In testimony today before the DC Council at the performance oversight hearing for the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services (DMHHS), Children’s Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow urged the Deputy Mayor to take a leadership role in ensuring that any financial savings seen by the DC Children and Family Services Agency (DC CFSA) as a result of a decrease in its foster care population be reinvested into specific prevention services for fragile families and access to mental health services for children in or at risk of entering the child welfare system be improved.
- Expand the capacity of existing programs by 400 families and increase the combined capacity of evidence- based home visiting programs in the District from about 600 families to over 1,000.
- Continue to collaborate with other city agencies to locate a permanent funding for the city’s home visiting programs and work together to expand evaluation of the current program models.
- Use savings from the city’s decreasing foster care rolls to ensure that DC CFSA and its agency partners have the necessary resources to improve services to at-risk families and implement their joint vision for preventive services.
- Facilitate the coordination between DC CFSA, the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) and other city agencies to ensure that all youth who enter care – or who experience significant events while in care – receive timely mental health screenings to be followed by a speedy transition to services that match their needs.