Please Note: We are a nonprofit, charitable legal services organization. We are not affiliated with the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) or CFSA's Kinship Navigator.

Recent News

August 2, 2023

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.

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June 21, 2023

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.

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June 10, 2023

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.”

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May 27, 2023

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.

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April 18, 2023

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.

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March 31, 2023

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.”

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March 20, 2023

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.

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March 4, 2023

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.

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January 17, 2023

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.

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November 30, 2022

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.”

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November 29, 2022

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.

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October 20, 2022

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!

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October 17, 2022

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.

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July 31, 2022

Amended Order Regarding Judicial Emergency

This final amended order extends certain provisions of the judicial emergency until September 6, 2022.

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July 16, 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!

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July 13, 2022

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.

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June 19, 2022

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.

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June 15, 2022

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.

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June 11, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Presents to DHS Grandfamilies Support Group

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June 11, 2022

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.

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June 10, 2022

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).

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May 14, 2022

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.

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April 27, 2022

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.”

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April 12, 2022

DC KinCare Presents at KinPAC Quarterly Meeting

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April 8, 2022

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.

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April 6, 2022

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.

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April 2, 2022

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.

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April 1, 2022

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.

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March 22, 2022

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,

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March 21, 2022

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.

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March 12, 2022

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.

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February 12, 2022

Relative Caregiver Community Board Holds February 2022 Meeting

Community Board members agreed on a Position Statement regarding Kinship Navigator Programs.

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February 4, 2022

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.”

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January 27, 2022

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.

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January 8, 2022

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.

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January 5, 2022

DC KinCare Alliance Presents to the DC Family Court Self Help Center Staff

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January 1, 2022

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.

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January 1, 2022

Read About Our 2021 Accomplishments!

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December 11, 2021

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!

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November 9, 2021

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.

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October 4, 2021

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.

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September 30, 2021

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.

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August 14, 2021

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.

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July 26, 2021


Find out about our 2021 accomplishments and what our clients are saying about us!

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July 10, 2021

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.

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July 9, 2021

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.

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July 6, 2021

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!

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June 12, 2021

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!

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May 28, 2021

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

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May 27, 2021

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.

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May 12, 2021

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!

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March 22, 2021

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.

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March 13, 2021

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.

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March 9, 2021

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.

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February 15, 2021

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.

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February 9, 2021

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.

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January 8, 2021

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!

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January 1, 2021

Read About Our 2020 Accomplishments!

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December 18, 2020

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.”

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December 10, 2020

Executive Director Marla Spindel Quoted in this Washington Post Story About An Infant Abuse Fatality

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December 7, 2020

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!

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September 21, 2020

Check Out Our Very Own Board Member Donnequa Grantham on Local DMV News!

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April 26, 2020

Foster Kinship Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of DC KinCare Alliance Federal Lawsuit Challenging DC’s Kinship Diversion Practices

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April 25, 2020

Alliance for Children’s Rights Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of DC KinCare Alliance Federal Lawsuit Challenging DC’s Kinship Diversion Practices

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April 15, 2020

DC Volunteer Lawyers Project Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of DC KinCare Alliance Federal Lawsuit Challenging DC’s Kinship Diversion Practices

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March 28, 2020

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.

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March 26, 2020

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.”

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March 24, 2020

Listen to DC KinCare’s First Ever Podcast Episode!

Marla and Stephanie discuss news of the day and how it affects relative caregivers.

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March 19, 2020

Marla Spindel Discusses the Impact of Coronavirus on Grandfamilies in This Washington Post Article

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March 13, 2020

View Our FY 2020 and 2021 Goals!

See what we are hoping to accomplish for kinship families!

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January 11, 2019

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.

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January 11, 2019

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

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January 6, 2019

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

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