Who We Are

We are a group of attorneys, professionals, volunteers, and generous supporters who are passionate about advocating for relative caregivers who have stepped up to raise at-risk DC children in times of crisis.

Our Team


Co-Founder and Executive Director
[email protected]


Co-Founder and Deputy Director
​​[email protected]

Claudia Williams

Family Law Attorney

[email protected]

T. Otukoya

Community Organizing and Outreach Specialist

[email protected]


Grants and Development Manager

[email protected]

Board of Directors

Victoria ​Taplin


Donnequa Grantham

Vice President

Beth Stekler


Jonathan Peskoff


Jenny Brody

Immediate Past President

Michelle Brown

Board Member

​LaShon Dean​

Board Member

Karen ​Lovitch

Board Member

Relative Caregiver Community Advisory Board

Our Community Advisory Board consists of 18 members who are grandparents, aunts, cousins, siblings, and godparents raising at-risk DC children when their parents are unable to care for them. The purpose of the Community Advisory Board is to hear from these amazing relative caregivers who step up to protect and care for children in times of crisis. These relative caregivers may not have expected to take on this role but they have risen to the challenge and we are in awe of their hard work and dedication!

We know it is not easy for relative caregivers to raise children because they face an uphill battle with a system designed for parent-child families, not for families that look like theirs. We want relative caregivers to have a voice to help make more services, supports, and financial assistance available to kinship families, as well as make the system more user-friendly and responsive to kinship family needs.

Community Board members meet regularly to identify issues they seek to raise with government decision-makers and to discuss how they want to go about doing so. They work together to empower themselves and others in their community to take action to help all kinship families in DC.

To date, Community Advisory Board members have testified before the DC City Council, met privately with DC Councilmember staff to raise awareness about kinship family issues, and participated in community events.

For questions or more information, please contact Executive Director Marla Spindel at [email protected]

Community Memberships

Child Welfare League of America
DC Legal Services Providers Consortium
DC Fair Budget Coalition
DC Access to Justice Commission Raising the Bar in DC Campaign
A Wider Circle Highland Community Implementing Partners
National Hidden Foster Care Working Group

en English