for families during the ongoing economic recovery. #covid-19 #workforce

Child welfare reports and investigations down 18%, says Associated Press

March 29, 2021 – Families

The Associated Press has analyzed records from 36 states’ child welfare agencies and found 400,000 fewer child welfare concerns and 200,000 fewer investigations/assessments in the first nine months of the pandemic compared with two years earlier. In states where data on severity were available, the AP suggests that cases have become “more urgent and complex” during the pandemic, suggesting that fewer reports are not a result of reduced need. The decline in reports is attributed in large part to fewer opportunities for children to be observed in person by other adults, like teachers. #covid-19 #safety

Manchester, New Hampshire works to vaccinate underrepresented populations

March 29, 2021 – Families

New Hampshire has set aside a quantity of COVID-19 vaccines for underrepresented populations and health care providers in Manchester are working to eliminate barriers and deploy these vaccines. Primary care providers at Catholic Medical Center are identifying and making home visits to folks with transportation challenges, limited broadband access, or who otherwise might have a tough time booking and attending a vaccine appointment. They have also set up a vaccination clinic at a local homeless shelter and have planned additional outreach to unhoused populations who may not want to visit the shelter. Another priority population for targeted outreach is non-native English speakers. Manchester is hosting specific vaccine clinics for Spanish speakers and Catholic Medical Center has plans for additional dedicated clinics for Nepali and Bhutanese populations. #covid-19 #vaccination #racialequity