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The DC Line: DC moves to ease access to caregiver subsidies for grandparents

March 22, 2022

Photo of Plaza West in Mount Vernon Triangle. which includes a

Children’s Law Center supports CFSA’s prevention efforts to keep children with their families and provide family-strengthening services. It’s why we believe the Grandparent and Close Relative Caregiver Subsidy programs, part of the agency’s prevention efforts, must be adequately funded in the District’s FY23 budget — particularly as the DC Council just passed legislation expanding access to both subsidy programs.

The DC Line/Street Sense Media reporter Annemarie Cuccia spoke with Supervising Policy Attorney Tami Weerasingha-Cote to learn more about how these programs provide vital services to DC families:

The Grandparent and Close Relative Caregivers Program Amendment Act of 2021, passed by the DC Council on March 1, will quicken the process for caregivers like Holmes to obtain subsidies. The bill, originally introduced by the mayor, also expands access to the subsidy to include more people, including non-blood relatives. But even as the program is poised to grow, people currently enrolled in the program are asking for more money and support. 

Caring for a new child can impose a financial strain, especially for families who had not planned for it. Receiving a GCP or CRCP subsidy can be the difference between a child being raised by their family or being placed into DC’s foster care system, according to Tami Weerasingha-Cote, a supervising attorney at Children’s Law Center. 

“We know that our kids have the best outcome when they can stay with their own family,” she said.