DC KinCare Alliance and DC Housing Authority Reach Settlement
DC KinCare Alliance and the DC Housing Authority are pleased to jointly announce that they have resolved their differences and reached a settlement in regard to the litigation pending between the parties in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
Summer 2023 Newsletter
Summer has arrived, and with June comes an incredible opportunity to shine a spotlight on our amazing children during Children’s Awareness Month! We want to emphasize the importance of raising our kids in safe and loving environments.
Washington Post Article: “Justice for Justyce: A baby left without a name, finally, gets one”
Executive Director Marla Spindel said “CFSA never told Yolanda she could serve as a foster parent to the baby — an arrangement that would have allowed her to receive financial support and get that birth certificate without delay.”
Washington Post Article: “How a baby, now 4 months old, was left without a name”
Executive Director Marla Spindel discusses how this happened in the context of CFSA diverting a child to live informally with a relative rather than removing the child to foster care.
DC KinCare Alliance Spring 2023 Newsletter
It’s hard to believe it’s already April! 2023 is moving fast and we want to share with you what our team has been working on as well as upcoming opportunities for you to support our children and families.
Executive Director Marla Spindel Quoted in Courthouse News Service Article on Non-Safety Related Waivers for Kinship Foster Care Licensing
Ms. Spindel discusses the Biden Administration’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and explains that it is “invaluable to relatives to have those waivers in place so they can meet licensing requirements and have it done quickly.”
DC KinCare Alliance Chosen as Finalist for Exemplary Policy, Practice or Program Supporting Kinship Families
Our unique and innovative one-stop-shop approach to helping the DC kinship community has been recognized nationally. The Generations United Grandfamilies and Kinship Support Network selected us as one of only 20 finalists nationwide to be designated as an Exemplary Policy, Practice, or Program supporting kinship families.
Executive Director Marla Spindel and Community Board Member Quoted in Washington Post Article on Hidden Foster Care
“With diversion [hidden foster care], CFSA’s power is unchecked and it is answerable to no one, nor does it have to provide financial resources to caregivers or services to parents to facilitate their reunification.” Click READ MORE below to access the full article.
DC KinCare Alliance Relative Caregiver Community Board Writes Letter to President Obama
The Community Board wrote a letter with accompanying portrait to President Obama inviting him to attend one of their monthly Community Board meetings.
Executive Director Marla Spindel Quoted in DC City Paper Article on Educator Background Check Bill
Ms. Spindel says she fears the Bill will not reduce the teacher shortage problem and will exacerbate the concern that “a sexual predator from Maryland could come into D.C. and teach based on the way background checks are proceeding right now.”
DC KinCare Alliance Presents to Ward 8 Hub Residents
DC KinCare Alliance provided information to the Ward 8 Hub regarding legal rights and financial benefits.
DC KinCare Alliance 2022 Fundraiser Was A Huge Success!
We streamed live from the Old French Embassy, heard from our relative caregivers, and learned about American history and politics from Professor Michael Kazin. Thank you to all of our supporters and our Law Firm Pro Bono Awardee Brown Rudnick LLP!
Out of State, Out of Mind
Executive Director Marla Spindel and Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan pen an opinion piece on Hidden Foster Care, which calls out the DC child welfare agency for sending vulnerable children out of state without any oversight or accountability for their welfare.
Amended Order Regarding Judicial Emergency
This final amended order extends certain provisions of the judicial emergency until September 6, 2022.
Amazing Community Board Outing Today at RFK Fields!
After two long years, we were finally able to get together IN PERSON! We braved the rain under the Pavilion covering! Everyone brought yummy food, and the children loved playing with playdough! At the end of the day, an amazing beautiful rainbow came out! A wonderful day had by all!
DC KinCare Alliance Awarded NBC Universal Project Innovation Grant of $25,000
DC KinCare Alliance was chosen for this grant in recognition of its innovative and unique approach to helping DC kinship families.
DC Family Court Reimagining Plan Starting August 1, 2022
The DC family court has reimagined how it will return to operations following the COVID pandemic.
DC KinCare Alliance Presents at DC Grandfamilies Raising Grandchildren Luncheon
Executive Director Stephanie McClellan discussed the services provided by DC KinCare Alliance to grandparent and DC agency attendees.
DC KinCare Alliance Presents to DHS Grandfamilies Support Group
DC KinCare Community Board June 2022 Monthly Meeting
At this meeting, we discussed the new Ombudsperson for Children, advocacy efforts on kinship navigator programs, and an in-person event in July. The DC Affordable Law Firm also provided an amazing presentation on wills, trusts and estates.
DC Superior Court Extends Judicial Emergency Until July 31, 2022
See attached Order to determine how operations are affected in your case; most cases are still being heard remotely but some are in-person. Public service counters and help centers are generally open for in-person service. Electronic service via text message, email or other forms of social media remains permissible in accordance with DRB Rule 4(c)(3)(B).
DC KinCare Community Board May 2022 Monthly Meeting
The Community Board welcomed Michelle Hammonds, the Director of the Office of Financial Empowerment and Education, District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking. Ms. Hammonds discussed financial literacy issues.
Child Welfare Advocate Marie Cohen and Executive Director Marla Spindel Respond to Dorothy Roberts “Five Myths about the Child Welfare System”
Ms. Cohen and Ms. Spindel respond to Professor Roberts’ April 17th piece in the Outlook section of the Washington Post. Cohen and Spindel contend that Roberts’ version of reality “does not agree with what we see every day as child advocates in the District of Columbia, nor with the research on child welfare.”
DC KinCare Presents at KinPAC Quarterly Meeting
DC Superior Court Extends Judicial Emergency Until June 10, 2022
The Order issued on April 8, 2022 continues mostly remote hearings in the courthouse, with some exceptions as set forth in the Order. All clerks offices are open for in-person filings. The Family Court Self Help Center is open in-person and remotely.
Executive Director Marla Spindel Presents at American Bar Association Center on Children and Law Conference
Ms. Spindel presented on “AMERICA’S HIDDEN FOSTER SYSTEM – HOW IT HURTS CHILDREN AND FAMILIES,” along with co-presenters Diane Redleaf with United Family Advocates/Family Defense Consulting and Andrew Brown of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
DC KinCare Alliance Community Board April 2022 Meeting
The Community Board welcomed advocates from the DC Fair Budget Coalition to talk about ways to make their voices heard in the DC budget process.
Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Quoted in DCLine Article About Mayor Bowser Defunding the DC Ombudsperson for Children
The article discusses how Mayor Bowser is using politics to undermine the safety and security of at-risk DC children by defunding and failing to fund in the future the Ombudsperson for Children. By doing so, the Mayor seeks to skirt DC Council oversight of the DC Child and Family Services Agency.
Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Quoted in News Article About Expanding the Grandparent and Close Relative Caregiver Subsidies
Important expansion of this critical support for relative caregivers to help keep at-risk DC children safe and stable by making the subsidy available immediately, including godparents and relatives living just over the boarder in Maryland, and relatives who take in children in multi-generational families where the parents live in the home but have a disability,
Executive Director Marla Spindel Recognized by Brown Rudnick as a Woman Trailblazer for Women’s History Month
Read the Q&A with Marla Spindel about what motivates her to do public service, her proudest moment, and the women who inspire her.
DC KinCare Alliance Community Board March 2022 Monthly Meeting
At this meeting, the Community Board discussed ways they can help advocate for an equitable and just budget for DC, and ensure funding for the DC Ombudsperson for Children. Read the testimony of one of our Community Board members on this issue.
Relative Caregiver Community Board Holds February 2022 Meeting
Community Board members agreed on a Position Statement regarding Kinship Navigator Programs.
Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Quoted in Article on Killers of DC Children Getting Away with Murder
Jonetta Rose Barras discusses the plea bargains reached by the killers of 2 young DC children in her article in The DC Line entitled “Children at risk: Plea bargains bring doubts about whether there’s justice for victims of fatal abuse and neglect.”
Executive Director Marla Spindel and Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan as well as DC KinCare Community Board Quoted in News Series — Still Broken: DC’s Child Welfare System
Jonetta Rose Barras wrote a series of articles in The DC Line about the broken DC child welfare system and how it fails to protect DC’s at-risk children.
DC KinCare Alliance Relative Caregiver Community Board Holds January 2022 Meeting
At it first meeting of January 2022, the Board agreed to submit a Position Statement to the DC Council requesting that the Council hold a vote of all Councilmembers on the appointment of the new Director of the DC Child and Family Services Agency, as it has done with past appointments.
DC KinCare Alliance Presents to the DC Family Court Self Help Center Staff
DC KinCare Alliance Announces Creation of Advisory Board
The purpose of the Advisory Board is to formally recognize those individuals who are instrumental to the growth and development of DC KinCare Alliance. Members of the Advisory Board are recognized experts in their fields and strong community partners.
Read About Our 2021 Accomplishments!
Last Community Board Meeting of 2021!
We had a wonderful last Community Board meeting of 2021 with dancing, singing, and storytelling. Thank you to So What Else for leading the fun activities!
DC KinCare Alliance Files Case Against DC Metropolitan Police Department for Violating the DC Freedom of Information Act
DC KinCare Alliance and George Washington University Law School Public Justice Advocacy Clinic file litigation against MPD for violating DC FOIA requirements by failing to provide requested documents related to its decisions not to prosecute cases involving child physical and sexual abuse, child trafficking, and child fatalities.
The Imprint News Article on DC’s Hidden Foster Care System and DC KinCare Alliance’s Impact Litigation Challenging the Practice
The article delves into the hardships kinship caregivers face when asked to take in children by the child welfare agency, also known as kinship diversion or Hidden Foster Care. DC KinCare Alliance filed 6 federal lawsuits challenging this discriminatory and illegal practice in DC.
Executive Director Marla Spindel Quoted In Article About Grandparent Caregivers
Our ED Marla Spindel is quoted in this article addressing the hardships grandparents and other relatives face when raising their grandchildren and children in their extended families. Thank you Denise Rolark Barnes and Word in Black for bringing attention to these important issues.
August 2021 Relative Caregiver Community Board Meeting
Thank you to Dr. Holden and Charlie with So What Else for leading us in a music therapy demo. And thank you to Jorge Tormes with TzedekDC for presenting on The Basics of Credit and Debt Collection.
CHECK OUT OUR SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER
Find out about our 2021 accomplishments and what our clients are saying about us!
Executive Director Marla Spindel Quoted in Washington Post Article About Near Fatality of Young DC Child
ED Marla Spindel is quoted in this article about the horrific abuse of a 5-year-old DC girl that was so severe that she is now on a ventilator. Marla explains that it is no one’s job to report on near fatalities and contends DC should enact a law to require such reporting.
Three ESA Service Centers Reopening for In-Person Business!
On July 12, 2021, the Anacostia, Congress Heights and H Street Services Centers will reopen to the public! You can still apply online.
July 2021 Community Board Meeting — Presentation on STAYDC!
Thank You Raessa Singh with the DC Department of Housing and Community Development for presenting at our monthly Community Board Meeting about how to apply to rental and housing assistance through STAYDC!
June 2021 Community Board Meeting
We checked in on how everyone was doing, and heard a presentation from The People’s Council on DC utility and water assistance programs!
DC KinCare Alliance Named ‘One of the Best’ Nonprofits by the Catalogue for Philanthropy
As it Celebrates its 18th Anniversary Working in the Greater Washington Region, the Catalogue for Philanthropy is Proud to Honor DC KinCare Alliance
Executive Director Marla Spindel and Deputy Director Stephanie McClellan Publish Op-Ed on Hidden Foster Care
In the Op-Ed published in The DC Line, Marla Spindel and Stephanie McCllelan address the discriminatory practice of hidden foster care and discuss how it hurts DC’s children and families.
Find Out How Our Relative Caregiver Community Board Wants DC Decision-Makers To Spend Their Tax Dollars!
At our May monthly community board meeting, we discussed how the DC government can support DC kinship families!
DC KinCare Alliance Files Four Additional Federal Lawsuits Challenging DC Child and Family Services Agency’s Discriminatory Practices Against Relative Caregivers (March 2021)
DC KinCare Alliance and the law firm of Ropes & Gray LLP file four additional federal lawsuits on behalf of nine plaintiffs. In total, DC KinCare Alliance and Ropes & Gray have filed six lawsuits on behalf of 20 plaintiffs challenging CFSA’s illegal practice of hidden foster care, also known as kinship diversion.
Dr. Keisha Presented To Our Community Advisory Board On Vision Boards
Our Community Board learned how to create vision boards of their short and long-term goals. Dr. Keisha also gave members great suggestions on how to take time for self care every day.
DC KinCare Alliance Presents to Health Services for Children with Special Needs Staff
Executive Director Marla Spindel and family law attorney Claudia Williams presented on the ways DC KinCare Alliance can assist HSCSN clients.
The DC KinCare Alliance Relative Caregiver Community Board Outreach and Education Project Receives Award!
The Relative Caregiver Community Board is honored to be chosen as an inaugural winner of the Greater Washington Community Foundation’s VoicesDMV Community Action Award! The award will be used for the Board’s Outreach and Education Project of drawings of what family means to them, as well as a video oral history of members’ lived experiences.
Marla and Stephanie Are Guests On The Taking Action Radio Show (WPFW 89.3FM)
Marla and Stephanie talk with Empower DC’s Daniel Del Pielago about the waiting list for the DC Grandparent Caregiver Program, which has been ongoing for more than a year, and why it is important that the DC government fully fund the program and eliminate the waiting list.
Welcome Our 2021 Board of Directors and Officers!
Victoria Taplin has become our new President and Donnequa Grantham is our new Vice President. Jenny Brody remains on the Board as Immediate Past President. Learn more about our 2021 Officers and Board Members!
Read About Our 2020 Accomplishments!
Child Welfare League of America Recognizes Executive Director Marla Spindel as Champion for Children (December 18, 2020)
“As CWLA celebrates 100 years of leadership to enhance the well-being of children and families, we are thrilled to acknowledge your exceptional commitment to supporting children and families who are vulnerable and advancing the field of child welfare. We extend sincere congratulations and deepest appreciation for your commitment to children, youth, and families.”
Executive Director Marla Spindel Quoted in this Washington Post Story About An Infant Abuse Fatality
What An Amazing Evening With Civil Rights Activist Ben Crump!
Everyone enjoyed listening to his stories of growing up in Lumberton, North Carolina, how his great-grandmother Mittie influenced his life, and how we always looked up to Thurgood Marshall and wanted to be like him one day! Thank you Mr. Crump for taking the time to talk with us and our relative caregivers!
Check Out Our Very Own Board Member Donnequa Grantham on Local DMV News!
Foster Kinship Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of DC KinCare Alliance Federal Lawsuit Challenging DC’s Kinship Diversion Practices
Alliance for Children’s Rights Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of DC KinCare Alliance Federal Lawsuit Challenging DC’s Kinship Diversion Practices
DC Volunteer Lawyers Project Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of DC KinCare Alliance Federal Lawsuit Challenging DC’s Kinship Diversion Practices
Spring 2020 Newsletter
Read our Spring 2020 Newsletter! Find out what we have been doing to help those in need during this public health emergency.
DC KinCare Alliance and Ropes & Gray File Second Federal Lawsuit Against District of Columbia
New suit challenges CFSA’s ongoing, illegal practice of “Kinship Diversion.”
Listen to DC KinCare’s First Ever Podcast Episode!
Marla and Stephanie discuss news of the day and how it affects relative caregivers.
Marla Spindel Discusses the Impact of Coronavirus on Grandfamilies in This Washington Post Article
View Our FY 2020 and 2021 Goals!
See what we are hoping to accomplish for kinship families!
DC KinCare Alliance Files Federal Lawsuit Challenging DC’s Unlawful, Discriminatory Kinship Diversion Practices
WASHINGTON, D.C. – DC KinCare Alliance and the law firm Ropes & Gray LLP have filed a
federal lawsuit against the District of Columbia and the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency
(CFSA) for violating the rights of multiple Plaintiffs under D.C. and federal laws.
Review DC KinCare Alliance 2019 Accomplishments
Elected caregiver relative to corporate board of directors
Established Community Board to empower caregiver relatives to lead advocacy efforts
Read Our Summer 2019 Newsletter
In response to the Trump Administration’s immigration policies as well as recent ICE raids here in DC, we submitted a recommendation to Councilmember Brianne Nadeau to amend the DC