WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Some D.C. councilmembers are taking steps to improve how kids in the district are taken care of by introducing three bills and one of the bills looks to help grandparents raising children in Washington D.C.
Some councilmembers said the three bills are about a holistic approach to taking care of children in the district
And with one of those bills looking to support grandparents, D.C. leaders hope it can make a difference especially as AARP D.C. reports more than 7000 children under the age of 18 live in grandparent-led households.
D.C.’s Facilities And Family Services Committee had a hearing for the bills on Thursday
The first bill, B25-0043 Losing OUTDATED,, Violent exceptions Amendment Act of 2023; repeals the religious exception to D.C.’s definition of child neglect.
The bill tackles the law that says any child “under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer” cannot, under district law, be found to be neglected – and that law wouldn’t allow dc take legal custody of a sick or dying child to make sure they survive.
The second Bill will extend the timeframe for completing abuse and neglect Investigations. That bill is B25-0243, Child and Family Services Agency Investigation Completion Amendment Act of 2023. This bill extends those abuse investigations timeline from 30 to 45 days. It also says unless the allegation involves a child fatality, sex trafficking, or care in a foster home, group home, or licensed day care facility, in those cases, it would be extended to 60 days.
The third bill, B25-0464, Grandparent and Caregiver Subsidy Eligibility Amendment Act of 2023 makes changes to the income requirement for some grandparents and caregivers in D.C. The district has a program where a grandparent or close relative of a child may be eligible to get subsidy payments for the care and custody of that child
The bill changes the requirement for income to be under 300% instead of 200% excluding Supplemental Security 24 Income
Most of the bills have more than one council member introducing and supporting them.