Available Resources and Support for DC Children and Families in Response to COVID-19 | Children's Law Center

Available Resources and Support for DC Children and Families in Response to COVID-19

The following is a list of government agencies and organizations currently providing resources for DC residents in need of support. We will continue to update this webpage as more resources become available. If you have suggestions for resources to add, contact Ciarra Crowe at ccrowe@childrenslawcenter.org.

For the latest on DC's vaccine information, please visit: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccine

For seniors in DC (65+) who need help registering for vaccine appointments, fill out this simple form. (Seniors will be set up with a student from George Washington University to help you. The program is being run by Edlavich DCJCC and GW Hillel.)

Below is more information about the vaccine from our medical and community partners:

Do you need legal help? 

Children’s Law Center may be able to provide you with free help if you have a civil legal matter in the District of Columbia. Visit our Get Help page to learn more.

Click to jump to a category below:

  1. Important Hotlines and Mental Health Resources
  2. DC Government Agency Updates
  3. DC Courts
  4. School Meal Distribution Sites
  5. Housing and Shelter Services
  6. Medical Services and Testing Sites 
  7. Legal Services and Information
  8. For Parents, Grandparents, Guardians, and Caregivers
  9. Resources for Deaf and Disabled Community
  10. Internet, Technology and Utility Resources for Low-Income DC Families
  11. Federal Government Resources

Important Hotlines and Mental Health Resources

Please use these hotlines if you need help:

  • If you are experiencing COVID19 symptoms, call the DC Government Hotline for Symptoms: 202-576-1117. You can also email coronavirus@dc.gov.

  • COVID19 Human Needs Referral Service Center hotline: 1-888-349-8323

    • This hotline is intended for DC residents who have tested positive for COVID19 or need to be quarantined due to possible COVID19 exposure. Callers will be asked for general information and a call-back number and can expect a call back within 24 hours by a referral assistant. This assistant will help them complete an online form to access delivery of free food and other essential items.

  • School Based Mental Health Services/Referrals: This document identifies individual(s) at each participating DC school to contact for school based mental health services and/or referrals. The Department of Behavioral Health has partnered with community-based organizations (CBOs) to provide mental health services to students at select DCPS and charter schools. Students can access mental health services from the CBO clinician located at their school and can be connected to additional services provided by the CBO.

  • COVID-19 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Resource Guide: https://bit.ly/COVID19_MHRG. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive listing of community behavioral health resources for youth that accept DC Medicaid and their operating status during COVID-19.

  • Access to a mental health clinician and suicide prevention lifeline: 1-888-793-4357

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or chat with a specialist

  • Families in need of shelter: call 311 or 202-399-7093

  • Child abuse and neglect hotline: 202-671-SAFE

  • D.C. Mutual Aid Network hotline: 202-630-0336

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Help Line: 1-800-985-5990

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224

  • EveryMind: The Maryland-based organization has a list of resources for coping with COVID-19 anxiety in healthy ways, as well as a hotline to connect with specialists in the area: 301-738-2255
  • DC SAFE: The 24/7 crisis-intervention agency for domestic violence in D.C. says in an email that “domestic violence rates tend to increase in the shadow of crisis as external pressures mount.” The agency provides support to victims and survivors, and is prepared for an uptick in abusive situations—its advocates are working remotely and are available 24/7. If you have an immediate need please call the City’s Victim Assistance line at 1-844-4HELPDC, 911 or 311
  • For general guidance, the National Institute of Mental Health and other leading mental health experts are offering free advice online on staying calm during this crisis. Plus, here a few helpful reminders from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
    • Separate what is in your control from what is not.
    • Do what helps you feel a sense of safety. 
    • Get outside in nature–even if you are avoiding crowds. 
    • Challenge yourself to stay in the present. 
    • Stay connected and reach out if you need more support.
  • BestColleges wants to ensure that we equip students in Washington with the knowledge to move forward if they are currently experiencing a mental health challenge, including depression, anxiety and PTSD: https://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/top-5-mental-health-problems-facing-college-students/
  • American Psychiatric Association created two infographics to help promote the well-being of students, families, and colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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DC Government Agency Updates

For the latest information from DC Health and other DC government agencies, visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/.

Important Office of the Tenant Advocate updates:

Important Child and Family Services Agency updates:

Child Protection Register:  Electronic applications and instructions (in English and Spanish) to get the CPR check application for employment purposes and child welfare purposes can be found here: https://cfsa.dc.gov/service/child-protection-register-cpr and in the attached PDFs.

  • CPR check request instructions for child welfare (PDF)
  • CPR check request instructions for employment (PDF)
  • CPR submission instructions (English) (PDF)
  • CPR submission instructions (Spanish) (PDF)
  • Checking the Status of a Request: The CPR main number 202-727-8885 is active during business hours and the general email cfsa.cpr@dc.gov will be monitored and responded to within 24 hours or the next business day. To check on the status of an application, you can call or send an email to cfsa.cpr@dc.gov and use the subject line “status check.”

Important Department of Human Services updates:

  • DC DHS has launched a free DC Access mobile app to apply for TANF, SNAP & Medicaid: https://dhs.dc.gov/dcaccess

    • The app is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. It is only available for initial applications at this time.

  • Effective, Wednesday, May 13, District residents participating in SNAP may use their benefits to make online purchases of authorized food items using their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card on Amazon at amazon.com/snap-ebt.

  • DHS is automatically extending benefits for SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, Alliance and other DHS benefits for people whose benefits would extend March 31 or April 30.
  • DHS is closing Virginia Williams (Family Homeless Intake Center) as of 3/16. Families needing shelter must call 311 or 202-399-7093 for shelter intake.
  • DHS has created a new homelessness service hotel location where homeless DC residents who have been identified as high risk for the coronavirus (over the age of 70, experiencing chronic conditions like lung disease, kidney disease, etc.) can be placed.
  • DHS is rescinding notices of cessations issued to families in Family Rehousing and Stabilization Program (FRSP). DHS will extend the rental subsidy and case management services for these families until further notice. Case managers are reaching out to families by phone to inform them of this decision.
  • TCP will email the families, the Office of Administrative Hearings and DHS a copy of each family’s rescind notice. The Department is not intending to issue new cessations at this time. In addition, for families who have appealed their exit decisions issued in the month of February or earlier, if OAH issues final orders to uphold decision during the public health emergency period, they will not be exited from the program. However, DHS and TCP could issue emergency terminations in response to an imminent threat to a family or other’s safety.
  • Public Benefits Update:
    • Please note, all public benefits should be continued through the end of the public health emergency. There is no need to certify or recertify at this time. All paper notices have been suppressed. Please make sure you have up to date phone numbers with the ESA centers because they are moving to phone-based communication rather than paper notice based communication. 

    • Bump in SNAP benefits for March and April: The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act has created a temporary (March and April) allotment to increase SNAP benefits to U.S. households that are not currently receiving the maximum benefit. The maximum amount a household can receive in SNAP is $1,200.
    • Pandemic-EBT will give families with kids $133/month: Families with a child who would be receiving free or reduced-price lunch or school breakfast will now be receiving $133 per month per child. DHS is working with OSSE to identify eligible households. Eligible families should call DHS and make sure their address is correct on file with the agency.
    • If you need to complete a NEW application for public benefits, you can travel to the ESA and pick up a paper copy, or print a copy from this link: https://dhs.dc.gov/publication/combined-application-benefits. Please note you must drop off the completed signed application at their ESA center dropbox. To submit verification documentation, DHS has set up new email inboxes that you can send copies of documents to in order to avoid another trip to the ESA. The email addresses are for receiving information only - they will not answer any questions via email. Make sure to include your name, phone number, and DOB or any other combination of identifying information in the email so that they can match the documents to the right case. 

Important DC Public Schools and Public Charter School updates:


Important Department of Health Care Finance updates:

As many families do not want or should not have in-person visits with health providers, and many providers are limiting services to emergencies; the DC government has allowed more virtual health delivery.  Below are links that list all of the services currently permissible under the regulations.  

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DC Courts

You can find the most up-to-date information about the Current Court Operating Status here.

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School Meal Distribution Sites 

DC School Meal Finder

Maryland School Meal Finder

Map that finds the closest meal pickup location from any Maryland address:


For more information on obtaining FREE groceries, meals, and hygiene items, either by delivery or in-person pick up visit here: https://www.lawhelp.org/dc/classroom/dc-covid-19-resource-links/dc-resources/covid-19-food-diaper-and-hygiene-item-links?show=lesson

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Housing and Shelter Services

STAY DC is a financial assistance program for D.C. renters and housing providers who are looking for support to cover housing and utility expenses and offset the loss of income. Information and application: https://stay.dc.gov/

For help and support please visit: https://www.lawhelp.org/dc/classroom/dc-covid-19-resource-links/dc-resources/covid-19-housing-links?show=lesson

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Medical Services and Testing Sites

You can find information about how and where to get tested if you think you have symptoms or were exposed to someone with coronavirus here: https://www.lawhelp.org/dc/classroom/dc-covid-19-resource-links/dc-resources/covid-19-landing-test?show=lesson

If you do not have health insurance you can also find information about qualifying and applying for health insurance now.

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Legal Services and Information

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For Parents, Grandparents, Guardians, and Caregivers

  • Back-to-School Tips Special Issues During the COVID-19 Pandemic: PDF

  • LAYC DC are hosting Parenting and Prenatal classes virtually. Our Parenting classes will begin on Thursday, June 4th, and our prenatal classes will begin on Tuesday, June 9th. 
  • DC Parents Amplifyng Voices in Education (PAVE) developed a list of additional resources that may be useful to students, families and educators.
  • A DC resident also started this Google Doc which includes additional mutual aid resources, activities to reduce stress and anxiety and additional nonprofits who are providing community supports.
  • Expensify.org is matching SNAP grocery purchases up to $50 per family while funds are available: https://www.expensify.org/hunger
  • Distance Learning: DCPS has prepared learning materials for students to use at home.  The learning materials are for every grade level from Pre-K through 8th grade and each graduation requirement course for 9-12th grade. DCPS's website states that the materials were designed to meet the needs of all students including English Learners and students with special needs.  The materials are available online: bit.ly/DCPS_ICP.  They are also available in hard copy, which can be picked up at the student's school; families can also request that their school email them the materials.  Public charter schools are also making distance learning materials available; check with the student's school and also at: https://www.focusdc.org/covid-19-resources.
  • Kincare Information: DC Kincare Alliance created a comprehensive resource guide for relative caregivers caring for DC children: https://www.dckincare.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020-Relative-Caregiver-Resource-Guide-Final.pdf.

    • DC Kincare Alliance prepared a FAQ and information about the Grandparent/Relative Caregiver application. There is also guidance from Congressman Davis on the Stimulus Payment for grand-families. Note: The 6-month eligibility requirement the GCP and RP is now waived.
    • Relative caregivers can call DC Kincare Alliance’s Legal Helpline assistance: 202-505-5803
    • DC COVID-19 Q&As for relative caregivers (PDF)
    • Grandparent Caregiver Program and Relative Caregiver Program Applications (PDF)
    • Congressman Danny K. Davis Guide for Grandfamilies on COVID-19 Stimulus Payments (PDF)
  • The Dougy Center Guide for Supporting Grieving Children and Teens in Foster Care During COVID19: https://www.dougy.org/docs/Grief_during_COVID-19_LYGHT.pdf
  • The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University created the following How to Help Families and Staff Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Outbreak guide.

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 Resources for Deaf and Disabled Community

  • A list of resources related to COVID-19 that are available for and accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals: https://www.amphl.org/blog/2020/3/15/covid-19-resource-list.
  • Developed by Green Mountain Self-advocates for individuals with ID/DD is an 8-page booklet about the Coronavirus written in plain language. It was created by and for people with developmental disabilities. It focuses on “need to know” information- English version and Spanish version.

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Internet, Technology and Utility Resources for Low-Income DC Families

For information regarding Utility Assistance and Internet Access please visit: https://www.lawhelp.org/dc/classroom/dc-covid-19-resource-links/dc-resources/covid-19-utility-assistance-links?show=lesson

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Federal Government Resources

  • Coronavirus Tax Relief: Economic Impact Payments
    • U.S. citizens or resident aliens are eligible for the Economic Impact Payment if they have a valid Social Security number, could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and had adjusted gross income under certain limits. All Economic Impact Payments information can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.
    • Portal for non-filers (of federal income tax): https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here.
    • Portal for federal income tax filers to provide direct deposit back account information and find out when their payment is scheduled: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.
      • This tool allows persons who did not provide bank account information with their tax return to do so now and avoid issues associated with issuance of a paper check. The IRS says it cannot be used to change bank account information already on file. It also cannot be used after a person’s stimulus payment has been scheduled for delivery.

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