In April 2018, the Voices for Georgia’s Children team set out to find out why so many of their state’s children were being left behind. Team members traveled to Whitfield, Dougherty, Effingham, and Lamar counties to talk with residents about the struggles children who live outside of the Atlanta metro area face in accessing quality health care.
In the first episode of their Challenges for Children podcast series, residents of Lamar County discuss the barriers children face when trying to access health care. Accompanying the podcast is a report, Barriers Georgia’s Children Face in Healthcare, which outlines the ten most commonly discussed barriers from all of the counties. Community members discussed a wide array of barriers, from transportation issues to a lack of mental health services, and shared their personal stories during 90-minute focus group sessions.
The report includes relevant data points and potential state-based policy solutions which could mitigate some of the challenges faced by Georgia’s children and families.
Proposed policy solutions include streamlining health insurance eligibility, coordinating enrollment with other public benefits programs, improving opportunities for pediatric providers and specialists to reach high need areas, and ensuring access to health coverage for parents and adults caring for and/or living with children.
Read the report here.