Testimony: Public Oversight Hearing: The Department of Behavioral Health

November 20, 2019

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. Counseling services in school or at the school building can make a huge difference for the children who need them.

Policy Attorney Tami Weerasingha-Cote testified in support the Department of Behaviorial Health's efforts to implement school-based mental health services. She acknowledged the Committee on Health's work with DBH in getting to this point, then reflected on progress being made in the second year of implementation. Last, she noted that Children's Law Center feels strongly that with continued support from the Committee on Health and sustained efforts by DBH, DCPS, OSSE and the many partner schools and organizations involved in this work, any challenges faced in implementing the program can be overcome.

Read the full testimony here: