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.


ACEs and counter-ACEs: How positive and negative childhood experiences influence adult health

October 29, 2019 – Young Children, Older Youth

Numerous studies over the past two decades have found a link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and worse adult health outcomes. Less well understood is how advantageous childhood experiences (counter-ACEs) may lead to better adult health, especially in the presence of adversity. Published in the Child Abuse and Neglect International Journal, this study from Brigham Young University concludes that counter-ACEs protect against poor adult health and lead to better adult wellness. When ACEs scores are moderate, counter-ACEs largely neutralize the negative effects of ACEs on adult health. Ultimately, the results demonstrate that a public health approach to promoting positive childhood experiences may promote better lifelong health.

Measuring Student Poverty: Dishing Up Alternatives to Free and Reduced-Price Lunch

October 29, 2019 – Families, Older Youth, Young Children

For decades, state policymakers and researchers have used receipt of free and reduced-price lunch as a way to estimate student poverty, but changes to the program have made it a less reliable proxy. This is in large part because of the expanded use of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which provides free lunch to all students in qualifying schools and districts. An accurate count is critical for distributing funding and assessing achievement gaps, so some states use other measures, looking only at participation in safety net programs or using census estimates. This tracker from Urban Institute shows how each state estimates its share of low-income students for funding and accountability purposes and what share of students were enrolled in CEP schools.

What Works for Job Training Programs for Disadvantaged Workers

October 29, 2019 – Families, Older Youth

The Office of Workforce Development (OWD) in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, implemented Career Pathways, an innovative program designed to increase the local talent pool and help lower-skilled, unemployed, and underemployed individuals train for work in growing fields. RAND Corporation researchers evaluated the program to find out whether it was succeeding in its mission: helping trainees learn industry-valued skills and find related jobs. The research team also examined the broader costs and benefits of the program in relation to the city of New Orleans. The team found that the New Orleans Career Pathways program produced meaningful positive results in several areas. These included individuals' wage growth, job satisfaction, and the government's and society's return on investment. There were also areas that had no significant change, such as arrest rates and the duration of individuals' employment.

Applying the Research and Evaluation Provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act

October 29, 2019 – Families, Older Youth, Young Children

The federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 (Family First Act) has changed the landscape of federal child welfare funding in significant ways to support children to remain safely in their homes and encourage family-based placement when foster care placement is necessary. With specific requirements around evidence-based programs and tools, the legislation expands opportunities to use research and data to drive decision making and direct funding to ensure that children and families receive the most effective services. This brief from Child Trends outlines these research and evaluation requirements and highlights next steps for state agencies, legislators, and researchers to achieve the Family First Act’s goals.

Better serving the needs of America’s homeless students

October 29, 2019 – Older Youth

This post from Brookings Institution examines federal funding for homeless students. Among the federal government’s primary roles in K-12 schooling is the protection and promotion of educational opportunities for disadvantaged students, in part through compensatory funding.The piece argues that current funding is both insufficient and inefficiently allocated, but that there is reason for optimism for the years ahead.

Supporting Community College Students from Start to Degree Completion: Long-Term Evidence from a Randomized Trial of CUNY's ASAP

October 23, 2019 – Older Youth

A recent article published in the American Economic Journal of Applied Economics examines the effects of a comprehensive program designed to serve low-income New York community college students requiring remedial courses. The three-year program provides intensive advising, tutoring, and financial supports, among other benefits. After a randomized controlled evaluation, the authors conclude that program enrollment increases 3-year graduation rates by 18 percentage points—the largest effect recorded in the field of community college graduation evaluation research of this kind.

Born to Win, Schooled to Lose

August 5, 2019 – Older Youth, Young Children

New research from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce finds evidence that children are sorted into adulthood socio-economic status groups according to their affluence in childhood, not their merit (i.e., test scores). The report finds, among other insights, that “the highest-SES students with bottom-half math scores are more likely to complete college degrees than the lowest-SES students with top-half math scores.” The authors recommend continuing academic interventions beyond just early childhood education and providing nonacademic supports for high schoolers to improve their transition to adulthood.

K-12 EDUCATION: Certain Groups of Students Attend Alternative Schools in Greater Proportions Than They Do Other Schools

August 5, 2019 – Older Youth

A new report from the Government Accountability Office documents overrepresentation of Black boys and boys with disabilities in alternative schools— that is, schools with a disciplinary or at-risk focus—compared to their share in the broader educational landscape. These children are especially overrepresented at schools with an explicit disciplinary focus. As children in alternative schools are among the most vulnerable, and because these schools are less likely to have critical support staff (social workers, nurses, and counselors), the report elevates the role of student-experienced trauma in shaping children’s educational outcomes. Finally, state-level data in the report suggest that just 0.11% of Maine’s school population is enrolled in alternative schools, compared with 0.95% nationwide.

ProPelled: The Effects of Grants on Graduation, Earnings, and Welfare

August 5, 2019 – Older Youth

A new article in the American Economic Journal-Applied Economics explores the effects of Pell Grants on enrollment, college completion, and later earnings for low-income students. Using administrative data from Texas public colleges, the authors find that eligibility for more Pell Grant assistance increases new students’ degree completion and later earnings. Importantly, enrollment effects were strongest for first-time students and students enrolling in community college. Graduation and earnings effects were also strongest for first-time students, still in effect seven years after grant receipt. The authors conclude that the benefits of additional aid to low-income students provides a significant return on investment through financial gains to the public over time.

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

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.