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Home > Advocacy > State Fact Sheets for 2008 > District of Columbia

 
 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA'S CHILDREN 2008

District of Columbia's Children At a Glance

 
 State Population 1  581,530 
 Population, Children Under 18 2  112,837 
 State Poverty Rate 3  18.3% 
 Poverty Rate, Children Under 18 4  31.8% 
 Poverty Rate, Children Ages 5-17 5  30.7% 
 Poverty Rate, Children Under 5 6  27.9% 
All statistics are for 2006.

CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

  • In 2005, the District of Columbia had 5,557 total referrals for child abuse and neglect. Of those, 4,958 reports were referred for investigation. 7
  • In 2005, 1,748 children were substantiated or indicated as abused or neglected in DC, a rate of 25.2 per 1,000 children, and representing a 13.9% increase from 2004. Of these children, 84.2% were neglected, 16.1% were physically abused, and 5.7% were sexually abused. 8
  • In 2005, 2 children died as a result of abuse or neglect in DC. 9
  • In 2005, 2,505 children in the District of Columbia lived apart from their families in out-of-home care, compared with 2,608 children in 2004. In 2005, 19.2% of the children living apart from their families were age 5 or younger, and 31.2% were 16 or older. 10
  • Of the children in out-of-home care in 2005, 0.2% were white, 87.3% black, 3.6% Hispanic, and 8.9% children of other races and ethnicities; none were American Indian/Alaskan Native. 11

PERMANENT FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN

  • Of the 1,050 children exiting out-of-home care in 2005, 34.5% were reunited with their parents or other family members. 12
  • In 2005, 310 children were legally adopted through the public child welfare agency in DC, a 40.6% decrease from 436 in 2004. 13
  • Of the 2,505 children in out-of-home care in 2005, 618, or 24.7%, were waiting to be adopted. 14

KINSHIP SUPPORT

  • In 2005, approximately 6,099 District of Columbia grandparents had primary responsibility caring for their grandchildren. 15
  • Of the 2,505 children in out-of-home care in 2005, 18.8% were living with relatives while in care. 16
  • Of all District of Columbia children in kinship care in 2005, 84.7% were black, 2.5% were Hispanic, none were white or American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 12.7% were other races. 17

CHILD POVERTY AND INCOME SUPPORT

  • The total individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in DC decreased from 38,809 in March 2006 to 11,915 in March 2007, a decrease of 70.8%. The number of families receiving TANF in March 2007 was 5,371, a 67.3% decrease from March 2006. 18
  • In 2003, a family of three receiving only TANF and food stamp benefits in the District of Columbia was at 39.9% of the federal poverty level. 19
  • In 2006, the District of Columbia spent $193,357,600 in TANF funds, includ-ing 32.1% on basic assistance, 67.9% on nonassistance, and none on child care or transportation. 20
  • In 2006, the District of Columbia collected and distributed $48,433,723 in child support funds, an increase of 1% from 2005. 21
  • In 2006, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the District of Columbia was $1,286 per month. The wage necessary to afford this two-bedroom apartment was $24.73 per hour working a 40-hour week. 22

CHILD CARE AND HEAD START

  • In 2005, the District of Columbia had an estimated monthly average of 3,800 children served by subsidized child care; 4,500 children received subsidized child care in 2004, and 8,500 in 2003. 23
  • In 2007, to be eligible for subsidized child care in the District of Columbia a family of three could make no more than $40,225, which is equivalent to 74% of the state's median income. 24
  • In 2007, no children were on DC's waiting list for child care assistance. 25
  • In 2006, Head Start served 3,403 DC children, the same as in 2005. 26

HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE

  • In 2004, 79,300 children younger than 19 were enrolled in Medicaid in the District of Columbia, representing 49.5% of the total number of enrollees. 27
  • In 2004, 1,887 children were enrolled in Medicaid in the District of Columbia on the basis of being in foster care. 28
  • In 2004, DC spent $13,824,124 on Medicaid services for children in foster care, and $7,326 per foster care enrollee on Medicaid services. 29
  • DC reported spending none of its total Medicaid spending in 2004 for children in foster care on targeted case management services. 30
  • The District of Columbia reported spending none of its total Medicaid expenditures in 2004 for foster children on rehabilitative services. 31
  • In 2006, the District of Columbia had 6,332 children enrolled in its Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a 4.72% decrease from 2005, when 6,631 children were enrolled. 32
  • In 2004, the birth rate for teens 15-17 in the District of Columbia was 42.4 births per 1,000 girls; for teens 18-19, the rate was 102.7. This reflects a total rate of 66.7 births per 1,000 girls ages 15-19. 33
  • Cumulative through 2005, 9,614 adults and adolescents, as well as 38 children under the age of 13, were reported as having HIV/AIDS in DC. 34
  • In 2005, an estimated 2,000 children ages 12-17, and 37,000 adults 26 and older, were dependent on or abusing illicit drugs or alcohol in DC.. 35

VULNERABLE YOUTH

  • In 2005, 148 children aged out of out-of-home care in DC. 36
  • In 2005, approximately 1,000 children ages 12-17 in DC needed but had not received treatment for illicit drug use in the past year. 37
  • In 2005, approximately 1,000 children ages 12-17 needed but had not received treatment for alcohol use in the past year. 38
  • In 2004, 1 child younger than 20 committed suicide, a rate of 0.73 per 100,000 children.39 JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION " In 2004, 39 children younger than 18 were killed in firearm homicides in the District of Columbia, a 333% increase from 9 in 2003. 40
  • In 2006, 437 children younger than 18 were arrested in the District of Columbia, a 25.94% decrease from 347 arrests in 2005. Of the arrests in 2006, 45 were for violent crimes and 10 were for possession of a weapon. 41
  • A 2003 census of juvenile offenders showed 285 children in juvenile correction facilities in the District of Columbia.42 FUNDING CHILD WELFARE SERVICES FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA'S CHILDREN

    • In 2004, DC spent $229,968,546 for child welfare services. Child welfare services are all direct and administrative services the state agency provides to children and families. Of this amount, 39% was from federal funds, and 61% was from state funds. 43
    • In 2004, of the $89,703,493 in federal funds received for child welfare, 41% was from Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance, 2% came from Title IV-B Child Welfare Services and Promoting Safe and Stable Families, 49% was from Medicaid, 1% came from the Social Services Block Grant, 5% was from TANF, and 3% came from other federal sources. 44
    • Out of 2,505 children in out-of-home care in DC in 2005, only 602 children, or 24%, received Title IV-E federal foster care assistance.45 THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA'S CHILD WELFARE WORKFORCE

    • A 2003 General Accounting Office (GAO) report documented that staff shortages, high caseloads, high worker turnover and low salaries impinge on delivering services to achieve safety, permanence, and well being for children. 46
    • The federal Child and Family Service Reviews have clearly demonstrated that the more time a caseworker spends with a child and family, the better the outcomes for those children and families.47 " According to the 2003 GAO report, the average caseload for child welfare/foster care caseworkers is 24-31 children; these high caseloads contribute to high worker turnover and insufficient services being provided to children and families. CWLA recommends that foster care caseworkers have case-loads of 12-15 children. 48
    • In 2004, the minimum annual salary for a caseworker responsible for investigating reports of abuse and neglect in the District of Columbia was $41,440; the median income for a family of four was $56,067.

    REFERENCES

    1. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Population Division. (2006). Table 1: Annual Estimates of the Population for the United States and States, and for Puerto Rico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 (NST_EST2006_ALLDATA). Retrieved online November 12, 2007. Washington, DC: Author. back
    2. Administration on Children, Youth and Families. (2007). Child Maltreatment 2005: Reports From the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Retrieved online November 16, 2007. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. back
    3. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2007). Current Population Survey, 2007 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Poverty Status by State: 2006. Retrieved November 12, 2007. Washington, DC: Author. back
    4. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2007). Current Population Survey, 2007 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Poverty Status by State: 2006: People Under 18 Years of Age. Retrieved November 12, 2007. Washington, DC: Author. back
    5. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2007). Current Population Survey, 2007 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Poverty Status by State: 2006: Related Children 5 to 17 Years of Age. Retrieved November 12, 2007. Washington, DC: Author. back
    6. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2007). 2006 American Community Survey, Selected Economic Characteristics. Retrieved November 16, 2007. Washington, DC: Author. back
    7. Administration on Children, Youth and Families. (2007). Child Maltreatment 2005: Reports From the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Retrieved November 16, 2007. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. back
    8. Administration on Children, Youth and Families. (2007). Child Maltreatment 2005: Reports From the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Retrieved November 16, 2007 and table3_6.htm. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. back
    9. Administration on Children, Youth and Families. (2007). Child Maltreatment 2005: Reports From the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Retrieved November 16, 2007. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. back
    10. Child Welfare League of America. (2007). Special tabulation of the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System. Washington, DC: Author. back
    11. "Other races and ethnicities" includes Asian, Pacific Islander, Hawaiian Native, unknown or unable to determine, missing data and two or more races. CWLA (2007) Special AFCARS tabulation. back
    12. CWLA (2007) Special AFCARS tabulation. back
    13. Ibid; CWLA (2006) Special AFCARS tabulation. back
    14. CWLA (2007) Special AFCARS tabulation. back
    15. U.S. Census Bureau. (2006). 2006 American Community Survey, Data Profile. Selected Social Characteristics: 2005. Retrieved online November 16, 2007. Washington, DC: Author. back
    16. CWLA (2006) Special AFCARS tabulation. back
    17. Ibid. back
    18. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance. (n.d.). Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Separate State Program-Maintenance of Effort Aid to Families with Dependant Children: Caseload Data. Retrieved online, November 16, 2007. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. back
    19. Calculations by CWLA, based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2006). Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program: Sixth Annual Report to Congress. Retrieved online November 16, 2007. Washington, DC: Author; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. (2005). Food Stamp Program-Annual State Level Data - State Level Participation. Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: FY 2003. Retrieved online November 16, 2007. Washington, DC: Author; U.S. Department on Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. (2003). The 2003 HHS Poverty Guidelines. Retrieved online, November 16, 2007. Washington, DC: Author. back
    20. Administration for Children and Families. (2004). Combined Spending of Federal and States Funds Expended in FY 2004 Through the Fourth Quarter. Retrieved online, October 13, 2005. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. back
    21. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement. (2007). Preliminary Data Report FY 2006, State Boxscores for FY 2006. Retrieved online, November 16, 2007. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. back
    22. Pitcoff, W.; Pelletiere, D.; Crowley, S.; Treskon, M.; & Dolbeare, C. (2007). Out of Reach 2006. Retrieved online, November 16, 2007. Washington, DC: National Low Income Housing Coalition. back
    23. Administration on Children and Families, Child Care Bureau. (2005). FFY 2005 CCDF Data Tables and Charts; Average Monthly Adjusted Number of Children and Families Served. Retrieved online, October 2, 2006. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Administration on Children and Families, Child Care Bureau. (2003). FFY 2003 CCDF Data Tables and Charts; Average Monthly Adjusted Number of Children and Families Served. Retrieved online, October 2, 2006. Washington, DC: HHS; Administration on Children and Families, Child Care Bureau. (2004). FFY 2004 CCDF Data Tables and Charts; Average Monthly Adjusted Number of Children and Families Served. Retrieved online, October 2, 2006. Washington, DC: HHS. back
    24. Schulman, K., & Blank, H. (2007). State Child Care Assistance Policies 2007: Some Steps Forward, More Progress Needed. Retrieved online, November 19, 2007. Washington, DC: National Women's Law Center. back
    25. Ibid. back
    26. Administration for Children and Families, Head Start Bureau. (2007). Head Start Fact Sheet. Retrieved online, November 19, 2007. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Children and Families, Head Start Bureau. (2006). Head Start Fact Sheet. Retrieved online, October 2, 2006, from www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/hsb/research/2006.htm. Washington, DC: HHS. back
    27. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2007). State Medicaid Fact Sheets. Retrieved online, November 26, 2007. Menlo Park, CA: Author. back
    28. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS). Retrieved November 21, 2007. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. back
    29. Ibid. back
    30. Ibid. back
    31. Ibid. back
    32. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2007). FY 2006 Number of Children Ever Enrolled Year-SCHIP by Program Type. Retrieved online November 21, 2007. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. back
    33. Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2007). Kids Count. State Level Data Online: Comparisons by Topic: Teen Births, by Age Group, Rate per 1,000: 2004. Retrieved online, November 21, 2007. Baltimore: Author. back 34. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2005. Vol. 17. Retrieved online November 21, 2007, from www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/reports/2005report/table12.htm. Atlanta: Author. 35. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Office of Applied Studies. (2007). State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2004-2005 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Retrieved online November 21, 2007, from www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k5state/pdf/2k5state.pdf. Rockville, MD: Author. 36. Children who aged out of foster care are captured by the AFCARS emancipation data element. Children who exit care to emancipation are those who reached the age of majority. CWLA (2007) Special AFCARS tabulation.
    34. SAMHSA, State Estimates of Substance Useback
    35. Ibid. back
    36. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2007). Injury Mortality Reports, 1999-2004. Retrieved online, November 28, 2007. Washington, DC: Author. back
    37. Ibid. back
    38. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2007). Crime in the United States 2006 (Table 69). Retrieved online, November 26, 2007. Washington, DC: Author. FBI. (2006). Crime in the United States 2005 (Table 69). Retrieved online, October 3, 2006. Washington, DC: Author. back
    39. Sickmund, M.; Sladky, T.J., & Kang, W. (2005). Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement Databook. Retrieved online October 3, 2006. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. back
    40. Examples of direct services include child abuse/neglect investigations, foster care, community based programs, case management, and all such services that are required for the safety, permanency, and well being of children. Examples of administrative services include management information systems, training programs, eligibility determination processes, and all services that provide the infrastructure supports for the public agency. Scarcella, C.A.; Bess, R.; Zielewski, E.H.; & Geen, R. (2006). The Cost of Protecting Vulnerable Children V: Understanding State Variation in Child Welfare Financing. Retrieved online, October 3, 2006. Washington, DC: Urban Institute. back
    41. Ibid. back
    42. CWLA (2007) Special AFCARS tabulation. back
    43. U.S. General Accounting Office. (March 2003). Child Welfare: HHS Could Play a Greater Role in Helping Child Welfare Agencies Recruit and Retain Staff. Retrieved online, January 14, 2005. Washington, DC: Author. back
    44. Ibid. back
    45. Ibid. back
    46. Child Welfare League of America. (2006). State Child Welfare Agency Survey. Washington, DC: Author; U.S. Census Bureau. (2005). Median Income for 4-Person Families, by State. Retrieved online, October 3, 2006. Washington, DC: Author. back




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