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 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.

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

 

Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018

October 23, 2019 – Families

The Census Bureau has released its annual Income and Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage reports, with data for 2018. The key findings include that median household income remained stable ($63,179), while poverty ticked down half a percentage point to finally drop below pre-recession levels (11.8 percent in 2018). Health insurance findings were less positive, as the number of people without health insurance increased by two million between 2017 and 2018. This shift was largely driven by people losing public insurance. Maine saw no significant change in the share of people who are uninsured (poverty was not reported by state).

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018

October 23, 2019 – Families

The Census Bureau has released its annual Income and Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage reports, with data for 2018. The key findings include that median household income remained stable ($63,179), while poverty ticked down half a percentage point to finally drop below pre-recession levels (11.8 percent in 2018). Health insurance findings were less positive, as the number of people without health insurance increased by two million between 2017 and 2018. This shift was largely driven by people losing public insurance. Maine saw no significant change in the share of people who are uninsured (poverty was not reported by state).

Child Poverty Declines Slightly in 2018 to 18 Percent

October 23, 2019 – Families

New research from the Carsey School utilizes 2018 American Community Survey data released last week to estimate changes in child poverty since 2017. The data snapshot shows that 18 percent of children are still poor, although rates have finally returned to pre-recession levels. Poverty continues to be lowest in suburban areas and higher in cities and rural places. Changes in Maine child poverty were not statistically significant between 2017 and 2018.

Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit Can Support Older Working Americans

October 23, 2019 – Families, Seniors

More older adults are working now than at any point during the previous 25 years. From 1994 to 2018, the share of adults ages 65 to 69 participating in the labor force increased from about 22 percent to about 33 percent. But workforce participation is considerably lower for older adults who did not earn a college degree or high school diploma and who generally earn lower wages. These adults are particularly vulnerable to unstable retirement and may benefit from working, earning, and saving longer into their sixties. This article from the Urban Institute argues that extending the earned income tax credit (EITC) to workers over the age of 64 without custodial children and increasing benefits for these workers could raise employment among older Americans. Staying in the workforce longer can help seniors make ends meet and improve their retirement security.

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. (https://www.urban.org/research/publication/wellness-check-food-insecurity-amongfamilies-infants-and-toddlers