(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) Director Brenda Donald announced grants to community-based organizations that will work with her Child and Family Services Agency to launch Families First DC, a nearly $4 million investment to provide stronger supports to families in Wards 7 and 8 through 10 Family Success Centers. The new initiative, which the Mayor proposed for the first time in her Fiscal Year 2020 budget, will be led by the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA).
“When we put families first and support the needs of children and parents, the whole community benefits. Through Families First DC, we can hear directly from families about the challenges they’re facing and connect them to a wide range of services and programs,” said Mayor Bowser. “These ten Family Success Centers represent our commitment to making every neighborhood in DC a place where families and children can thrive.”
Families First DC will help families with primary prevention services and neighborhood-driven resources to increase protective factors, mitigate trauma, and help families thrive East of the River. These communities were selected based on social determinants of health data, violence prevention priority areas, and substantiated reports on child abuse and neglect.
“Families First DC is a major part of the next evolution of the District’s city-wide prevention services that will focus further upstream to work with families before they enter a time of crisis,” said CFSA Director Brenda Donald. “Through the Family Success Centers and the neighborhood-centric, integrated government services and programs they will offer, we’re going to build on family and community strengths and increase our ability to meet their complex, interconnected needs.”
Each center will officially open and begin offering services in October 2020. The locations of the centers are:
Benning Terrace/Benning Park: East River Family Strengthening Collaborative
Clay Terrace: Sasha Bruce
Mayfair/Paradise: North Capital Collaborative (Project Uplift)
Stoddart Terrace/37th Street: Life Deeds
Benning Road & Minnesota Avenue: East River Family Strengthening Collaborative
Woodland Terrace: Smart from the Start
Anacostia: Martha’s Table
Congress Heights: Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative
Washington Highlands: A Wider Circle
Bellevue: Community of Hope
Together, Families First DC and the District’s federal Five-Year Family First Prevention Plan round out DC’s robust city-wide prevention strategy, in conjunction with services provided by city agencies and community partners. The District was the first jurisdiction in the nation to submit and have a plan approved by the federal Children’s Bureau.