Founded in 1980, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) seeks to improve the lives of children by ensuring that they have the basic building blocks they need for success, including reliable health care, quality education and a dependable support network to guide them as they grow. PCCY’s child health program works to meet the complex and urgent needs of the region's most vulnerable children. The core direct service elements of our health work are:
1) Child Health Watch Helpline: PCCY enrolls at least 300 children in CHIP or Medicaid each year. In addition, we assist the parents and caregivers of at least 525 children to resolve insurance/health care problems, including referrals. The Helpline has served over 20,000 children during its 20 years of operation.
2) Give Kids Sight Day: Each year PCCY teams up with the Wills Eye Hospital and Eagles Charitable Foundation to provide free vision screens to 1,000 children, including two pairs of free eyeglasses as needed and connect uninsured children to health coverage. PCCY plays a lead role in community outreach, recruiting and training over 400 volunteers and educating parents and helping families enroll their kids in CHIP and Medicaid. Since 2009, 8,000 children have received quality eyecare thanks to Sight Day.
3) Give Kids a Smile Day: PCCY has organized free dental care for over 3,700 underserved children since 2004. We recruit volunteer dentists to donate care, conduct a massive outreach campaign to identify vulnerable families and recruit 50 volunteers to make appointments and serve as language interpreters. PCCY also uses Smile Day and an opportunity to educate parents about how to find dentist that takes their insurance and assist families without insurance enroll their children in CHIP and Medicaid.
4) Outreach and trainings: Every year, PCCY trains child-serving professionals about public health insurance eligibility and enrollment procedures. In 2016, PCCY trained over 300 child-serving professionals on public health insurance including 238 Philadelphia School District nurses and 46 nurses, psychologists, therapists and social workers at area health care institutions.
In Philadelphia, as in the nation as a whole, uninsured children are more likely to be poor, non-white and immigrant. Many immigrant children are growing up in families with limited-English proficiency, which often creates additional barriers to access government benefits. PCCY is seeking a motivated NHC member to provide health insurance enrollment assistance and education to immigrant and other underserved families.