Children's Law Center strongly believes that civil legal services not only help DC residents access justice, but that early legal intervention can have significant societal benefits. Through our own medical-legal partnerships, we have seen how early intervention improves health outcomes and saves significant sums in Medicaid costs. That's why Executive Director Judith Sandalow submitted written testimony urging the DC Council to ensure that the DC Bar Foundation, specifically the Access to Justice Grant, is fully funded in the District's FY21 budget.
Nearly all of the kids Children's Law Center represents are Black and Brown, and many routinely interact with the Metropolitan Police Department officers in their schools, at home and in their communities. More often than not, these interactions are negative, especially for students of color or ones with special needs or behavioral health issues. At at time when DC children are shouldering the weight of stress and trauma from both systemic racism and the public health crisis, CLC strongly believes now is the time to rethink the role of police in our children's lives.
Children's Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow recently shared her Department of Behavioral Health budget testimony with the DC Council's Committee on Health. Year after year, CLC testifies that many of the children we work with -- children in the foster care system or receiving special education services -- only need our services because their mental health needs have gone unaddressed. Many of these same children have faced multiple adverse childhood experiences resulting in complex trauma and need access to high quality services to achieve stability.
Children's Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow recently shared her education budget testimony with the DC Council's Education Committee. At CLC, we work with children in DC's education system every day.
Children's Law Center Senior Supervising Attorney Kathy Zeisel recently shared her DCRA testimony with the DC Council. Time after time our clients have suffered the health-harming effects of living in terrible housing conditions -- without any significant help from DCRA. That's why we ask that the Council consider amending, passing, and funding the Department of Buildings Establishment Act of 2019 and in the immediate term take any additional funding increases granted to DCRA and instead use them towards the cost of funding a new Department of Buildings.
Children's Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow recently shared her testimony for DC's Department of Human Services (DHS) and Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) before the DC Council's Committee on Human Services. Judith's testimony stressed the critical importance of creating a balanced and just budget that prioritizes DC's most vulnerable families. We know that the investments we make in our budget today can help mitigate harms caused by years of structural racism and inequity which have been highlighted by the pandemic crisis.
Children's Law Center Special Counsel Buck Logan recently shared his DOEE testimony with the DC Council. Buck's testimony expressed CLC's concern that proposed budget cuts that potentially could hamper DC's battle against childhood lead poisoning, which can severely and irreversibly harm a child's development. We urge the Council to ask DOEE to specify how the proposed budget cuts would affect the Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes Division and modify this aspect of the budget, as necessary, to restore critical funding for the District's childhood lead-poisoning prevention program.
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.
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