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FY22 Oversight Testimony: Department of Behavioral Health

January 24, 2022

Children’s Law Center Supervising Policy Attorney Tami Weerasingha-Cote testified about the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH)’s performance 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.

In her testimony, Tami commended DBH’s progress in expanding the School-Based Behavioral Health program and Healthy Futures, while noting that both programs require continued investments in order to meet the behavioral health needs of DC children and families. She also urged the Committee on Health to provide continued oversight of another critical program, DC MAP, to ensure its implementation of services improves.

Importantly, Tami emphasized that these three programs are only part of the District’s public behavioral health system for kids and families, and that comprehensive reform of the system is urgent. We encourage DBH and the Committee on Health to enact the recommendations included in A Path Forward, a new report which provides a blueprint for creating a successful public behavioral health system.

Read her full testimony here.