Many of the kids Children Law Center represents attend DC Public Schools (DCPS), and we see firsthand the critical impact appropriate funding, services, and educational supports can have on students. That's why Children's Law Center Special Counsel Buck Logan recently testified on the Critical Risk Rate School Funding Designation Act of 2019 (B23-365). The bill would create a new weight in the DC school budget formula to provide additional funding for schools that have an at-risk student population of 70% and above -- acounting for about 30 DCPS schools and 15 DC public charter schools.
Children's Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow testified today before the DC Council's Committee on Health regarding the performance of the DC's Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF). DHCF is the Medicaid agency for the District and recently announced plans to move towards a fully managed Medicaid program over the next five years. In DC, one in two children is covered by Medicaid, and nearly all of our clients are Medicaid beneficiaries.
Many of the children and families that we represent each year live in terrible housing conditions and receive no meaningful assistance from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) to ensure their right to safe and healthy housing. Children's Law Center Policy Attorney Elizabeth Oquendo recently shared testimony at DCRA's oversight hearing, focusing on our and partner organizations' concerns about the agency's ability to carry out its responsibilities to DC tenants.
Children's Law Center Policy Director Sharra E. Greer recently shared testimony at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education's (OSSE) oversight hearing. Nearly all the children we represent attend public schools in DC, whether traditional public schools or charter schools, and we appreciated the opportunity to testify on the changes needed to better serve them.
Children's Law Center Policy Attorney Tami Weerasingha-Cote recently shared her testimony about DC Health with DC Council's Committee on Health. Through our work and participation in the Early Childhood Network (ECIN), the Under 3 DC Coalition, and the Home Visiting Council, we know how critical DC Health programs can be for DC families. HealthySteps DC and home visiting programs, in particular, help DC's most vulnerable families access the help needed to ensure the health and well-being of their children.
Many of the kids Children's Law Center represents attend DC Public School (DCPS), and we see firsthand the critical impact appropriate funding, services, and educational supports can have on DC students. Over the last year, DCPS has shown improvement by making important investments in expanding school based mental health initiatives, improvements in school culture to reduce exclusionary discipline, and improvements in screening children for early intervention services. However, as CLC Policy Director Sharra E.
Children's Law Center has successfully partnered with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) throughout the last year on issue areas including improving housing conditions for low-income tenants and also on addressing human trafficking in the District. CLC has benefited from the knowledge, skill, and compassion shown to our tenant clients by OAG staff, particularly the Public Advocacy Division Social Justice Unit.
Children's Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow and Senior Policy Attorney Aubrey Edwards-Luce shared their insight during CFSA's oversight hearing. Because CLC represents the best interests of hundreds of children in foster care, as well as representing foster parents and relative caregivers of children who are in or at risk of entering DC's child welfare system, we are able to offer an informed perspective on CFSA's practices and policies. We applaud the agency's successes in 2019, including its support for the Close Relative Caregiver's Subsidy Pilot.
Children's Law Center Policy Director Sharra Greer and policy attorney Tami Weerasingha-Cote recently testified about the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) during DC's oversight proceedings. Many of the children we work with—children in the foster care system or receiving special education services—only need our help because their mental health needs have gone unaddressed.
Countless Children's Law Center clients depend on the Department of Human Services (DHS) for basic needs like housing and the administration of public benefits. Every day, we receive referrals to help families who experience housing insecurity and rely on DHS to provide them with services through Virginia Williams Family Resource Center, Tagreted Affordable Housing Vouchers (TAH), and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). We also are referred many families whose children are experiencing the harming effects of unsafe and unhealthy housing.
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