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.


Pandemic motivates states to reduce the number of youths in juvenile justice facilities

May 5, 2020 – Older Youth

According to Pew Trusts, states are taking seriously the risks of the virus for youth confined in juvenile justice facilities by aiming to reduce confined populations. The author notes that these shifts are inspired by the pandemic but align with the newest available public safety research findings that confinement doesn’t necessarily reduce recidivism. Specific strategies for reducing the correctional population include identifying lower-risk youth for community release (as in Michigan and California), releasing those who have almost completed their sentence (as in Illinois and New York), and releasing those who have served at least 90 days (as in Mississippi). #covid-19

Rural, black, and Native youth disconnected from alternative education programming

May 1, 2020 – Older Youth

A new article from Pew Trusts Stateline highlights the challenges of the pandemic for disconnected youth, with focus on rural, black, and Native youth. For those who were tenuously connected to alternative education and skill-building program, socially distanced versions of programming may not be enough to keep them connected, especially considering infrastructure and financial barriers around virtual learning. #covid-19 #education #rural

Providing Emergency Aid to College Students in a Time of Crisis (Recommendations to colleges on how to distribute federal relief funding to students)

April 30, 2020 – Older Youth

Public and private funds are becoming available to assist students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This Issue Focus highlights lessons from prior evaluations of emergency aid programs to help colleges identify students in need and allocate resources equitably, with the goal of enabling their students to navigate the current crisis and ultimately succeed in college and beyond. #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

Maryland's Medicaid telehealth law opens new opportunities for young people

April 27, 2020 – Older Youth

On April 3, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed SB 502, requiring the state’s Medicaid program to allow the provision of mental health services using telehealth. This expanded definition will allow reimbursement for mental health texting and online chat systems. Maryland’s young people will benefit from increased access to mental health services during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Unlike many other pandemic-related changes, Maryland’s new definition of mental health telehealth will not expire after the COVID-19 emergency. #covid-19

Advice for emerging young adults in these unprecedented times

April 23, 2020 – Older Youth

A new piece from Brookings offers advice to graduating young adults. First and foremost, the author says it is important to grieve the loss of events and graduation rituals that will not happen. The author also suggests that youth volunteer or consider government service, be creative, and focus on the present. #covid-19

At Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Dramatic and Rapid Reductions in Youth Detention

April 23, 2020 – Older Youth

A survey of juvenile justice agencies in 30 states funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that the number of young people in local secure detention centers fell by 24% in March 2020, a sign that the coronavirus pandemic is dramatically altering the juvenile justice system. “We are hoping this crisis teaches us that jurisdictions can safely reduce detention even more dramatically than many already have and keep young people who have been in trouble with the law safely in their communities,” says Lisa Hamilton, president and CEO of the Foundation. #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

How Child Welfare Leaders Can Help Older Youth During COVID-19 Pandemic

April 15, 2020 – Older Youth

As the nation grapples with the public health crisis of COVID-19, child welfare systems must prioritize the urgent and unique needs of older youth in foster care and those who have left (or aged out of) foster care without permanent family connections. The Casey Foundation urges action on the a set of priority needs. Child welfare leaders, advocates, policymakers, philanthropists and others must work with communities, young people, families and systems to improve policies and practices to help youth and young adults. #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