Resources

In 2014, the DC Council passed a legislative package of three bills that reform DC’s special education system. Children’s Law Center helped shape the bills, which also drew from the experience of teachers, parents, lawyers and experts in the field to determine how to best meet the needs of our students with special needs.

These printable fact sheets describe how Children's Law Center fights so every child in DC can grow up with a loving family, good health and a quality education. It highlights the struggles DC's most vulnerable children face, and how our work challenges a bureaucratic system that can get in the way of a child’s basic needs: access to school, necessary medical care and a permanent, loving family.

This Children's Law Center policy paper examines how childhood trauma impacts learning, why children in DC are at risk and what DC schools can do. It also shares best practices from other states and calls for all DC public and charter schools to adopt plans to become more trauma sensitive.

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The Advocacy Code Card is for use by pediatricians and other medical professionals working with children in the District. It provides screening questions to identify housing, education and other environmental factors that affect children's health. It also summarizes currently available public benefits, mental health programs, special education and other services available to low-income families in the District.

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Youth in foster care should not be restricted or isolated from social and recreational activities that are healthy and developmentally appropriate for their age. The federal "Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014" amended the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) to include provisions about supporting "normalcy" for foster youth as well as new requirements surrounding APPLA goals.

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The Behavioral Health System of Care Act of 2014 expands mental health access for children through the District’s extensive pediatric primary care network. It increases pediatricians’ ability to identify and manage basic mental health issues among their patients. It also ensures that children who need to see mental health specialists are quickly and appropriately linked to the proper clinicians and services.

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In 2012, Children's Law Center released its plan for improving the District's mental health services for children. Since its release, Children's Law Center has published annual Children's Mental Health Report Cards. These report cards grade the District government's progress toward meeting the mental health needs of low-income children.

Foster youth are at heightened risk for commercial sexual exploitation. This fact sheet summarizes some of the key federal and local laws available to protect and support this vulnerable population.

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High quality IDEA Part C early intervention services to young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays have been shown to positively impact outcomes across developmental domains, including health, language and communication, cognitive development, and social/emotional development.

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The Expanding Access to Juvenile Records Amendment Act of 2010 made changes to juvenile confidentiality in DC. Certain information about juvenile arrests and crimes is now available to the public. Certain professionals connected to a youth may also share formerly confidential information about a youth for limited purposes. This CLC Fact Sheet provides a summary of the law, a copy of which is attached to this Fact Sheet.

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