In coverage of Children’s Law Center’s first Children’s Mental Health Report Card, Eric Newcomer of The Washington Examiner notes that the majority of children referred for children’s mental health services don’t get help in a timely manner.
That report, released Thursday, says “not much progress has been made over the last year in improving the timeliness or quality of service delivery.” The law requires that children referred for mental health services are seen by mental health providers within one week, but the most recent data shows that only 26% were seen in that timeframe. Only 49% of children referred were seen within a month.
There are several reasons for the delay, the Examiner reported, including a lack of capacity in DC’s children’s mental health system – there aren’t enough service providers. One major contributing factor to this is that the process of getting the right credentials to practice in DC is too onerous. “It is a byzantine labyrinth of paperwork to provide mental health services to children in the District,” Children’s Law Center executive director Judith Sandalow told the Examiner.
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