District Of Columbia - AARP

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AARP, The Brookdale Foundation Group, Casey Family Programs, Child Welfare League of
America, Children's Defense Fund, and Generations United have partnered to produce state
and national GrandFacts fact sheets for grandparents and other relatives raising children. The
state fact sheets include state-specific data and programs as well as information about foster
care, public benefits, educational assistance and state laws. Visit www.grandfactsheets.org to
find this and all GrandFacts state fact sheets.
District of Columbia
The Children
17,444 children under age 18 live in homes where the householders are grandparents or
other relatives (17.5% of all children in the District of Columbia.) (U.S. 2010 Census)
o Of these, 12,822 live with grandparents who are the householders (12.9% of the
children in the state) and 4,622 live with other relatives who are the householders
(4.6% of the children in the state). (U.S. 2010 Census)
7,494 children live in homes with grandparent householders where grandparents are
responsible for them.*
o Of these children, 5,693 have no parents present in the home.*
The Grandparents*
5,693 grandparents are the householders and are responsible for their grandchildren living
with them. Of these:
o 2% of the grandparents are White and not Hispanic, 93% are Black/African American,
1% are Asian, 3% are Hispanic/Latino, and may be of any race.
o 40% have no parents of the children present in the home.
o 56% are under age 60.
o 31% live in poverty.**
*Comparable data are not currently available for homes where other relatives are the householders.
**100% of poverty level.
Data not specifically cited are taken from the U.S. Census Bureau 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year
Estimates, Detailed Table B09006 and Subject Tables S1001 and S1002. Additional data on related topics and
sub- state areas can be found on the Census Bureau website at http://factfinder.census.gov
Programs That Can Help
Local programs that provide support, resources and assistance to grandfamilies can often be
found by contacting your local school, area agency on aging, community center, faith-based
organization or children’s services office.
The AARP GrandCare Support Locator is a free online service where programs can self-list
their services and resources. Search by your city, state or zip code. www.giclocalsupport.org
Key Programs in District of Columbia
AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly
Phone: 202-434-2120 (LCE Hotline)
Email: dcaarp@aarp.org
Website: www.aarp.org/states/dc/LCE.html
Service Area: District of Columbia
Description: Free legal services to eligible caregivers
Bread for the City
Contact: George Jones
Phone: 202-265-2400 (NW Center) or 202-561-8587 (SE Center)
Email: gjones@breadforthecity.org
Website: www.breadforthecity.org
Service Area: District of Columbia
Description: Provides medical and legal clinics, clothing, food pantry and social
CARA House – National Center for Children and Families
Contact: Michelle Wilson
Phone: 202-396-9330 Extension 11
Email: mdwilson0225@aol.com
Website: www.nccf-cares.org/community-based-services/cara-house
Service Area: District of Columbia
Description: Provides support groups for formal and informal caregivers with
activities and guest speakers and parenting education
Children’s Law Center
Contact: Judith Sandalow
Phone: 202-467-4900
Email: jsandalow@childrenslawcenter.org
Website: www.childrenslawcenter.org
Service Area: District of Columbia
Description: Provides legal assistance to foster parents, grandparents and other
relatives who wish to adopt or obtain guardianship or custody of
children in the child welfare system (Family Permanency Project)
DC Metropolitan Foster and Adoptive Parent Association
Contact: Angela Byrd
Phone: 202-299-0900
Email: abyrd@dcmfapa.org
Website: www.dcmfapa.org/home.html
Service Area: District of Columbia
Description: Provides support groups and family activities for
foster/adoptive/kinship caregivers and children
Family Ties Project – Consortium for Child Welfare
Contact: Sally Altland, Project Director
Phone: 202-547-3349
Email: saltland@familytiesproject.org
Website: www.familytiesproject.org
Service Area: District of Columbia
Description: Provides permanency planning for families affected by HIV/AIDS,
free legal services, art therapy, counseling and professional training
Healthy Families/ Thriving Communities Collaborative
Contact: Jacquelyn Henry
Phone: 202-299-0900
Email: jhenry@hftcc.org
Website: http://dccollaboratives.org
Service Area: District of Columbia
Description: Provides leadership, advocacy, resource development, technical
assistance and training
Greater Washington Urban League
Contact: Audrey Epperson
Phone: 202-265-8200 extension 284
Email: aepperson@gwul.org
Website: www.gwul.org
Service Area: District of Columbia
Description: Provides information and referrals, counseling and publications
Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
Contact: Gary Cunningham
Phone: 202-628-1161
Email: gcunningham@legalaiddc.org
Website: www.legalaiddc.org
Service Area: District of Columbia
Description: Provides free legal services to eligible individuals in cases of child
custody, family issues, public benefits, domestic violence and
landlord-tenant issues
Whitman-Walker Clinic
Phone: 202-745-7000
Email: wwcinfo@wwc.org
Website: www.whitman-walker.org
Service Area: District of Columbia
Description: Provides free legal services to people who are HIV-positive and
assists in permanency planning for children of people who are ill or
Children in Foster Care
Sometimes state child welfare agencies place children in foster care with grandparents or
other relatives. This is often called “kinship care.”
Federal law requires states to notify all known relatives within 30 days of children’s removal
from their parents.
In 2009 in the District of Columbia:
2,368 children/youth spent some time in out-of-home care
374 of these children/youth were placed in certified relative/kinship care
1,994 of these children/youth were placed in non-certified relative/kinship care
Placement Policies
District of Columbia policy requires that kin be sought out and given preference when an outof-home placement is needed for a child under the Agency’s care. There is no separate
licensing program for kinship foster parents. Relatives must meet the same licensing
standards and receive the same foster care payment rate as non-kin foster parents.
Subsidized Guardianship
The District of Columbia is implementing the federal subsidized guardianship program, which
may be offered for children under the care of the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency if the
caregiver has been awarded permanent guardianship by the District of Columbia Superior
Court, has been an approved kinship caregiver for at least 6 continuous months immediately
preceding application for the guardianship subsidy, and has a financial need for a permanent
guardianship subsidy. The child must be in the legal custody of the agency and be either a
member of a sibling group, difficult to place for adoption, at least two years old, or not be placed
in a permanent placement outside of applicant’s family. The Agency must also determine that
the child’s best interest is not met by either reunification or adoption and that legal guardianship
with the applicant is in the child’s best interest.
District of Columbia Foster Care and Relative/Kinship Care Contacts
Foster and Adoption Program
D.C. Child and Family Services Agency
Sharon Knight
Public Benefits
Federal and state public benefits programs can help with income, food, healthcare, home
energy, telephone and other needs for those who are eligible. Eligibility requirements vary with
each public benefit and sometimes are different from state to state. Some benefits are for the
family and others are for children or older adults individually. Children are often eligible for public
benefits even if their caregivers do not have legal guardianship or custody. Grandparents may
become eligible for benefits programs when their household size increases.
Help with Public Benefits
AARP Foundation’s Benefits QuickLINK
A free and private way to find out if relatives or the children they are raising qualify for programs
that pay for food, increase income and cover home and healthcare costs (listed below). It gives
quick results, application forms and the address and phone number of the closest office.
Public Benefits for Older Americans:*
Medicare Savings Programs
Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare Rx Extra Help
State Pharmaceutical Assistance programs
Medicaid for Aged, Blind, and Disabled
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
State Property Tax Relief/Rebates
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Telephone Assistance (Link-Up and Lifeline)
Public Benefits for Families Raising Children*
Medicaid for Children
State Children's Health Insurance Program
TANF-Child Only Grants
Supplemental Security Income for Children
*Some of these programs may have age and income
Eldercare Locator
The National Eldercare Locator service helps you find your local area agency on aging and
other state and local resources that can help with public benefits, local programs and other
services for older adults.
1-800-677-1116 (toll-free)
Key Public Benefits
Each state administers federal funds that provide cash assistance to families in need. Some
states also offer other forms of financial assistance.
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
Cash assistance may be available to eligible children and their relative caregivers.
DC Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Department of Human Services
Social Security
A multigenerational program, Social Security provides income benefits to adults, older adults
and children. In addition to Retirement and Disability benefits, Survivor’s Benefits are based on
a child’s parent’s earnings and may help if a child’s parents die. The Supplemental Security
Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income
and resources. SSI benefits are also payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who
meet the financial limits.
Online Directory – To find your local Social Security Administration office.
1-800-772-1213 (toll-free)
Relative caregivers and their families may be eligible for assistance with groceries, meals, infant
formula and nutrition education. These are some of the key nutrition benefits programs and
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program. It helps low-income individuals and
families buy the food they need for good health. Although SNAP is the national name, your state
may use a different name.
DC Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Department of Human Services
Food and Nutrition Services of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Child Nutrition Program - The schools, early childhood education programs, child care
centers, afterschool programs or other programs that children attend may offer free or
reduced meals through the federal Child Nutrition Program, which provides breakfast, lunch,
snacks, summer meals and milk. Contact the school or program to ask if they participate in
any of the child nutrition programs and ask how to apply. Relative caregivers should inform
the program that they are raising the child and whether or not they are doing so through a
court order.
Online Directory - To find your state office that manages the Child Nutrition program.
Women, Infant and Children (WIC) - States administer federal funds for supplemental
foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding,
and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who
are found to be at nutritional risk.
Online Directory - To find your state office that manages the WIC program.
Foodbanks - Organizations that provide free food and sometimes other items, such as diapers
to families in need. Feeding America is an organization that fights hunger and has a food bank
Online Directory - To find local food banks.
1-800-771-2303 (toll-free)
Health Care
Relative caregivers and the children they are raising may be eligible for health insurance and
help with prescription drugs. Benefits QuickLINK can help you find these benefits.
Health Insurance for Children
Relative caregivers may apply for free or low-cost health and dental insurance for the children
they are raising through the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Although
CHIP is the national name, your state may use a different name.
DC Healthy Families
Department of Human Services
U.S. Department of Education - Offers a Parent Site that has a wide range of helpful
information for parents and caregivers regarding children’s education from early childhood
through college, special needs, disabilities, language challenges and gifted students.
1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327 – toll-free)
District of Columbia Department of Education - Relative caregivers may find helpful
information about the education of children they are raising.
District of Columbia Public Schools
Educational Enrollment
Relative caregivers can contact their local school district’s administrative office or their local
school to find out how to register the child and what paperwork is needed. Caregivers may need
birth records, health records or previous school records. Some states have laws that allow
relative caregivers to enroll children they are raising in school. These laws are often called
“education consent” laws, but may be called something else in your state.
Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center
Online Directory - To find out if your state has an education consent law.
Early Intervention, Special Education and Related Services
What you need to know:
The Federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) - From birth to age 21, children who
have learning disabilities, physical disabilities or other special needs may be able to get
special early intervention, preschool and special education services in school through the
federal IDEA. Services may include speech, physical, and occupational therapies.
Child Find – A part of the IDEA that requires states to identify, locate and evaluate children
in the areas of cognitive and physical functioning, hearing and vision, speech and language
and social and emotional development as early as possible. Once the Child Find evaluation
team, which includes a child’s caregivers, has decided if a child is eligible for early
intervention or preschool special education services, an Individual Family Service Plan
(IFSP; birth to three years of age) or an Individual Education Plan (IEP; three to five years of
age) is developed and services begin shortly at no cost.
Where to find help for children with special needs:
DC Public Schools Special Education
DC Early Stages Center, District of Columbia Public Schools
Early Stages helps identify delays in children ages 3-5 years old and provides services to
help. 202-698-8037
Guide to Special Education in the District of Columbia Public Schools
The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities guides caregivers to
organizations and resources in each state and offers both English and Spanish language
Online State Directory – To find state and other disability organizations in your state.
1-800-695-0285 (toll-free)
Parent Centers across the country provide information to help parents and caregivers with
children who have special education needs and disabilities.
Online State Directory – To find Parent Centers in your state.
National Parent Technical Assistance Center 1-888-248-0822 (toll-free)
Early Childhood Education
Head Start and Early Head Start – Early education programs for eligible children.
Online Directory – To find Head Start or Early Head Start centers in your state.
1-866-763-6481 (toll-free)
The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) Information, resources and connection to local Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies
(CCR&R) that help you find local child care through the Child Care Aware program.
Online Directory – To find your local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency.
1-800-424-2246 (toll-free)
Educational Activities
Verizon Thinkfinity - Support a child’s success in school with fun learning activities and
interactive games you can do together using this free online resource.
State Laws
Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center
Provides an up-to-date online listing of state laws, policies and legislation that affect
grandfamilies. A collaboration between Casey Family Programs, the American Bar
Association’s Center on Children and the Law and Generations United, the website includes a
searchable database of current laws and pending legislation by state, including:
Care and Custody
Financial Assistance
Kinship Navigator Programs
National Family Caregivers Support Programs
Relative Foster Care
Subsidized Guardianship
Notification of Relatives
Online Directory – To find your state’s laws affecting grandfamilies.
GrandFacts Updates
If you have an update or a resource to be included in this or any of the other GrandFacts fact
sheets, please visit www.grandfactsheets.org to submit updates or email grandfacts@aarp.org.
Fact sheets are updated regularly.
GrandFacts State Fact Sheets for Grandparents and other Relatives Raising Children are
funded in part by the AARP Foundation and Verizon Thinkfinity.
Disclaimer: None of the sponsoring organizations whose logos appear on this website (AARP, Brookdale Foundation
Group, Casey Family Programs, Child Welfare League of America, Children’s Defense Fund, or Generations United)
recommend or endorse any of the groups, agencies or services listed on the GrandFacts State Fact Sheets. Neither the
sponsoring organizations nor any of their employees make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assume any legal
liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information. None of the sponsoring
organizations shall have liability to any website user or to any third party for any loss expense, or damage, including
consequential, incidental, special or punitive damages. A user's sole and exclusive remedy for dissatisfaction with this
service is to cease using the service. Please be advised that there may be other similar services available that are not listed.
The sponsoring organizations are not obligated to include any specific groups, agencies or services and may choose not to
include some that submit their information. The sponsoring organizations are not responsible for consumer interactions
with groups, agencies or services listed on these fact sheets. Fact sheets may be printed and used as handouts without
permission for non-commercial purposes, provided attribution is given to www.grandfactsheets.org only.
Organizations and individuals who want to share fact sheet content online must link to www.grandfactsheets.org
only. Excerpts may be used online or in print publications with permission only.

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