Resource Library

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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.


Juvenile justice system research evaluates racial and ethnic equity and inclusion strategies

September 3, 2020 – Older Youth

The Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center recently published a brief summarizing their evaluation of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s expansion of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative® and efforts to improve racial and ethnic equity and inclusion (REEI) in the juvenile justice system. Twelve different sites around the country were evaluated as a part of a larger study and REEI activities were examined through interviews and surveys. Key takeaways included that REEI strategies must be appropriate for their particular context, leadership and staff buy-in are important to advancing REEI, and collaborating with youth, their families, community members, and organizations operating outside the juvenile justice system are crucial. #covid-19 #racialequity

Incarceration at an earlier age is associated with earlier and longer experiences of homelessness

September 2, 2020 – Older Youth

Housing Matters, an Urban Institute Initiative, featured new research exploring the homelessness experiences of people who were incarcerated before age 25. The focus of the study was whether there is an association between age at first incarceration and age at first experience of homelessness and lifetime duration of homelessness. Researchers found that incarceration as a juvenile or transitional youth is significantly associated with first experiencing homelessness at an earlier age. People incarcerated before age 18 were found to experience homelessness an average of 9.8 years earlier than those incarcerated after age 24. Women who were incarcerated as an older youth were more likely than their male counterparts to experience homelessness earlier in life. The work also identified an association between age of incarceration and lifetime duration of homelessness: those incarcerated at age 15 spent significantly more time homeless in their lifetime, even compared to those incarcerated at age 16 or 17. Though the study is not generalizable, it highlights the importance of reentry programs and targeted supports to reduce homelessness among this vulnerable population. #covid-19

Dover New Hampshire schools to feed all Dover children this fall

September 1, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The Dover school district has announced that under the USDA’s Seamless Summer Option program (with a new waiver just extended through December 31), the district will provide all children age 18 and under free breakfast and lunch. Children need not be enrolled in Dover schools, nor sign up in advance, to receive five breakfast/lunch combinations each week. Meals will be distributed by bus in eight locations around the city and reimbursed by USDA. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #education

New research finds that teacher responses vary by student race and ethnicity

September 1, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

A sociologist working at Google and UC Berkeley describes results from his new book (pre-dating the pandemic) on the racialized nature of the digital divide—in particular, how teachers interpret students’ pre-existing technological skills in the classroom. The author finds that teachers in predominately white schools encouraged student creativity, initiative, and leveraged student experience with social media, digital content creation, and video games to create educational capital. In minority-serving schools, teachers treated technologically skilled students as troublemakers, and focused on engaging students through noncreative activities, like typing, that would support their later employment in low-wage jobs. The author concludes that the digital divide cannot be solved by improving access to laptops and broadband alone but must also address how teachers’ beliefs about students’ race and class shape whether students’ technological skills are seen as valuable. #education #racialequity

Retaining young people in their rural home towns

September 1, 2020 – Older Youth

The Nebraska Community Foundation commissioned a survey of Nebraska high school students to better understand their preferences for adulthood living and their barriers to remaining in their rural communities of origin. The students expressed a preference to live in a small community like the one in which they were raised, but similarly expressed fear of the limited economic prospects available to them in their communities. The CEO of the Nebraska Community Foundation calls on rural community leaders to help emphasize rural opportunities to young people, including with attention to the rise in remote work options and ongoing rural revitalization efforts, to keep rural youth capital in rural spaces. #rural #workforce

Retaking the SAT associated with higher four-year college enrollment, especially for lowincome and underrepresented students

September 1, 2020 – Older Youth

A study recently published in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy found that retaking the SAT college admissions test resulted in higher test scores as well as higher four-year college enrollment. Retaking the SAT makes a student 13 percentage points more likely to enroll in a four-year college—with about half of this increase coming from students that otherwise would have enrolled in two-year colleges and the other half coming from students who otherwise would not have enrolled in any college. Importantly, low-income students who retake the SAT are about 30 percentage points more likely to enroll in a fouryear college and traditionally underrepresented students are 20 percentage points more likely to enroll in a four-year college. The researchers encourage more efforts to encourage high school students to take the SAT earlier, such as in 11th grade rather than 12th, so that there is more opportunity to retake the test. #olderyouth #racialequity #education

Cultural responsiveness and equity in remote learning

August 31, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The Regional Educational Laboratory Program (Mid-Atlantic) has published a new blog post on achieving educational equity in remote education. The lab suggests developing an actionable vision for equity, identifying specific culturally responsive practices for vulnerable students, and using data to track these efforts. For example, for students in poverty, who are more likely to have essential-worker parents, setting up a plan early on to provide more intentional and frequent contact with these students can help circumvent later struggles. The lab suggests although implementation can be difficult, these practices can be carried back into the classroom longer term. #covid-19 #education

Increasing financial aid funding would be more effective than tuition discounts

August 24, 2020 – Older Youth, Families

Especially as many colleges and universities announce an online or otherwise disrupted college experience, some have pushed for tuition discounts. A Brookings expert argues that tuition discounts are not the right approach, as they would likely reduce the future availability of financial aid. Universities and colleges are spending considerably more to prepare to operate amidst the pandemic, which may prompt future cuts to financial aid and make college less accessible for low-income students. Universities, such as Syracuse University, that have increased tuition have allowed for increases to financial aid. #covid-19 #education

Older youth in foster care report high rates of mental health service use

August 20, 2020 – Older Youth

A study of older youth (age 17) in California foster care consisted of 727 inperson interviews about their use of mental health services and preparedness to manage their mental health going forward. Over half of study participants (54 percent) reported using counseling in the past year and 29 percent reported using medications to help manage mental health. Those who had experienced physical or sexual abuse were more likely to have used counseling in the past year. Youth who did not identify as 100% heterosexual were also more likely to have used counseling than their peers. About 20 percent of all participants felt less than prepared to manage their mental health. This research shows that mental health service use continues to be high among foster care youth and that interventions may be beneficial to help these youth manage their mental health as they transition to adulthood. #mental health

Schools can opt into community eligibility provision and offset hardships for low-income families

August 19, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities draws attention to opportunities available to low-income school districts through the community eligibility provision. Districts that opt in by August 31 can provide free breakfast and lunch to all students—without having to process individual students’ applications—if at least 40 percent of students have been identified as eligible through SNAP or foster care. The provision is especially relevant now as the pandemic has increased SNAP caseloads. Further, because a new program flexibility allows districts to assess eligibility using data through June (when many families newly enrolled in SNAP), rather than April, as in usual years, these newly eligible families would be captured in community eligibility data. The provision not only expands access for in-person settings, but for students in districts doing some or all remote instruction, can also ease delivery of grab-and-go meals, and if extended, Pandemic EBT benefits. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

How to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 among children in schools

August 18, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

In the wake of unsuccessful in-person K-12 school openings—including in Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Nebraska, and other states—experts reexamine strategies for lowering risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools. Researchers published a list of 10 recommendations in The Conversation about how to reduce the risk for children, families, and staff at schools. These recommendations include checking everyone for symptoms at the start of each day, using quick-response testing when possible, requiring face masks, keeping desks at least six feet apart, ensuring students get their flu shot this fall, and providing sufficient emotional and behavioral supports for students during this stressful and challenging time. #covid-19 #education

Michigan camp supports re-entry for people who were incarcerated as youth

August 15, 2020 – Older Youth

People who begin their young adulthood in the juvenile justice system and continue to be incarcerated into adulthood have not had opportunities to learn basic life skills such as how to pay rent or file taxes. Some report feeling ‘stuck’ at the age they were when they entered the justice system. Upon their release, even as middle-aged adults, they are often not equipped to adjust easily to the world outside of prison. These adjustments are also complicated by trauma they are still processing. The Youth Justice Fund hosts a camp, similar to a summer camp, in Northern Michigan to help people who were incarcerated as youth reacclimate and process their trauma. Access to these supports, as well as a sense of community among camp attendees, has been an important stepping stone for this population. #covid-19 #mentalhealth #deucation