As Voices for Georgia’s Children, we believe that access to quality healthcare and comprehensive insurance is vital for a child’s development. Unfortunately, not all of Georgia’s children receive this. Georgia has the 7th highest childhood uninsured rate in the country. In 2016, more than 162,000 children were uninsured, of which, an estimated 140,000 qualified for either Medicaid or PeachCare for Kids.
As Georgia’s only statewide child advocacy and policy organization, we set out to find out why so many of our children are being left behind, so in April of 2018, Voices staff visited Whitfield, Dougherty, Effingham and Lamar counties. We convened 8 focus groups made up of parents, healthcare workers, government employees, law enforcement officials community volunteers and school officials for about 90 minutes to discuss the barriers and struggles children who live outside metro Atlanta face in accessing quality healthcare. One commonality stood out: the belief that children in their community deserve better.
From that discussion, Voices developed two publications to educate the public and policymakers on these barriers.
The first, our first podcast series, “Challenges for Children.” This is where you will hear first hand from members of the community on the struggles they are facing and why their children aren’t getting the healthcare services they deserve. The first episode of the podcast focuses on Lamar County.
The second: Barriers to Healthcare for Georgia’s Children. This supplemental report outlines vital pieces of information, including the 10 most commonly discussed barriers from all counties, complete with corresponding quotes, relevant data points and potential state-policy solutions. We hope these two publications will facilitate discussion and lead to actions that will remove the barriers our children face.