Many of Children Law Center's youth clients encounter Metropolitan Police Department officers -- especially those who are in foster care, those who are missing youth, children at risk for commercial exploitation and students with special education needs. They rely on MPD to treat them sensitively and keep them safe in their homes, communities and schools.
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 make repairs and comply with the housing code -- especially ensuring a family's home is safe from mold and lead-based paint hazards.
Through Children’s Law Center’s medical-legal partnerships with Children’s National Hospital, Mary’s Center and Unity Health Care, we meet families suffering from home conditions that affect the health of the children: infestations, mold, lead paint, and many other environmental factors. Bedbug and other insect infestations cause serious health issues in exposed children, and have a profound impact on a family’s emotional well-being.
Testimony & Comment: Proposed Rulemaking to Adopt a New Chapter 30 for Special Education in Subtitle A of Title 5 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations
Many of the children Children's Law Center serves receive special education services. Because of this work, we have consistently provided suggestions to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) over the last two years as OSSE reworks the Chapter 30 regulations for Special Education in order to strengthen protections for students.
Testimony: Office of Inspector General Report on the Department of Buildings Establishment Act of 2019
Children's Law Center sees DC residents daily whose children's health are impacted by the dangerous or unhealthy housing conditions in their home. Even when DCRA comes to their home and finds problems, there is no enforcement and nothing changes for them. Because DC residents deserve an effective government system of inspection and enforcement, we support breaking up DCRA.
Through Children Law Center's partnerships with clinics across the city, we work closely with a number of families who face a number of health challenges that require legal support. Chief among these needs are poor housing conditions, including homes that are infested with mold.
Many of the Children’s Law Center works 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 children have been faced with multiple adverse childhood experiences and resulting complex trauma and need access to high quality services to achieve stability. One of the best ways to improve access to mental health care for children is to provide services where they are.
Children's Law Center knows how important healthy housing is in providing a child with a strong foundation of family, health and education. However, the CLC team has testified numerous times about DCRA's inability to adequately protect and enforce housing code violations. It is our experience that our clients cannot rely on DCRA to address housing issues in any meaningful way.
Children’s Law Center testified in support of B23-407, the Lead Hazard Prevention and Elimination Amendment Act of 2019.
For more than 20 years, we have worked with DC’s Child Family Services Agency. As recently as this year, we have voiced our many concerns regarding CFSA’s individual child and family level practices and about systemic issues that we believe are negatively impacting DC children involved with the child welfare system. Because of this, Executive Director Judith Sandalow voiced our strong support for the Child Safety and Well-Being Ombudsperson Establishment Act of 2019.
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