November 22, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Signs On To Letter Urging Congress to Reinstate the Expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

DC KinCare Alliance, along with more than 550 national, state and community-based organizations, urge Congress to take this historic opportunity to address hunger and improve the nutrition, health, and well-being of our nation’s children.

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November 16, 2022

Executive Director Marla Spindel Submits Additional Written Testimony Regarding Educator Background Check Streamlining Amendment Act of 2022

In her testimony, Ms. Spindel raises concerns about DC’s failure to implement the safeguards of the School Safety Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 to ensure sexual predators are not hired by DC public schools.

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November 2, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Testifies on Educator Background Check Streamlining Amendment Act of 2022

Staff Attorney Caylyn Keller addresses concerns regarding proposal to provide for expungements of substantiated allegations of child abuse in as few as three years.

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September 22, 2022

Executive Director Marla Spindel Testifies at Roundtable on POCKETT Act

Ms. Spindel testified regarding recommended improvements to the subsidy programs, including a timeframe for processing applications, advance notice of program termination, increasing the subsidy amounts, increasing the income limits for eligibility, as well as payment of the subsidy retroactive to the date of application.

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July 12, 2022

DC Council Appoints First Ombudsperson for Children–Shalonda Cawthon

In a huge win for DC’s children and families, DC now has an official Ombudsperson for Children!

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June 30, 2022

Executive Director Marla Spindel Testifies in Support of Shalonda Cawthon as First DC Ombudsperson for Children

Ms. Spindel discussed the critical need for the Office and how Ms. Cawthon has the expertise and skills to fulfill its important mission.

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June 23, 2022

Read our Recommendations for Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden

These recommendations provide a fix to the Title IV-B funding stream to require the Title IV-E agency to contract with a community partner trusted by the kinship caregiver community to provide kinship navigation services and to ensure responsiveness and accountability to the caregivers they are supposed to serve.

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June 3, 2022

Another Advocacy Win for DC KinCare as DC Council Names First Ombudsperson for Children–Shalonda Cawthon

Ms. Cawthon currently serves as a Regional Program Manager for the Children’s Bureau, where she provides leadership and strategic direction to the Bureau out of the Atlanta Regional Office. She has a long track record of collaborative, values-driven child welfare leadership with the federal government and in Georgia and Tennessee.

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June 2, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Signs On To Letter Supporting DC Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

A Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in Washington DC would include domestic workers in protections against employment discrimination and in DC’s local occupational health and safety law.

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May 25, 2022

Another Expansion of the DC Caregiver Subsidies!

Our advocacy has worked for a third time.  First, we were able to expand the grandparent subsidy to include other relatives.  Then, we were able to eliminate the 6-month eligibility period.  And now, we have expanded the subsidy to include godparents, some relatives who live out-of-state, and relatives who also live with a disabled parent.

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May 18, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Meets with Senator Wyden’s Staff to Discuss Federal Kinship Navigator Funding

DC KinCare Alliance attorneys and a representative from the Community Board met with Senator Wyden’s staff to discuss concerns about the use of federal funds for kinship navigator services in DC.  See Community Board Position Statement regarding this issue.

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April 18, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Joins 31 Other Organizations to Submit Testimony in Support of Clean Hands Law Reform

The law that would reform the discriminatory and punitive practice under the “Clean Hands Law” of preventing District residents from getting or renewing their driver’s licenses.

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April 14, 2022

What Caregivers Need to Know About the Child Tax Credit

Fin out if you are eligible and how to obtain the tax credit.

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April 12, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Spearheads Petition to Fund Ombudsperson for Children

DC KinCare Alliance signs onto this Petition with more than 200 other signatories asking the DC Council to fund the Ombudsperson for Children.

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April 8, 2022

Staff Attorney Raquel Wollaston Testifies Before the DC Council Committee of the Whole on Funding the DC Ombudsperson for Children

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April 5, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Signs On To Letter With Other Advocates To Reform Rapid Re-Housing Program

The Letter asks the DC Council to stop Mayor Bowser from terminating DC residents from the rapid re-housing program for hitting an arbitrary time limit. This year, as many as 913 families are facing time limit terminations.

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March 31, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Submits Testimony on the DC Department of Human Services FY 2023 Budget

Among other things, Kincare highlights high barriers to access benefits for kinship caregivers, and the agency’s failure to reduce those barriers.

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March 24, 2022

Executive Director Marla Spindel Testifies Before DC Council on Child and Family Services Agency FY 2023 Budget

Mayor Bowser defunded the FY 2022 funding allocated to the Office of the Ombudsperson for Children, and did not include any funding for the Office in FY 2023.  Accordingly, we implore the DC Council to identify and reallocate funds to ensure this critical protection for DC children is retained.

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March 2, 2022

Executive Director Marla Spindel Testifies About Barrier to Access the DC Child Care Subsidy

Marla Spindel testified about the unnecessary and discriminatory barriers for non-parent caregivers to access the DC Child Care Subsidy for the children in their care.

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February 23, 2022

Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Testifies on Barriers to Access TANF Benefits For Relative Caregivers

Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan testified about the unnecessary and burdensome documentation requirements for relative caregivers to obtain TANF benefits, which create discriminatory barriers to access.

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February 23, 2022

Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Testifies on DC Housing Authority Discriminatory Practices

Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan testified on how the DC Housing Authority discriminates against relative caregivers who seek to add the children in their care to their public housing vouchers.

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February 17, 2022

Executive Director Marla Spindel Testifies At CSFA Performance Oversight Hearing

Marla Spindel testifies before the DC Council Human Services Committee on the the performance of the DC Child and Family Services Agency regarding: (1) processing time for the caregiver subsidies; (2) the independent Ombudsperson for Children; (3) kinship diversion; and (4) child fatalities and near fatalities.

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February 7, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Leads Advocacy to Remove Barriers for Non-Parent Caregivers to Access the DC Child Care Subsidy

Along with other advocates, DC KinCare Alliance requests that DC explicitly include in loco parentis as one of the legal relationships eligible for the DC Child Care Subsidy. Doing so is consistent with the overarching purposes of the program, as well as with existing federal and DC child care and school enrollment regulations.

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February 7, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Spearheads Advocacy to Remove Barriers for Non-Parent Caregivers to Access Public Housing

Along with other DC advocates, DC KinCare Alliance urges the DC Housing Authority to remove barriers for non-parent caregivers to add children to their public housing lease or vouchers.  These barriers are not only burdensome and unnecessary, but also violate federal and DC law.

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January 12, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Relative Caregiver Community Board Position Statement Requesting Council Vote for New CFSA Director

The DC KinCare Alliance Relative Caregiver Community Board submitted this Statement today requesting that the DC Council hold a vote of all Councilmembers on the appointment of the new CFSA Director, rather than letting his nomination be passively approved without a vote.

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January 11, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Signs on to Letter to the Commissioner of the United States Children’s Bureau

DC KinCare Alliance signed on to a letter to the Commissioner of the United States Children’s Bureau about the practice of hidden foster care, calling on the Biden Administration to frame the issue as a matter of racial and class justice.

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November 20, 2021

First Shift Justice InfoSheet on New Requirements for Employers to Provide Paid Leave to Employees

As of November 19, 2021, employers will be required to provide paid leave to employees who need time off to receive vaccinations; to recover from related side effects; or to care for their children who are being vaccinated.

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November 12, 2021

DC KinCare Alliance Signs on to Letter to DC Council Requesting Prompt Appointment of DC Ombudsperson for Children

DC KinCare Alliance, along with 7 other child and family advocates, sent a letter to DC Council Chairman Mendelson, requesting that the Council expeditiously identify and appoint the first DC Ombudsperson for Children.

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September 29, 2021

DC Eviction Moratorium Is Ending In Steps

See the attached chart that provides the dates for the stepped approach to end of the moratorium.

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September 29, 2021

DC Paid Family and Medical Leave Program Expanded

The DC Council passed legislation that significantly expands the DC Paid Family and Medical Leave programs. These changes go into effect on October 1, 2021 – and could benefit you and your family!

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September 18, 2021

Make Sure You Receive The Child Tax Credit

Find out how you can get up to $3,600 for every child 5 and under, plus up to $3,000 for every child aged 6-17!

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August 4, 2021

DC KinCare Alliance Signs On To Letter To Make Child Tax Credit Expansions Permanent

The letter asks President Biden and Members of Congress to secure our children’s futures by making the Child Tax Credit expansions permanent and fully inclusive.

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July 20, 2021

DC Council Has First Vote On FY 2022 Budget

It includes funding for the Office of Ombudsperson for Children and the Grandparent and Close Relative Caregiver Programs, as well as a tax on the wealthy to help pay for housing vouchers, subsidies for day-care worker and tax credits for low-income families.

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June 15, 2021

DC Office of Tenant Advocate: Protecting Yourself From High Summer Utility Costs

This provides some guidance on how to reduce summer utility costs as well as the protections still in effect related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

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June 14, 2021

Community Board Member and Relative Caregiver Donte Massey Testifies Before DC Council

Mr. Massey testified about how the DC Department of Human Services has failed to approve him for permanent supportive housing even though he qualifies and even though his current housing is in the middle of a neighborhood gang war.

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June 10, 2021

Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Testified Before the DC Council Committee on Human Services

Deputy Director McClellan testified before the DC Council Committee on Human Services about why an independent Office of Ombudsperson for Children should be funded by the DC government to ensure the safety of DC’s at-risk children.

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June 7, 2021

Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Testifies Before DC Council Committee of the Whole

Deputy Director McClellan testified before the DC Council Committee of the Whole about why an independent Office of Ombudsperson for Children should be funded by the DC government to ensure the safety of DC’s at-risk children.

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May 28, 2021

DC Has Established Financial Navigators to Help You Recover From Financial Hardship From COVID

When you speak with a “Financial Navigator”, you will be talking to a live person who will provide you guidance over the phone to help you manage financial issues, identify immediate action steps and make referrals to available programs all at no cost to you!

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May 27, 2021

Mayor Bowser Issues FY 2022 DC Budget

Mayor Bowser’s FY 2022 Budget will shape whether DC has a fair and equitable COVID-19 recovery.

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May 7, 2021

DC KinCare Alliance Signs On To Letter to Mayor Bowser and the DC Council Urging the Investment of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Funds to Build a More Equitable DC

DC KinCare Alliance signed on to the letter with more than 70 other organizations, to ensure racial and economic equity as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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March 19, 2021

DC Launches New Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) Online Application Portal

Find out more about the online portal and local and federal rental assistance programs.

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March 15, 2021

Legal Aid Society of DC List of Free Tax Preparation Help for DC Residents

Here is a list of programs that offer free tax prep help to DC households that make less than $57,000.

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March 11, 2021

Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Testifies Before the DC Council on Child Fatalities

Stephanie testifies about the failures of the DC Child Fatality Review Committee to timely review child fatalities and report meaningful information to reduce fatalities in the future.  She also recommends that the law require the Committee to review cases of near child fatalities.

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March 11, 2021

Community Advisory Board Member Donte Massey Testifies Before the DC Council on Neighborhood Safety

Mr. Massey, a relative caregiver of his younger siblings, testifies about gun violence in his neighborhood.

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March 3, 2021

Community Advisory Board Member Kymberly Holmes Testifies Before DC Council on Unemployment Benefits

Ms. Holmes testifies about the Department of Employment Services failure to process and pay her Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Benefits.

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March 1, 2021

Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Testifies at DC Department of Human Services Oversight Hearing

Stephanie testifies on the significant barriers to access TANF benefits for kinship families.

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February 25, 2021

Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Testifies Before the DC Council Committee on Human Services Performance Oversight Hearing

Stephanie testifies about the DC Child and Family Services Agency’s illegal and discriminatory diversion practices and the increase in DC child maltreatment fatalities.

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February 2, 2021

DC Council Overrides Mayoral Veto of Ombudsperson for Children Legislation

The DC Council voted to override the veto of this important piece of child welfare legislation.  Now we need to fund it!

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January 19, 2021

DC Mayor Vetoes DC Ombudsperson for Children Legislation

DC Council voted unanimously in favor of this critical piece of legislation.  Why would the Mayor veto something so important for DC children and families?  We are hopeful the DC Council will override the Mayor’s veto at the next legislative meeting.

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January 19, 2021

Legal Counsel for the Elderly: Navigating DC Office of Administrative Hearings Without A Lawyer During COVID

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January 13, 2021

DC Courts Launches Mobile Phone App–Get it on the Apple Store or Google Play

The DC Courts have launched a free app with quick links to court calendars, searchable case databases, Court of Appeals opinions, on line forms, Courts’ rules, and information for jurors, those without an attorney and those seeking admission to the DC bar. It also includes FAQs and location information for the courts.

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January 1, 2021

DC Department of Human Services: Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) Updates

Key Takeaways: Increased income eligibility; Increased rental assistance cap  average rental amount of $10,205; You may now apply more than once until you reach the assistance cap, within a twelve (12) month period during a public health emergency; Residents are now able to self-certify if they are unable to provide supporting documents.

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December 17, 2020

Executive Director Marla Spindel Attends Child Fatality Review Committee December Meeting

Marla Spindel attended the December meeting to raise issues and make recommendations to the Committee to ensure accurate, timely, and useful information about child fatalities is presented in its annual public reports.  Recommendations included distinguishing infant and child fatalities by year, and fast tracking the review of fatal abuse fatalities.

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December 16, 2020

Thank You Councilmember Brianne Nadeau and the DC Council For Unanimously Passing Legislation to Establish Office of Ombudsperson for Children (December 15, 2020).

For the past two years, DC KinCare Alliance and other child welfare advocates worked with Councilmember Nadeau to make this law a reality!  Through this legislation, we have forever changed child welfare in DC!  This Office will ensure the safety and security of DC’s most vulnerable children.

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December 4, 2020

Thank you Chairperson Mendelson and the DC Council for Repealing the COVID Suspension on DC Government FOIA Responses!

In response to our Petition, the DC Council unanimously voted in favor of the FOIA Tolling Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (Bill 23-1017), which will repeal the COVID-related suspension on response times for DC government FOIA requests starting January 16, 2021.

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November 12, 2020

Over 100 Sign-Ons to Our Petition to Repeal FOIA Suspension Deadlines!

We understand the Chair of the DC Council has introduced legislation to repeal the FOIA suspension at the December 1st DC Council Legislative Meeting.

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November 11, 2020

Listen to Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Testify Before the DC Council on November 4, 2020

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November 6, 2020

DC KinCare Alliance Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Testifies Before the DC Council Human Services Roundtable (November 4, 2020)

Deputy Director McClellan testifies about how the never-ending waiting list for the Grandparent Caregiver Program Subsidy during the pandemic hurts DC grandparents and the children they raise, all while the Mayor intends to repurpose $2 million from the agency that administers the Program to the Metropolitan Police Department.

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October 19, 2020

Read Marie Cohen’s Blog Post: “CFSA’s Internal Child Fatality Report Leaves Out More than Half of Dead Children Known to System”

In her blog, she highlights a number of deficiencies with CFSA’s recently release 2019 internal child fatality report, including that CFSA has chosen to publish data on only 13 of 33 cases reviewed in 2019, greatly reducing the utility of the report.  

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September 14, 2020

The DC Superior Court Has Opened 5 Satellite Locations for Unrepresented Litigants to Access WiFi and Computer Technology for Remote Hearings

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July 12, 2020

First Vote on DC FY 2021 Budget a Disappointment on Spending Proposals.

The DC Council failed to include increases in funding for the Grandparent Caregiver Program (GCP) or Close Relative Caregiver Program (CRCP), even though the GCP is already at capacity with a waiting list, and the CRCP is expected to hit capacity very soon. Read more for our message to the DC Council.

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July 12, 2020

First Vote on DC FY 2021 Budget a Disappointment on Revenue Measures.

The DC Council approved a regressive 10% increase in the gasoline tax, while voting against a modest increase in the income tax for the wealthiest residents.  Read more for our message to the DC Council.

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July 1, 2020

DC KinCare Alliance and Children’s Law Center Work Together to Successfully Advocate for Amendment to DC Standby Guardianship Law During COVID-19

The Amendment allows parents or other legal caregivers of a child to designate a Standby Guardian to care for the child if the parent or other caregiver becomes too ill to do so because of a complications from a COVID-related illness. Click below for a copy of the DC KinCare Alliance COVID-19 Standby Guardianship packet.

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June 29, 2020

DC DHS Launches DC Access Mobile App to Apply for TANF, SNAP & Medicaid!

The App is free and available through Google Play and Apple App Store.

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May 30, 2020

Executive Director Marla Spindel Testifies on Detrimental Impacts of DC Child and Family Services Agency FY 2021 Budget Cuts (May 22, 2020)

Ms. Spindel specifically warns the DC Council about cuts to essential programs and services, including the DC Grandparent Caregiver Program and Prevention Services.

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May 19, 2020

SNAP Amazon Purchasing Infographic

Find out how to sign up to use your SNAP EBT card to purchase groceries through Amazon. Available in English (p. 1) and Spanish (p. 2).

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May 18, 2020

Mayor Bowser Issues Proposed FY 2021 Budget

Among other things, the Budget proposes cuts to the Grandparent Caregiver Program Subsidy and Prevention Services at a time when investments should be made in those areas. Go here to to see the full Budget documents: https://mayor.dc.gov/page/fy2021-budget-dchope%E2%80%93-mayor-bowser%E2%80%99s-commitment-give-every-washingtonian-fair-shot

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May 5, 2020

DC KinCare Alliance Signs On to Memorandum to DC CFSA Director Donald Regarding Failures to Protect DC Relative Caregivers applying for Caregiver Subsidies during Public Health Emergency

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April 10, 2020

DC KINCARE ALLIANCE CELEBRATES HUGE WIN FOR DC RELATIVE CAREGIVERS AND THE CHILDREN THEY RAISE!

DC KinCare Alliance advocated for DC to remove the 6-month eligibility period for relatives to be able to apply for the Grandparent Caregiver Program, as well as the new Close Relative Caregiver Program. Today, that goal was realized as the 6-month eligibility period has been ELIMINATED for both programs!

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April 7, 2020

DC KinCare Alliance Joins 32 Other DC Legal Services and Advocacy Organizations in Writing the DC Council and Mayor Requesting Immediate Action to Assist DC’s Most Vulnerable Residents

The letter outlines some of the
most urgent concerns and recommends both legislative and administrative solutions.

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April 7, 2020

DC KinCare Alliance Signs On to Letter to DC Department of Human Services Director Zeilinger

The letter asks for clarification of DHS’ plan to transfer families out of family shelters during the public health emergency.

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March 27, 2020

DC KinCare Alliance Issues Recommendations to DC Mayor and Council to Protect Kinship Families During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Relative caregivers and the children they raise are at especially high risk during this public health emergency. Urgent action is needed by the Mayor and Council to protect these families.

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March 24, 2020

DC Mayor Updates COVID-19 Website to Include Application Process for DC Economic Recovery Microgrants

See the Mayor’s updated webpage:
https://coronavirus.dc.gov/dc-small-business-recovery-grants

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January 1, 2019

View Infographic on our Public Benefits Advocacy

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