Young children rely on their families and caretakers for food, housing, clothing, and love. Providing support for the families of young children improves their outcomes. Explore information and resources available to children and their families in DC.
Many parents have positive and nurturing relationships with their children, yet child abuse and neglect can happen to any child in any family. There are many signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect. The Child and Family Services Agency has a list of signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect.
Keeping children safe is everybody's business. If you suspect a child may be being abused or neglected you should report the suspicion to the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA). To learn more about how and when to report a suspicion of child abuse or neglect, view the CFSA website and read this helpful guide to learn what to expect after you make a report. To report child abuse or neglect, call 202-671-SAFE.
Parenting and Family Activities
DC offers family-friendly programs and activities to promote early childhood learning and development.
All local DC libraries have story time for children, families and child caregivers to share. Explore the story time calendar for an event near you.
Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council provides unique services to families such as fatherhood programs, parenting classes and interview skills trainings. Learn more about what’s available near you.
The DC Department of Parks and Recreation department offers aquatics, athletics, and cultural arts for infants to adults. Find your local parks and recreation program and get a list of classes and register online to get involved today!
Additionally, the One City Summer Initiative is coordinated by the DC Children and Youth Investment Corporation (CYITC). This initiative aims to provide coordinated safe and meaningful programs, activities and services. See the One City Youth website for a calendar of events and activities.
Another great way to spend time with your child is to explore our city. The District has a wide variety of museums and galleries and the American Folk Life and Heritage Trails can help children learn about DC and its rich history.
Check out our resource library to explore parenting tips and tools, such as this list of positive parent tips.
Families with young children may need financial assistance to help make ends meet. DC offers several programs for families in need such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). DC also offers medical coverage to low-income residents through Medicaid, Alliance and DC Healthy Families programs.
For families in need of housing or shelter, the Department of Human Services has a number of services available. You can also contact the contact the 24-hour Shelter Hotline at 1 (800) 535-7252. The Coalition for the Homeless may also be able to help your family if you are experiencing a housing crisis.
You can apply for financial, food and medical assistance in one place. Visit the Department of Human Services’ benefits page to learn more.