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Change Laws & Policies



How Does Children’s Law Center Improve DC’s Laws?

CLC’s policy program draws its strength from the expertise and experience we gain representing more than 2,000 children and caregivers each year in abuse and neglect, adoption, guardianship, custody, special education, health care, housing, and public benefits cases. CLC’s policy initiatives are closely coordinated with our direct representation of individual clients. We uncover and analyze the systemic barriers facing at-risk children in our community and work to change laws, policies, and practice to benefit all of the District's children.

The policy program focuses on four main areas:

  • Mental Health: we work to improve children’s access to quality mental health services by increasing the number of providers, improving funding structures, and breaking down the barriers that prevent children from getting necessary care.
  • Child Welfare System: we work to improve DC’s child welfare system so that more children remain with their families, children who must be removed receive appropriate services while in the District’s custody, and all types of families receive the supports they need so that children can live in loving, stable homes.
  • Education: we work to ensure that low income children, children with disabilities, and those involved in the child welfare system receive an appropriate, high-quality education. We pay particular attention to special education issues.
  • Coalition Building and Anti-Poverty Advocacy: along with other non-profit organizations, CLC works to increase public awareness of the negative effects of living in poverty and to identify and support effective anti-poverty measures that lead to better outcomes for children and families. CLC works to improve budget transparency in DC so the allocation of funds and the effectiveness of programs can be monitored.

Follow our testimony in front of DC Council and comments regarding agency proposals.

“Whenever a customer comes in needing help with a third-party issue, CLC is the place I think of first.” 
-Avi Sickel,
Branch Chief,
Family Court Self Help Center

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