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FY20 Oversight Testimony: Department of Behavioral Health

January 31, 2020

Children’s Law Center Policy Director Sharra Greer and policy attorney Tami Weerasingha-Cote recently testified about the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) 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 mental health needs have gone unaddressed. One of the best ways to improve children’s access to mental health is to provide services where they are, and and counseling services in school can make a huge difference for the children who need them. During her testimony, Sharra commended DBH’s work in expanding school-based mental health support over the last year to get clinicians into schools faster, with services now in nearly every DC school.

Tami also urged in her testimony that as DBH collaborates with the Department of Health Care Finance on a fully-managed Meidcaid care program and a more comprehensive 1115 Behavioral Health Transformation waiver, that DBH keep the needs of children in focus. We ask DBH and the DC Council to ensure changes are made to improve children’s timely access to quality mental health services.

Read the full testimonies here: