Policies in District of Columbia

District of Columbia Expedited Placement Policy

In 2012, the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) launched the KinFirst strategy to engage and support birth and kinship families. Child protection workers begin engaging parents to identify relatives as potential caregivers while CFSA investigates a concern and arranges a Family Team Meeting. The Kinship Licensing Unit is immediately notified to contact relatives, while the Diligent Search Unit reviews databases to find other relatives. All removal notices must include a list of identified relatives, with comments explaining why they could not be immediate placement resources. When a willing relative is found, CFSA’s goal is to complete the expedited licensing process in four to six hours.

See playbook for more information.

Strategies to Support First Placement in Family Settings

Washington, D.C. has reduced reliance on congregate care by 75 percent between 2005 and 2015.  This brief features key strategies used in Washington, DC in support of family-based care including: a kin unit dedicated to identifying and engaging relative caregivers; a foster parent support unit; a border agreement with Maryland to allow relatives to be licensed across state lines for emergency placement; and a policy that requires the deputy director to approve when a child is placed in a group care setting.

To learn more, see the brief, "How can we ensure a child’s first placement is with family?"