Family Services Division

The Family Services Division works on behalf of the District’s most vulnerable citizens—abused and neglected children.

The Division has five Child Protection Sections. The attorneys in these sections handle all child abuse and neglect litigation on behalf of the District’s Child and Family Services Agency, from the initiation of a case through finding a child a permanent placement. Division attorneys determine if a legal basis exists to file a petition alleging child abuse and neglect and secure an adjudication. They then advise the agency of its legal obligations in furtherance of permanency. Division attorneys also advise Child and Family Services social workers and staff members on compliance with local and federal law.

The Family Services Division works hard to maintain its specialized focus on particularly vulnerable populations. The Division has dedicated staff assigned to work with Safe Shores and the DC Children’s Advocacy Center. It has an attorney assigned to handle unaccompanied refugee minor cases, an attorney assigned to staff DC Superior Court’s Family Treatment Court (which focuses on substance abuse), and an attorney to staff HOPE Court (which focuses on sex trafficking of minors). Division attorneys also work to ensure that people (such as teachers) who are required by law to report child abuse are knowledgeable about reporting obligations and partners with District education and law enforcement agencies to train educators on a quarterly basis.

The Family Services Division has more than 40 attorneys and professional staff members.