The 2008 Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion Act has positioned the District at the forefront of the universal pre-kindergarten movement. This is a significant accomplishment for the city, and a critical support for its youngest residents. However, since research tells us that the rapid neurological growth that characterizes a child’s early years begins before they are even born, it is worth asking if we are doing enough to help ensure the healthy development of our children during the very first stages of life.
Yesterday, The American Community Survey (ACS) released its 2013, 1 year estimates for a number of indicators that help shape our understanding of the status of children in the District of Columbia. This blog post provides a first look at recent trends in the District’s child poverty rates and what it means for our city’s children.
I remember those horrific winter days scrambling to get my two little ones out the door for preschool. Back then everything seemed such a challenge – getting a 4-year old to coorperate getting to school was not easy!
For some, the following fact may seem intuitive -- in order to succeed in school, students mustbe in school. However, the numbers of students chronically absent from school illustrate that many DC children and youth may face academic hardship because they miss large amounts of instructional time (10% of school days or more). High rates of chronic absenteeism threaten the future success of the next generation of Washingtonians, but the biggest burden falls on students from low-income backgrounds.
After college and working several years in the “real world” -- I finally landed on macro-focused social work. The recurring social injustice I witnessed on a daily basis frustrated me. I wanted to “fix” the system that wasn’t functioning at its full potential.
Once I decided to pursue Social Work, everything started to fall into place. I started working toward my MSW at Catholic University with a concentration in social change. Every class I took reinforced my decision to focus on societal level change.
A Washington Post article published earlier this week argues that “it’s hard to build cities for kids.” Given the economic argument that families with children cost the city money while “young, educated, ambitious” adults bring in revenue, the author posed an interesting question—do children need to live in Washington, DC?
Thousands of children each year receive services from the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA). When child abuse or neglect is reported, CFSA investigates, works with the family and if necessary, places children with a relative or foster family. Children who have been abused or neglected, or removed from their homes, often require an intensive level of family support, health and emotional support.