|For Immediate Release|
March 21, 2007
|For More Information Contact:|
Ed Shelleby (202) 210-3823
NEW ORLEANS, LA — The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) today released a report entitled Katrina’s Children: Still Waiting, which finds that over a year and a half after Hurricane Katrina flooded their houses and schools, disintegrated families and stole their sense of safety, tens of thousands of children and teenagers continue to languish in a purgatory of uncertainty.
In April 2006, CDF’s first report on the crisis, Katrina’s Children: A Call to Conscience and Action, identified nine recommendations for immediate action to help the thousands of children scattered across our nation, uncertain whether they ever will be able to return home. Unfortunately, Katrina’s children are still waiting. CDF’s new report finds that over the past year, despite the valiant efforts of many organizations and individuals and much media attention, far too little has been done to protect children and adults whose chronic and acute post-traumatic stress disorders continue.
“While housing, jobs, safety and education are crucial to child, family and community well-being, our updated report focuses on one achievable step that our Congress, President and political leaders can and must take in 2007: Guarantee comprehensive health and mental health coverage for every child wherever they live in America,” said CDF President Marian Wright Edelman. “We must act now to meet the urgent unmet needs of Katrina’s children in their home states and across the land who desperately need health and mental health coverage.”
In Katrina’s Children: Still Waiting, CDF follows the progress of several children and their families profiled in its first report and assesses their current status. Among the key findings:
- Some 99,000 New Orleans residents still live in temporary housing.
- Coverage for those originally enrolled in the Louisiana State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) did not transfer across state lines, leaving many of the 251,000 children and adults evacuated to Texas without access to the health and mental health care they desperately need.
- A staggering 30 percent of Katrina children in Texas lack health insurance compared to 8 percent before the storm.
The full report is available at: www.childrensdefense.org/publications
For more information about the Children’s Defense Fund, visit www.childrensdefense.org.