We're shaping fair and equitable public policy for all of DC's children and youth to grow up safe, resilient, powerful, and heard.

Our History

DC Action for Children was founded in 1992 by six women concerned about the deteriorating conditions for children in the city. Together, they established a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and independent voice for kids to advance public policies that improve the well-being of children, especially those most affected by poverty and racism.

How We Work

With the support of individuals and private foundations, DC Action for Children uses research, data, and a lens toward race equity to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential. Our collaborative advocacy campaigns empower young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.

Our Impact

As the collective voice for kids, DC Action for Children has been at the forefront of hundreds of policy wins for kids and families. For example, we led the Covering Kids and Covering Kids and Families campaigns leading to more than 90 percent of eligible children being enrolled in DC Healthy Families insurance program. We helped to establish the Children’s Budget initiative to elevate the needs of kids with lawmakers, appointed officials, and the public to ensure millions of dollars in resources for children and youth remain a priority in DC’s annual budget. 

In the last two years, as a proud member of the Birth to Three Alliance, our collective action resulted in the DC Council passing the landmark Birth to Three for All Act of 2018 which authorizes and finances subsidies and services to ensure healthier birth outcomes and early learning supports for the District’s youngest residents to grow and thrive.

Our Data

With support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, DC Action for Children is also home to DC KIDS COUNT, the primary and annual source of data tracking the well-being of children and youth. By providing high-quality data and trend analysis, DC KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local discussions about ways to secure better futures for all children and youth — and to raise the visibility of kids' issues through a nonpartisan, evidence-based lens.

DC KIDS COUNT is part of the network of local-level organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia that provide a community-by-community picture of the condition of children. The network organizations also monitor budget and legislative decisions in the states and provide policy analysis based on evidence of what works for children and families.

Quick Facts about DC Action for Children

  • Founded in 1992

  • Nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) organization

  • With the support of individuals and private foundations, we work alongside legislators and community leaders to advocate for change.

  • Top priorities: children’s census, early childhood, child and adolescent health, family economic security, youth and civic innovation.

  • Conducts research and analysis on current trends and developments in kids’ well-being.

  • Collaborates across political, business, nonprofit, community-based, and philanthropic sectors.

  • Facilitates city/state-wide, multidisciplinary coalitions to advance systems coordination and reform.

  • Provides technical assistance and subject matter expertise to agency leaders, advocates and community leaders.


We invite you to learn more about our past initiatives and ongoing work by exploring our Newsletter Archive.

Visit our DC KIDS COUNT Data Center



We need you.

Let's work together to break down structural barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential.  Join Us!