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FY21 Oversight Testimony: CFSA

February 25, 2021

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. We commend the agency for its long-term vision focusing on prevention and supporting family stability through alternatives to removal, including In-Home Services and diversion.

Yet, despite recent progress, DC’s foster children are still struggling to have their needs met, and many DC families need support to remain safely together. We recognize that CFSA cannot meet these needs alone — it is the District’s child welfare agency, but not its child welfare system. To that end, we urge the DC Council and CFSA’s sister agencies (including OSSE, DBH, DCPS, DCHA, DYRS, DHCF and MPD) to support the agency in meeting the needs of DC’s most vulnerable children families. We strongly believe the Office of the Ombudsperson for Children could play a significant role in helping to meet these needs and facilitate interagency cooperation.

Read the full testimony here: