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.


What Is COVID-19? And How Does It Relate to Child Development?

May 10, 2020 – Young Children

Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child continues to release materials aimed at helping parents understand the effects of pandemic-related stress on child development, including an infographic and a letter from the Center’s director emphasizing support for people and organizations who continue to serve children, and encouraging readers to heed good science. In particular, the Center points to evidence for building supportive relationships while social distancing. Another new piece from the Center also outlines the significance and historical reasons for racial disparities in COVID-19 impacts. #covid-19

Even before the pandemic many low-income students faced limited technology access

May 8, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Using data from the nationally representative Understanding America Study, researchers from the University of California explored issues of student access to technology. The researchers found that 85% of families with at least one school-aged child had access to the internet and a home computer, although rates were much lower (63%) among families earning $25,000 or less per year. The researchers note that children in these families may still have access to technology through tablets, smartphones, or public WiFi, but that the quality of their educational experience likely differs from those among their higher income peers. #covid-19 #education

California school districts prepare for increased mental health service demands

May 7, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Children will be differentially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but many will need additional mental health supports. The Los Angeles Times reports that for many K-12 students, school is the only place where they have access to mental health services. Most public schools will not have enough counselors and social workers to meet the increased demand once students return to campus and expected budget cuts will make expanding these services difficult. California school districts are providing what they can in the short term, including checkins with students, mental health hotlines, and training teachers in mindfulness and stress reduction. #covid-19 #mentalhealth

More federal relief needed for elementary and secondary education

May 7, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Brookings scholars draw on elementary and secondary education policy outcomes from the Great Recession to inform their recommendations for COVID-19 federal relief programs. The 2020 CARES Act appropriated $16.2 billion to education relief, which is far lower than the $56.5 billion allocated during the Great Recession. Their analysis shows that even this larger 2009 package “only delayed substantial declines in spending for elementary and secondary education for two or three years, and the COVID-19 crisis is expected to hit state revenues even harder.” Authors argue that more federal relief will be needed. #covid-19 #education

School district capacity, resources do not determine remote learning engagement

May 6, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Brookings researchers report that many of the differences among school districts’ remote learning efforts are not due to capacity alone. A recent study of 82 school districts from the Center on Reinventing Public Education found that only 44 percent are providing online instruction and monitoring students’ progress. Some of the school districts in low-resource communities, like Los Angeles County and Miami-Dade County, have had successful transitions to daily remote learning. Consistent expectations and accountability have been key to keeping students engaged. Other more affluent districts, such as in Seattle, have lagged in setting up remote learning and the lack of accountability has resulted in many students not participating at all. #covid-19 #education

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