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.


Institute for Women’s Policy Research asks women about their concerns and priorities

February 21, 2021 – Families

A February 2021 survey conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research asked women to identify their top policy priorities on which Congress and the Biden Administration should focus. Across the 1,452 survey respondents, healthcare was the top policy priority. Rounding out the top five priorities are: the economic recession, unemployment, racial justice or inequality, and taxes. Stratifying policy priorities by respondent race and ethnicity showed that raising the minimum wage was also a significant concern among Black and Latina women. Making ends meet is a shared concern, as nearly half of all respondents—and two thirds of Latinas—were worried about their income being enough to pay for all family expenses. #covid-19 #workforce #economy #racialequity

LGBT adults—particularly those of color—faced greater health and economic impacts in fall 2020 than non-LGBT adults

February 21, 2021 – Families

Researchers at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law investigated how LGBTQ+ adults were impacted by the fall 2020 COVID-19 surge. They used survey data collected between August and December 2020 by Ipsos’ weekly Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index (a representative and probability-based online panel of U.S. adults). The report shows important variation by sexual orientation/gender identity and race/ethnicity. For instance, while LGBT and non-LGBT white adults had similar COVID-19 test positivity rates, rates were higher among non-LGBT adults of color, and highest among adults identifying as both LGBT and a person of color. LGBT adults were more likely to report having been laid off, furloughed, having problems affording basic household goods, and having problems paying rent or mortgage than non-LGBT adults. While 5.4 percent of non-LGBT white people reported being recently laid off, rates were increasingly higher among LGBT white people (10.4 percent), non- LGBT people of color (11.5 percent) and LGBT people of color (15 percent). The authors recommend specific and intentional efforts among federal and pharmaceutical stakeholders to address the needs of LGBT people while addressing accumulated distrust. #covid-19 #racialequity #workforce

Two federal policy plans propose to better support families and reduce child poverty

February 17, 2021 – Families

Spotlight on Poverty has published an overview of the two major child poverty alleviation policy proposals currently under debate. Both proposals improve upon the existing child tax credit, which is effective but does not reach all families since it is restricted to those with annual incomes above $2,500. The current annual Child Tax Credit pays qualifying families $2,000 for each child under 17 years old. Senator Romney’s plan proposes to direct monthly cash payments to households with children—providing $350 for each child under 6 years old and $250 for each child age 6 to 18. However, the plan would be financed by consolidating or eliminating existing social assistance programs like TANF. The other plan is proposed by the Biden administration as part of the next pandemic relief package. This plan would enhance the current child tax credit by increasing credits to $3,600 per child under 6 and $3,000 for children over 6 years old. Spotlight also includes links to additional resources for more detail on each of the plans and policy analyses. #families

Symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder particularly high among young adults, adults of color, women with children, and essential workers

February 10, 2021 – Older Youth, Families

A new brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation explores the latest evidence of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and recession has had on mental health and substance use. In January 2021, four-in-ten adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, compared to just one-in-ten pre-pandemic (January-June 2019). This share is larger among young adults (ages 18-24), more than half of whom reported symptoms of anxiety or depression during the pandemic (56 percent). Elevated rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms are also present for adults in households with job or income losses, women with children, adults of color, and essential workers. While 13 percent of adults reported starting or increasing substance use during the pandemic, the share was higher among young adults and essential workers (both at 25 percent). #covid-19 #mentalhealth #racialequity

Coordination and outreach spur Navajo Nation vaccine success

February 9, 2021 – Families

An article in the Albuquerque Journal highlights the early success of vaccination efforts in Navajo nation, where 98 percent of its allocated vaccines have been administered. The tribal government has utilized drive-through vaccination sites, social media posts and fliers informing Navajo residents where vaccines are available. Additional money available via a Major Disaster Declaration recently signed by President Biden will allow for more personnel and supplies to reach the reservation and continue the effort. The tribal government aims to administer 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines by the end of February and had already reached more than 77,000 by February 9. #covid-19 #racialequity

Municipalities will be reimbursed by the federal government for pandemic expenses

February 3, 2021 – Families

Municipalities have been hit hard by pandemic-related expenditures such as necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies, medical equipment, increased operations costs, and other crucial services. Over the summer of 2020, cities and towns had been notified that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would not reimburse COVID-19-related purchases, creating significant budget concerns. For example, in New Hampshire, Manchester city officials report that pandemic-related expenses made by just the Manchester School District reach $11.3 million. The Biden Administration’s recent reversal to once again allow FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security to reimburse all emergency expenses comes as a massive relief for municipalities. Importantly, retroactive reimbursements will be allowed for pandemic-related purchases dating back as far as January 20, 2020. #covid-19 #economy

Local city ordinances require larger grocery chains to provide hazard pay to employees

February 2, 2021 – Families

The City Council of Los Angeles, California is backing a plan to require larger grocery stores to temporarily increase workers’ pay by $5/hour as hazard pay. Although at the beginning of the pandemic last spring many grocery retailers had offered some kind of hazard pay to employees, most of these bonuses ended months ago. Despite supporting hazard pay earlier in the pandemic, some larger grocery chains have opposed recent local hazard pay ordinances. For example, Kroger closed store locations in cities that have implemented ordinances such as in Long Beach, CA. Conversely, other stores like Trader Joes have been motivated by these local policies to implement their own national hazard pay increases. #covid-19 #workforce

New federal research finds child care quality only loosely linked to price

January 27, 2021 – Families

New research from the Administration for Children and Families explores the relationship between the price of center-based child care and measures of quality in those centers. Using data from the 2021 National Survey of Early Care and Education, the authors find that there is little relationship between reported prices and quality of care measures: for preschool-age care, price is associated with 7 of the 18 quality indicators assessed, and for infant and toddler care, cost is associated with even fewer indicators (3 of 14 and 3 of 18, respectively). The authors emphasize that questions remain around what does drive child care pricing, and in particular, “what those prices ‘buy’ families in terms of the quality of care for their children.” #childcare

New Hampshire investment firm creates Anti-Bias Fund to support diverse entrepreneurs

January 21, 2021 – Families

Located in Manchester, New Hampshire, the Alumni Venture Group (AVG) announced the launch of an Anti-Bias Fund. The goal of the fund is to deploy capital to diverse entrepreneurs and teams to address systemic biases. AVG staff recognize that the venture capital industry is hard to break into and also remains among the least diverse industries. The Anti-Bias Fund aims to develop a portfolio of 20-30 investments over the next couple of years. #covid-19 #racialequity #economy

Patterns in flu vaccination rates reveal potential COVID-19 vaccination challenges

January 21, 2021 – Families

A new brief from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) uses flu vaccination data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify populations likely to be harder to reach with the COVID19 vaccination. The researchers report that overall adult flu vaccination rates in 2017-2019 were 39 percent—about half the level that would be needed to reach herd immunity against COVID-19. (Maine’s rate was 41 percent). Although some sub-groups at risk for COVID-19 demonstrate higher uptake of flu vaccines—older adults and those with pre-existing health conditions—low-income, Black, and Hispanic groups have significantly lower than average rates of flu vaccination. The authors further caution that the multiple doses necessary could further complicate delivery of this specific vaccine. Recognizing states as made of multiple, diverse populations, many of whom will require targeted outreach, will be key to achieving population immunity. #covid-19 #racialequity

Pandemic provides lessons for child welfare system

January 19, 2021 – Families

Scholars from the American Enterprise Institute partnered with experts in academia, state departments, and the law to outline some of the challenges that COVID-19 has wrought for child welfare systems, and the lessons to be gleaned from this era. The report notes that while the stressors of the pandemic have likely heightened child maltreatment incidence, state child welfare systems have received fewer reports than usual during the pandemic. With fewer opportunities for reporting via schools, and state departments delaying, canceling, and reconfiguring usual child welfare activities, the risks to children are especially high. The authors suggest finding ways to detect maltreatment outside of schools (note that many of these suggestions amount to mandating greater surveillance of poor and low income parents). Other suggestions focus on enhancing system logistics: deeming child welfare workers as essential so that they may continue timely work, allowing virtual court proceedings to avoid placement delays for children, strengthening foster parent recruitment efforts, and better integrating child welfare systems with community agencies that can serve to meet families’ other needs. #covid-19

Alabama study finds only 17 percent of low-income Black and Latinx participants willing to get COVID-19 vaccine

January 14, 2021 – Families

A study conducted by University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers found that just one in six low-income Black and Latinx focus group participants were willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine. About half of participants said that they were unsure about whether they would get vaccinated and one third said they would not. A common reason for not being willing to receive a vaccine was serious mistrust of scientists and the government that has been well-earned through a history of medical mistreatment and exploitation. In each focus group, participants brought up the Tuskegee study (conducted in Alabama over a period of 40 years) in which Black men with syphilis were drafted into a research study without consent, told they were receiving treatment when they were not, and provided no option to exit the study. UAB researchers plan to use findings from the focus groups to appropriately tailor their vaccine outreach plan, which will center on transparency and safety. #covid-19 #racialequity