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.

 

State proposes ongoing COVID tests at nursing homes

June 1, 2020 – Seniors

State health officials are trying to chart a path forward for ongoing testing in long-term care facilities, which account for the majority of COVID-19 deaths in New Hampshire.

Even before the pandemic many low-income students faced limited technology access

May 29, 2020 – General

Using data from the nationally representative Understanding America Study, researchers from the University of California explored issues of student access to technology. The researchers found that 85% of families with at least one school-aged child had access to the internet and a home computer, although rates were much lower (63%) among families earning $25,000 or less per year. The researchers note that children in these families may still have access to technology through tablets, smartphones, or public WiFi, but that the quality of their educational experience likely differs from those among their higher income peers. #covid-19 #education

Home health care workers need additional support to meet growing challenges

May 18, 2020 – Seniors

The home care services sector has received less attention than nursing homes, although it too faces the challenges of necessary social distancing. This critical sector will need assistance to meet current needs and the projected increase in pandemic-related demand. To support home health care workers, experts at The Conversation recommend ensuring paid sick leave, access to personal protective equipment (PPE), increased use of telehealth, including virtual training, and fair compensation for complex care. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could expand the definitions of “home health” and “homebound” so that Medicare would cover more home care services. #covid-19 #workforce

Cutting school funding is not an appropriate solution to balance state budgets

May 15, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

As many states face budget shortfalls due to the impacts of the pandemic, experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities write of the importance of continuing to strive for equitable education and K-12 funding. Before the pandemic began, fifteen U.S. states—including New Hampshire and Rhode Island—had been sued over their inadequate or inequitable school funding. Cuts to school funding were a prominent strategy used to balance state budgets during the Great Recession and may be used again in this crisis. Experts warn of the consequences of these measures besides additional lawsuits—a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that for every 10 percent of funding that was cut due to the Great Recession, graduation rates decreased by 2.6 percentage points. #covid-19 #education

More than 1 in 5 Americans is an unpaid caregiver for a friend or relative

May 15, 2020 – Seniors, Families

An associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reports on her research on caregiving during the pandemic. An estimated 21.3 percent of Americans, or a total of 53 million people, are unpaid caregivers for relatives and friends. Many of the people they are caring for are elderly, immunocompromised, or have chronic conditions—making them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Precautionary measures like social distancing further complicate the challenges of caregiving and has limited access to paid at-home support. #covid-19

COVID-19 crisis complicates access to behavioral health providers in rural places

May 14, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth, Families

The COVID-19 crisis has had a ripple effect on many aspects of the health care system, including mental and behavioral health providers. Rural areas were already seriously underserved, but getting treatment is becoming even more difficult as clinics close or move to telehealth. Those who do have access to providers may avoid facilities for fear of being exposed to the virus. A facility in Kentucky is working to supplement direct, in-person appointments. Through social distancing and no-contact protocols, they are allowing patients to use the facility’s own computers for telehealth check-ins with other healthcare providers. This fills an important gap, as many in the area do not have home broadband. #covid-19 #mentalhealth #rural

Now is the time to invest in rural broadband, but can federal aid be used?

May 14, 2020 – General

Pew Charitable Trusts reports that many rural residents view this time of social distancing as an opportunity to push for broadband investments. Vermont is one of one of several states that are considering using their federal CARES Act money to expand broadband, and unlike other states, Vermont has developed an Emergency Broadband Action Plan. However, efforts may be constrained by a federal requirement to use CARES Act money by the end of 2020. The Vermont Department of Public Service estimates that it would take around three years to complete their broadband expansion project. (Link to Vermont’s Emergency Broadband Action Plan: https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/emergency-broadband-action-plan) #covid-19 #rural

Expanding the Child Tax Credit could lift 3 million people out of poverty

May 13, 2020 – Families

Researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities identify expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as a potential economic stimulus. Currently, many low-income families do not earn the full $2,000 CTC per child because their incomes are too low. The authors estimate that temporarily making this tax credit fully available would lift 3 million people above the poverty line. This poverty-alleviating measure would also be an effective economic stimulus as low-income families tend to spend this money quickly. Another strategy, rather than full expansion, would be to allow 2020 tax filers to use either their 2019 or 2020 income to calculate their CTC and EITC, as many will have drastically reduced earnings in 2020 due to pandemic-related job losses. #covid-19 #workforce

States bolster Medicaid as part of their pandemic response

May 13, 2020 – Families

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities summarizes state efforts to leverage Medicaid in response to the pandemic. Implementing policies that ease access, support social distancing, and strengthen the workforce are especially prevalent, enacted through amendments and special emergency waivers. Maine and other New England states have implemented many of these responses (particularly when compared to states across the South); enactment of specific policies by state are available through CBPP’s maps and tables. #covid-19 #workforce

Many of the most economically vulnerable were hit hardest by job losses in April

May 12, 2020 – Families

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities also analyzed the recently released national labor force statistics for April 2020. Across demographic groups, they found larger declines in employment for Black or African American (down 18 percent), Hispanic/Latino (down 21 percent), and foreign-born workers (down 21 percent) as compared to white workers (down 16 percent). Low-wage jobs were also disproportionately lost, finding that over half of the 20 million jobs lost were from the lowest-paying industries. In summary, those who already face barriers to economic opportunity were also the hardest hit by these job losses. #covid-19 #workforce

Mini Pantry Movement

May 10, 2020 – General

A grassroots initiative called Little Free Pantry is a network of small food pantry boxes in neighborhoods created and maintained by community members. Operating much like neighborhood free library boxes, these pantries have a ‘take what you want, leave what you want’ policy. Their website has a searchable U.S. map to find the closest mini pantry to you. To join the movement, volunteers can simply create a box, put it up in their community, and register it online. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Using Culturally Responsive Practices to Foster Learning During School Closures: Challenges and Opportunities for Equity

May 10, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth, Families

An article from the Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic suggests that the shift to remote K-12 education provides a unique opportunity to increase the connection between schools and families, which can be leveraged to engage in culturally responsive practices. #covid-19 #education