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.


Avoiding the COVID-19 slump: Making up for lost school time

April 30, 2020 – Young Children

Brookings indentidfies major hurdles to overcome by the set backs of distance learning. One important difference between the COVID-19 slump and summer slump is the long-term impact of stress, which has been linked to learning problems. The upshot of these additional stressors would suggest that the COVID-19 slump might have even more impact on children from under-resourced homes than does the summer slump. #covid-19 #education

Should the Virus Mean Straight A’s for Everyone?

April 30, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth, Families

The New York Times reports on how high schools across the country are dealing with grading in the pandemic. Hawaii approved a modification of graduation requirements, and recommended that third quarter grades be treated as final, although many states have not made recommendations, leaving decisions to school districts and resulting in varied approaches. Seattle Public Schools decided that all high school students will receive an A or an incomplete, noting that “grades have historically rewarded students with privilege and penalized others. This issue has become even more apparent during this COIVD-19 emergency.” Similarly, teachers in California’s San Mateo Union High School District support the district’s decision to adopt a credit/no credit grading system. #covid-19 #education

What COVID-19 means for America’s child welfare system

April 30, 2020 – Young Children

Experts are tracking changes in child maltreatment reporting, particularly as vital parts of the child welfare system—including routine exposure to doctors and teachers as reporters, home investigations, and home-based parenting programs—have been removed from daily life. In the face of these disruptions, an April publication from Child Trends that outlines strategies for caregivers and communities to promote child resilience in the pandemic. #covid-19

Mitigating COVID-19’s Rural Impact on Families At-Risk for Violence and Child Maltreatment and Neglect

April 29, 2020 – Young Children

Researchers at the Rural Health Information Hub share emerging strategies for mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 situation on rural child maltreatment and neglect. Though child maltreatment reports have fallen dramatically, researchers suggest this is due to reduced contact with potential reporters, rather than an actual reduction in child abuse and neglect. Nonprofit domestic violence clinics in Oregon have pivoted to new methods of connecting during the pandemic, including providing website chat boxes which are safer than a text chain on a personal phone that may be monitored by the abuser. #covid-19

Even before the Pandemic, Students with Limited Technology Access Lagged behind Their Peers

April 28, 2020 – Young Children

As the nation navigates an unprecedented shift to online learning, standardized test data show students without computer or internet access are already far behind their peers in reading and math achievement. Federal policymakers, philanthropists, and internet providers looking to mitigate the negative effects of distance learning can use student survey data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to target state-level investments. Continued data collection—especially on the 2021 NAEP, if possible—will be critical for understanding the effects of this sweeping change on student outcomes. #covid-19 #education

Supporting Child Welfare Agencies During COVID-19

April 28, 2020 – Young Children

Mathematica Policy Research experts provide resources to address challenges facing child welfare agencies in the time of a pandemic. These agencies had been struggling before the COVID-19 crisis, especially as they work to implement the new 2018 Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). One of the central goals of the FFPSA is to increase prevention efforts that identify and support children at risk of entering the child welfare system before removal becomes necessary. Mathematica experts also produced this toolkit to assist states as they continue to implement the FFPSA. #covid-19

Are you happy or sad? How wearing face masks can impact children’s ability to read emotions

April 21, 2020 – Young Children

Some of the new norms, such as wearing face masks in public, have unintended social consequences. Early Childhood Education experts at Brookings note the confusing impact that masks may have on children, as face coverings make it more difficult for them to read facial expressions and receive emotional cues from their caregivers. Authors provide some tips for putting young children at ease, including introducing the face mask at home first, playing peek-a-boo to show that you’ll be smiling even when the mask is on, and explaining when you will be wearing the mask and that others will be wearing them outside too. #covid-19

Bus brings behavioral health care to rural Georgia families

April 19, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth, Families

A new mobile health unit is now serving two rural counties in Georgia, run by a local behavioral health organization focused on youth aged 4-21 and their families and caregivers. The unit, called the THRIVE bus, was donated by a local fire department, and includes a registered nurse, a certified addiction counselor, and a social worker. Adhering to social distancing practices, the professionals provide basic medical screenings (including for COVID-19 symptoms) and mental health assessments, and instead of referring patients out, work to address immediate needs on the spot. Partnerships with local school systems and food pantries round out service offerings. #covid-19

The scramble to feed the kids left hungry by the coronavirus crisis

April 17, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

School closures have cut students off from free and reduced-price school meals programs, with responses varying by district. One way to fill this gap is via temporary Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) program. States submit a plan to implement the program, which gives a benefit to families to cover the cost of missed school meals due to coronavirus. Michigan and Rhode Island’s plans were the first to be approved by the USDA although several other states have also submitted plans and are awaiting approval. #covid-19

Will Students without Home Internet Fall Behind During Coronavirus Shutdowns?

April 12, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Analysis from the Public Policy Institute of California found that that most vulnerable studentsduring the coronavirus pandemic – those who are low income, Latinx, African American, or rural – are less likely to have broadband access at home. Almost 50 percent of low-income households with school-aged children did not have broadband at home. Without anchor institutions like libraries, recreation centers, and restaurants to provide public Wi-Fi, students have fewer public solutions available, which has serious implications for educational equity. #covid-19 #education

How to reach students without internet access during coronavirus? Schools get creative

April 9, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

For more rural places or districts without widespread broadband access during the coronovirus pandemic, schools are shifting to more low-tech solutions, including daily television programming tied to local curriculums via local PBS affiliates in Arkansas and California, at-home reading challenges in Rhode Island, and delivery of print materials via school bus in Nevada and Minnesota, These deliveries are sometimes paired with school meal drop-offs, as in New Hampshire. #covid-19 #education #rural

Child Trends: Ways to Promote Children’s Resilience to the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 3, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated social and economic stressors can undermine children’s development and well-being. The good news is that over four decades of research on resilience shows that protective factors can buffer children from harm and increase the chances they adapt positively to adversities such as the #COVID-19 pandemic.