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Mayor Bowser Hosts 2023 National Maternal and Infant Health Summit

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Mayor’s Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives (MOWPI) are hosting the 6th Annual National Maternal and Infant Health Summit. This year’s summit is focused on working women and best practices for employers of expectant mothers and those returning to the workforce after expanding their families, resources to support families, and reimagining what is covered by insurance.
“No matter how your family comes together, or how young or old your children are, it takes a village to keep families healthy, happy and safe,” said Mayor Bowser. “Building communities that support families requires us to think broadly – from housing to healthcare and everything in-between. We have a lot of fantastic programs that support families in DC and we want to make sure people know about them.”
Throughout the day, the Mayor and District officials are highlighting a range of programs that support families in Washington, DC.  
“Every time we have an opportunity to connect with a woman, we have an opportunity to shift their families and many more households,” said Director of the Mayor’s Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives Natasha Dupee. “We know that Mayor Bowser’s Maternal and Infant Health Summit is a powerful opportunity to connect government resources to those who need them most as well as strengthen pathways for collaboration with stakeholders to reimagine how to support working women.”
Resources for New and Expectant Parents and Parents and Caregivers of Young Children

  • District families can call 1-800-MOM-BABY during pregnancy through a child’s fifth birthday to connect with a care coordinator as a part of DC Health’s Help Me Grow Initiative. Families can call if they have:
    • Have prenatal questions or concerns or questions about their child’s development, behavior or learning
    • Want more information about developmental and behavioral services for a child
    • Need help finding or accessing developmental and behavioral resources
  • The Strong Start DC Early Intervention Program serves as the single point of entry for infants and toddlers in Washington, DC whose families have concerns about their development. The Strong Start program uses the primary service provider and teaming approach – a recognized best practice for providing early intervention services to children with a developmental delay or disability. Using this approach, families are matched with a lead early interventionist who serves as the primary provider on a child’s team. Families with concerns about their child’s development can request to receive services completely through in-person visits, through a combination of in-person and telehealth visits, or completely through telehealth visits.
  • Families seeking child care can turn to My Child Care DC to find information on all licensed child development facilities in the District, including before and after care programs.
  • DC Child Care Connections is the District’s child care resource and referral agency; it provides resources for families to support their children’s development, including how to find and pay for child care and out-of-school time programs. Families can contact DC Child Care Connections at [email protected] or (202) 829-2500.
  • Qualifying families can get help paying for child care through the District’s Child Care Subsidy Program. More information on eligibility and how to apply is available on OSSE’s website.
  • Through Strong Start with the DC Library, the DC Public Library is helping children and youth get a strong start with reading and learning, offering: video story books, reading lists by age and grade, and the Books from Birth program which provides children ages birth to 5 with a free book each month via mail.

Resources to Support All Families

  • Family Success Centers are located in Wards 5, 7, and 8. Families can visit theses centers to be connected to resources around parenting, workforce development, food security, mental health, and more.
  • The Grandparent Caregiver Program is for grandparents raising their grandchild, great-grandchild, great-niece, or great-nephew. The Close Relatives Caregiver Program is for residents who are raising family members. For those eligible, the programs provide monthly financial assistance to help families care for the children in their care. Email: [email protected] or call: (202) 442-6009.
  • The Parent and Adolescent Support Services Program (PASS) assists families with youth up to 17 years old who are skipping school, leaving home, violating curfew, and/ or experiencing extreme family conflict. Intensive case management, Functional Family Therapy, and community-based services are used to address these behaviors and improve family relationships. Email [email protected] or call (202) 698-4334, 24/7.
  • Through the Department of Behavioral Health’s ChAMPS program (Children and Adolescent Mobile Psychiatric Service), a mobile team will come to a family’s home to support and stabilize children and youth ages 6-18 facing a behavioral health crisis. Call ChAMPS at (202) 481-1440.

DC Paid Family Leave

As of October 1, 2022 the District’s Paid Leave Act provides up to:

  • 2 weeks to care for pregnancy
  • 12 weeks to bond with a new child
  • 12 weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • 12 weeks to care for your own serious health condition

Learn more about DC Paid Family Leave here.

During the Summit, Mayor Bowser and DC Health also released the Healthcare Workforce Task Force Report. Established by Mayor Bowser in May of 2022, the task force was charged with providing detailed recommendations on how the District can rebuild, strengthen, and expand its healthcare workforce. The task force was comprised of public and private sector leaders from across the District with specialties in education, employment services, healthcare, and government.

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