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 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.


Pathways to increasing vaccination uptake in Native communities

July 29, 2021 – General – COVID-19, Racial Equity, Vaccination

Longstanding inequities, community factors, and federal underinvestment in Native American public health has caused disproportionate harm to Native American communities throughout the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Native nations have undertaken effective vaccination campaigns, resulting in higher vaccination rates among Native populations than among other racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. However, the remaining unvaccinated often report negative experiences with health care systems and concerns about the vaccine’s safety. New data from the American COVID-19 Vaccine Poll suggests messaging that can be effective messaging to address those concerns. #covid-19 #vaccination #racialequity

Federal stimulus checks kept 12.4 million people out of poverty in 2021

July 28, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Racial Equity

In an update to their work published earlier in 2021, Urban Institute researchers predict a poverty rate of 7.7 percent for 2021. The researchers incorporated into their model economic improvements, state-level pandemic policies, and expected employment and income levels, along safety net benefits like unemployment insurance, tax credits, state “back to work” bonuses, and federal and state stimulus checks to support this full picture of poverty in the United States. The work finds that the federal stimulus checks have had a larger antipoverty impact than any other program, alone keeping 12.4 million people out of poverty in 2021. #covid-19 #racialequity

Reducing the Black-white racial wealth gap will require dedicated and comprehensive policy solutions

July 28, 2021 – FamiliesChildcare, COVID-19, Education, Housing, Racial Equity, Wealth & Assets, Wealth and Assets, Workforce

A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress examines the Black/white wealth gap and summarizes a set of proposals and policy actions to address the gap. Some recommendations include allowing the U.S. Postal Service to conduct banking services to increase community access; investing in research and development opportunities for Black innovators and inventors; dedicating additional funds for Black entrepreneurs; developing a National Savings Plan to provide retirement accounts to public sector workers; and investing in young children through childcare and education. #racialequity #childcare #education #housing #workforce #covid-19 #wealth&assets

How to stabilize infant and toddler care with pandemic relief funds

July 27, 2021 – Families, Young ChildrenChildcare, COVID-19, Workforce

A new fieldnote published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston describes possibilities for using funds from the Child Care Stabilization portion of the American Rescue Plan Act to stabilize infant and toddler care. One option includes issuing grants to child care providers that could subsidize the operational cost of infant/toddler care to align the price with that of care for older children. Another option is creating grants to serve as incentives for attracting infant/toddler-serving professionals by offsetting the wage penalty typically present in that sector, in hopes of growing and stabilizing the workforce. Finally, the note suggests increasing child care subsidy rates beyond the 75th percentile of market rates for infant and toddler slots. #covid-19 #childcare #workforce

California child care workers union enters contract

July 23, 2021 – Families, Young ChildrenChildcare, COVID-19, Racial Equity, Workforce

California Governor Gavin Newsom has ratified a contract with Child Care Providers United, a first-of-its-kind child care labor union covering 40,000 California child care providers—largely women and often women of color—who provide subsidized child care across the state. The union is working to advocate for higher subsidy rates, more and better training, and a higher number of subsidized slots to address substantial gap between eligibility and uptake of fulltime subsidized care across the state. #covid-19 #childcare #workforce #racialequity

Subsidizing child care costs would reduce poverty and enhance equity among New England families

July 21, 2021 – Families, Young ChildrenChildcare, Racial Equity, Workforce

New research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Carsey School of Public Policy explores how proposed policies to cap child care expenses based on family income would affect poverty rates among New England families. Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure, the brief finds that such a policy could reduce poverty among New Englanders with child care costs by 40 percent; with the largest absolute declines for Black and Hispanic New Englanders, this would result in a substantial shrinkage of the racial-ethnic poverty gap. The effects of such a policy are not limited to the lowest income families either though: 9.5 percent of near poor New Englanders in families with child care costs would be lifted above twice the poverty line by such a policy. Although implementation would require careful planning, benefits would likely extend beyond poverty reductions, with families better able to participate in the labor force or access higher-quality care for their children. #racialequity #childcare #NewEngland #workforce

COVID-era remote patient monitoring supports at-home care for rural residents

July 14, 2021 – SeniorsCOVID-19, Health, Mental Health, Rural

In response to the pandemic, a Midwestern health system created a remote patient monitoring program that allows health care providers to monitor and advise patients without requiring an emergency room visit. The program includes vital-sign-monitoring equipment and a tablet equipped with video communication software, which only requires a cell signal and not internet access. Although the program was created to reduce hospital crowding and in-person exposures in the pandemic, providers find that not only do patients appreciate home-based care, providers are also able to more quickly identify changes in patient status given the ongoing monitoring. The additional benefit of easy check-ins also eases anxiety and loneliness among older adults living alone. #covid-19 #rural #mentalhealth #health

FAFSA verification requirements waived for 2021-2022 school year

July 13, 2021 – Older YouthEducation, Racial Equity

The U.S. Department of Education has waived verification requirements for most information required to complete the federal financial aid form for 2021-2022. The verification process typically requires selected applicants—typically between 15 and 40 percent of all applicants—to undergo an auditing process to verify that the financial information they submitted on federal financial aid forms is correct. (A separate Washington Post analysis of 2010 to 2020 data finds that students in majority Black or Hispanic neighborhoods, or who are Pell-grant eligible, are disproportionately likely to be selected for verification). Although this process aims at reducing fraud, it hinders low income and first generation students who may struggle to locate required tax paperwork or complete the complex forms without family or school support, thereby becoming ineligible for financial aid. Without this administrative burden, disadvantaged students have one less chance for falling through the cracks in the transition to college. #racialequity #education

Early evidence suggests four-day school weeks don’t meet all their aims

July 12, 2021 – Young Children, Older YouthCOVID-19, Education, Rural

Four-day school weeks have become increasingly common in rural places, with 662 districts in 24 states using this model pre-pandemic. To ease remote learning implementation and reduce costs, the COVID-19 pandemic increased adoption of this model both in and out of rural areas, with the aim of reducing budgetary issues, attracting teachers, and improving student attendance. While there is some evidence that teachers view the model as a benefit, there are minimal budgetary savings or attendance improvements. Little evidence exists on the implications for student achievement, but early data from Oklahoma and Oregon suggests outcomes depends on how learning time is structured. One major downside to a four-day school week is in reduced access to school-based services, like childcare, physical activity, and school-meal programs that students and families rely on during the typical work-week. #covid-19 #education #rural

Evidence-based program strengthens multiple dimensions of senior wellbeing

July 8, 2021 – SeniorsHealth, Rural

The Rural Health Information Hub presents a summary of the StrongPeople™ programs, which have been under evaluation since 1994. The affiliated programs equip community-based health educators to lead classes on exercise, dietary skills, and civic activity to expand options for healthy living activities among older adults, particularly in rural places. Each element of the program has a substantial evidence base, with measurable improvements in physical activity, weight, strength, physical function, pain, depression, and other indicators among older adult participants. Companionship among group members is cited as a particularly favored element among participants. Interested community leaders can purchase training materials, then offer the programming to community members at typically low costs. #health #rural

COVID further strains rural health safety net amid growing rural health and resource risks

July 7, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Health, Racial Equity, Rural

A healthcare analytics firm, the Chartis Group, has released a paper reporting on its ongoing data collection on rural health conditions and health care resources in light of the pandemic. The work identifies a pre-existing fragility in rural health care resources, with 138 rural hospital closures in the past decade, and 453 more vulnerable to closure. The authors note that rural places at risk of prolonged pandemic effects and those at risk of high hospital closures share key characteristics, including high rates of uninsurance and greater shares of residents with chronic illness. #covid-19 #rural #racialequity #health

Nurse home visiting program reduces child maltreatment and emergency care usage

July 7, 2021 – Families, Young ChildrenChild Welfare, Health

Newly published results from a randomized clinical trial find that participation in a postpartum nurse home visiting program reduces child maltreatment investigations and child emergency medical care usage each by one-third by age five. For 18 months beginning in July 2009, all children born in Durham County, North Carolina were randomly assigned to participate in the Family Connects program (2,327 children) or to receive treatment as usual (2,440 children). Program participation included 1-3 visits in children’s first month of life to identify family service needs, followed by connection to an “aligned” set of community services specific to their identified needs. Program duration was short, concluding by four weeks postpartum. A subset of 531 families were selected for evaluation purposes at five years out, with outcomes determined via state administrative child welfare records and hospital billing data. The reduction in child maltreatment investigations and child emergency medical care usage persisted across all study subgroups, regardless of presence of infant medical risks at birth, insurance status, single parent household status, parent race ethnicity, birthweight, and child sex. The authors conclude that the high-quality delivery and broad reach drove effectiveness, while the brevity of the program supports its efficiency and replicability. #childwelfare #health