Children's Law Center Senior Policy Attorney Tami Weerasingha-Cote shared our testimony during CFSA's performance 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.
Children’s Law Center Policy Special Counsel Buck Logan submitted written testimony about the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer's (OCTO) "Internet for All" program. With a majority of District students attending school virtually during the public health emergency, we know that access to reliable internet service at home is essential. That's why CLC strongly supports the "Internet for All" program, which seeks to provide 12 months of free home Internet service to 25,000 low-income DC families.
At Children's Law Center, we know that poor housing conditions can pose a serious risk to a child's health. Every year we represent hundreds of families in trying to get their landlords to repair housing code violations, including lead-based paint hazards, that threaten the health of the children living in the home. Lead exposure from paint dust or peeling paint can permanently disrupt a child’s growth and learning, and no amount of lead is safe for a child.
Children's Law Center Policy Director Sharra E. Greer and policy attorney Tami Weerasingha-Cote 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 behavioral health needs have gone unaddressed.
Testimony: Roundtable Examining the District’s Legislative Prohibition on Evictions During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Senior Supervising Attorney Kathy Zeisel testified at the Joint Roundtable Examining the District’s Legislative Prohibition on Evictions During the COVID-19 Pandemic to highlight how the moratorium on evictions is reducing the spread of COVID-19, ensuring stable and healthy housing, and creating education stability during the pandemic.
Virtually all of the children and youth Children's Law Center represents are Black and Brown, and many of them routinely interact with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in school, at home, and in their communities. As our community works to reimagine what a safe and positive school environment looks like, we believe that the involvement of youth voices, educators, parents, administrators, and school staff is fundamental to ensuring an effective transition to police-free schools.
Children's Law Center Policy Director Sharra E. Greer testified to stress the need for DCPS's school reopening plans to focus on the reason why a return to in-person learning is critical: The education and growth of DC's most vulnerable students depend on it.
Children's Law Center Policy Attorney Danielle Robinette testified before the DC Council's Committee of the Whole and Committee on Education sharing our support for the Education and Credit Continuity Amendment Act of 2020 and its efforts to address educational barriers faced by students in the care of DC. Students in DC's care include foster youth and youth in the custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) or Department of Corrections (DOC). Currently, students in care often lose most, if not all, course credit when they change schools due to changing placements.
As we enter the eighth month of the pandemic, we know that children and families are going to need the supports that DHS provides even more as we work towards recovering from the economic effects of the crisis. Senior Policy Attorney Elizabeth Oquendo testified before the Committee on Human Services to share our appreciation for the Department of Human Services' continued communication with advocates and the agency's efforts to remove physical barriers to benefit access.
Many of the DC children in foster care we serve have struggled with remote learning or supervision issues during the pandemic.
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