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.


Child Care Subsidy Stability Literature Review

July 19, 2019 – Young Children

The Administration for Children and Families released a new literature review on childcare subsidy stability. The report finds that “implementation and administration of subsidy policy may be as important for subsidy stability and the policies themselves;” that longer-term use of subsidies is more important than uptake rates in ensuring childcare arrangement stability, and that longer eligibility periods are associated with subsidy stability. The report concludes with a call to acknowledge policy context in childcare subsidy research.

On average, older adults spend over half their waking hours alone

July 19, 2019 – Seniors

New research from the Pew Research Center finds that older adults spend more than half of their waking hours—seven hours total—alone (excluding time spent in personal activities, like grooming). This compares with fewer than 5 hours alone for those in their 40s and 50s, and three-and-a-half hours for those under 40. For older adults living alone, this rises to more than 10 waking hours a day. The author notes that while alone time isn’t inherently harmful, it can be indicative of risks for social isolation among older adults.

Work-Related Opportunity Costs Of Providing Unpaid Family Care In 2013 And 2050

July 19, 2019 – Seniors

A new article in Health Affairs estimates the effects of informal caregiving for community-dwelling older Americans on their caregivers’ employment, hours worked, and resulting foregone earnings. The article finds that the economic cost of this informal care was about $67 billion in 2013, but is likely to double by 2050, due to the growth of older, disabled adult populations and the growth in better-educated caregivers (who, in turn, are foregoing higher earnings than their less-educated predecessors). The author concludes with a call for policy action that continues to estimate these indirect costs while developing programming to support unpaid caregivers.

Does Head Start work? The debate over the Head Start Impact Study, explained

July 19, 2019 – Young Children

A publication from the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center Chalkboard initiative dives deeply into the mixed reports around the Head Start Impact Study, with attention to the methodological issues in the study. Due to challenges in random assignment in the original study, some “control group” students actually enrolled in Head Start, and vice versa. Using sophisticated modeling techniques, the Brookings report concludes that Head Start indeed improves cognitive skills. The report also suggests that while increasing experimental education research can be useful, researchers and policymakers should also retain a focus on the methodical rigor of the actual study, not just its design.

All school and no work becoming the norm for American teens

July 19, 2019 – Older Youth

The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution finds that the declining labor force participation (LFP) rates of 16-64-year-olds since 2000 is considerably influenced by the declining share of teenagers (16-19) who work during the school year. The report finds that if teenagers had participated in the labor force at their 2000 rates, the overall LFP rate among 16-64-year-olds would be 1.3 percentage points higher. The authors documented significant increases in the share of teens who do not participate in the labor force specifically because they are students, including during the summer.

Employment Experiences Among First Place-Involved Youth

July 13, 2019 – Older Youth

The following brief focuses on the employment experiences of youth experiencing homelessness or with prior experiences of homelessness in Portland, ME. It is the second brief that describes the life experiences of youth participating in Preble Street’s First Place program. The first brief examined the housing stability experiences of youth in the program. The Evaluation of the First Place Program examined the experiences of 35 youth who accessed the First Place program between 2015 and 2018. *JTGF-funded

Maine Data Glimpse: Housing Vacancy in Northern New England, 2017

June 28, 2019 – General

More than one-quarter of housing units in Maine are vacant, a higher share than in the other Northern New England States or the nation. However, like in the rest of Northern New England, the majority of these vacant units are not available for sale or rent. Instead, four-fifths of them are unavailable, with the majority of those (71 percent) designated for seasonal, vacation, or occasional use.

Child Care and Early Education Equity: A State Action Agenda

June 28, 2019 – Young Children

A report from CLASP details action steps for state policymakers seeking equity in child care and early education. Specific agenda items include evaluation of policies and consultation with experts (including low income families); supporting workforce development through training and compensation; expanding the reach of existing efforts like child care subsidies, quality standards systems, and Head Start; and making specific strategic investments in early childhood programming.

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.

Stanford University Poverty and Inequality Report

June 28, 2019 – Older Youth

The annual Poverty and Inequality Report from Stanford University’s Center on Poverty and Inequality was published, focusing this year on millennials. The report explores, among other things, economic factors, race and gender identities, health, and social life. Findings include that “millennials aren’t transitioning into the labor force as successfully as prior generations have” (4), due to both broad economic trends and specific labor market forces (e.g., the rise of the gig economy) that are coalescing to disproportionately affect millennials. The report concludes with a review of policies that are especially important to millennials, including preserving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and expanding refundable tax credits.  

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. (