Medical treatment can not always cure the cause of a child’s illness. The medical team needs support from strong partners to treat the whole child. CAT makes comprehensive medical care to impoverished children a reality.
Our future strength depends on the healthy development of our youngest citizens, but poverty is one of the most significant indicators of a child’s well-being. Children living in poverty get sick more often and with greater severity than do those living in stable economic families.
- 26 % of children live in poverty (2006-2007).
- Over 93,000 children do not have health insurance (2008).
- 6% of children that are eligible for Medicaid or KCHIP remain uninsured (2008).
- In rural Kentucky, 11,591 homes lack complete plumbing, 8,160 lack adequate kitchens, and 16,509 are over-crowded.
- The unemployment rate has increased from 6.5% (July, 2008) to 11% (July, 2009).
In Fayette Country
- Over 14% of children live below the poverty line.
- Over 3500 children are Medicaid/KCHIP eligible, but do not receive support.
- Over 11% of children have no health insurance.
- Over 500 UK pediatric patients are uninsured and are potentially eligible for KCHIP.
- Over 31% of families do not have affordable housing.
- 35-40% of tenant service requests go unmet.
- Rental assistance is provided to less than 1% of those that qualify.
- Over 5,000 families are evicted annually.
Pediatricians and lawyers will serve together as a healthcare team to address children’s health issues. In a medical-legal partnership such as CAT, the lawyer is on-site in the clinical setting with the doctors who are well-positioned to screen patients for unmet legal needs through regular contact and their position of trust. The lawyer’s knowledge, skills and advice to both the physicians and patients bring a new type of expertise to the healthcare setting. This holistic approach is more often able to prevent dire consequences before a point of crisis.
The current focus of CAT is to address the areas of health insurance and housing issues. In addition, education and public benefits cases may be accepted and referred to volunteer lawyers.
Pediatricians and attorneys work together to ensure children’s basic needs of:
- Health Insurance
- Housing (poor housing conditions and utility problems)
- Education (children have been denied or are receiving inadequate special education services)
- Public Benefits (children are not receiving needed benefits for which they are eligible)