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

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.


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By many accounts, our city is thriving. In fact, in a recent survey DC was ranked the number one domestic travel destination for twenty-something's, thanks to its exciting restaurant and bar scene. And last year Forbes Magazine named DC the nation’s “coolest city” for the same reasons. Just look around at the booming condo market, the growth in real estate...

The Goal of Attendance Policy: to Encourage Regular Attendance or to Discourage Chronic Absenteeism?

This week, public school students across the District of Columbia were reunited with their classmates and met their new teachers to start the school year. While the transition from the freedoms of summer—like sleeping-in or spending long days at the pool with friends—can be a rude awakening for some students (I know it was for me when I was in...

Let’s Talk about Attendance -- Every School Day Counts

Students, parents, teachers and school leadership are gearing up for a new school year. Next week, students, with support from those around them, will embark on a journey to master new skills. In order to guarantee progress and work toward academic success, there is one vital message that we can start emphasizing as summer break winds down— every school day...

Need For Grocery Stores Grows as Number of At-Risk Babies Remains Stagnant

Thank you to our summer intern, Minhsang Dinh! As she wrapped up her internship with us, she prepared this blog examining the link between low-birth weight babies and food deserts in the District. The District of Columbia, with all of its five star restaurants, sporadic rain showers and buildings that stretch as high as the eye can see, can still...

July Newsletter -- DC Children in Post-Recession America

The newly released 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie. E. Casey Foundation confirmed that far too many children in DC live in poverty -- about 27 percent -- approximately 2,000 more children living in poverty today than during the Great Recession. Economic hardship remains pervasive as two out of every five children are living in families where parents...

The Economic Well-being of DC Children in Post-Recession America

Last week, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book profiling child well-being for children across the United States. In this year’s report, the Casey Foundation took a deeper look at child well-being since 2008, the height of the Great Recession. On the surface, the District of Columbia is a city that defied the economic downturn....

35,000 DC Children Live in Poor Neighborhoods; No Reduction in Child Poverty since the Great Recession

35,000 DC Children Live in Poor Neighborhoods; No Reduction in Child Poverty since the Great Recession Washington, DC — About 27 percent of children in the District of Columbia live in poverty. This percentage amounts to approximately 2,000 more children living in poverty today than during the Great Recession, according to the newly released 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book from...

Electrifying the Education System

Meet Minhsang, our new youth intern joining us from sunny California for the summer! Welcome, Minhsang! As a small town Central Valley Californian out of her element in the humid East Coast, I love the culture and vibe of this big city and all the potential it holds for young people like myself. I am an advocate for young people...

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We need you.

Despite a booming economy, the District has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country, with more than one quarter of children and youth living in families struggling to make ends meet. Let's work together to break down structural barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential.  Join Us!