ECIN impacts systems and policy, both as advocates ourselves and by supporting the advocacy work of others. ECIN participates in policy networks, learns from partner organizations, and focuses on targeted policy issues. We work closely with DC government and agency leaders to ensure that law, policy, and financing optimally support young children and their families.
Behavioral Health in the District of Columbia for Children, Youth, and Their Families: Understanding the Current System
The Children’s Law Center, Children’s National Health System and the District of Columbia Behavioral Health Association partnered together to draft “Behavioral Health in the District of Columbia for Children, Youth & Families: Understanding the Current System.” This report seeks to create a common reference point that describes the current state of the children’s mental health service delivery system in Washington, D.C.
Passage of the Birth to Three for All DC Act of 2018
In June, the D.C. City Council unanimously approved Legislation B22-203, Birth to Three for All DC Act of 2018. The bill includes key provisions to improve mental health services in the District of Columbia, including:
Expansion of HealthySteps to additional health clinics in Wards 5, 7 and 8
Expansion of early childhood mental health consultations to more child care centers serving low-income children
Improvements to access and quality of early learning
ECIN actively supported the bill throughout the legislative process, including providing expert testimony in support of the act in September 2017, when the bill was formerly titled the Infant and Toddler Developmental Health Services Act of 2017.
Expert testimony before D.C. Council’s Committee on Health
ECIN provided expert testimony on B22-0687, The Adverse Childhood Experiences Task Force Act of 2018. The bill establishes a task force to study policies and practices for children that aim to address toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences.
Contributing to DC Council Legislation
ECIN has been actively supporting DC Council legislation (B22-203, Infant and Toddler Developmental Health Services Act of 2017) that includes a provision to fund an expansion of HealthySteps to additional health clinics in Wards 7 and 8, and to expand early childhood mental health consultation to more child care centers serving low-income children. ECIN testified before DC Council in late September 2017 on the proposed Infant and Toddler Developmental Health Services Act. The legislation can be viewed here.
ECIN also testified before DC Council in November 2017 in support of the proposed B22-0172, Maternal Mental Health Task Force Act of 2017. The legislation can be viewed here.
Briefing Elected Leaders and Government Officials
ECIN briefed DC Councilmembers and staff in July, focusing on the critical importance of early childhood and HealthySteps.
In April 2017, ECIN team members visited federal legislators to provide information on the importance of early childhood mental health and development, and to advocate for early childhood and maternal mental health appropriations in the 21st Century Cures Act.