Let’s break down the barriers
that stand in the way of our kids’
Health & Safety.
Access to Insurance & Care
While DC does a better job than many states of providing health support, there are still big gaps in health care access.
- Approximately 7 out of 10 children are covered by Medicaid or DC Healthy Families or the Immigrant Children’s Program, but coverage isn’t always continuous. 9% of Black children, 4% of Latinx, and 2% of white children had periods without health insurance coverage in the year prior according to the 2020-2021 National Survey of Child Health.
- Approximately 23% of Black and Latinx children didn’t have a preventative care visit in the past year, versus just 6% of white children.
- Home visiting is a way of delivering prevention and early intervention services for expecting parents and families of young children. DC home visiting programs have the capacity to serve 1,437 children and families. In 2021, programs served 1,113 families.
Preventative Care Visits for DC Children
Children with Private Health Insurance Only
Children with Public Health Insurance Only
Check-Up in the Last Year (2020-21 National Survey of Child Health)
Race & Equity
DC Children Medicaid Coverage (2018)
Many disparities exist in adolescent health outcomes.
- Black middle and high school students are almost three times as likely to have attempted suicide as white middle and high school students according to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
- Middle school girls of color have particularly high rates – nearly one out of five female Black and Latina middle school students reported having attempted suicide.
- One area where DC has made improvement is teen birth rates. The number of births to 15-19 year-olds fell from 951 in 2010 to 301 in 2020.
DC Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students are More at Risk for Suicide
While the District was a leader in reaching eligible families for SNAP, participation by children decreased in the years just before the COVID-19 pandemic.
- More than 1 in 4 DC children received SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in fiscal year 2019. This is a striking decrease from a few years prior, when nearly half of the District’s children were enrolled in SNAP. The number has increased since then, thanks to both an increased need and increased benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the federal benefits are reduced, the District should take steps to ensure that children who need nutrition support still get it.
- 93% of the DC residents receiving SNAP are Black and 3% are Latinx. See Early Childhood for information on WIC (Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children).
- There are gaps in grocery access where many children live. Only three full-service grocery stores service wards 7 and 8, where 37% of DC children live. Each store serves more than four times the number of residents as those in any other ward of the District. Learn more
DC SNAP Enrollment
DC Residents Participating in SNAP (2019)
Race & Equity
DC COVID-19 Deaths by Race (November 2022)
Concerns about over-policing youth are born out in the stops, searches, use of force, and arrests data.
- Black youth under 18 were stopped at more than 10 times the rate of their white peers in 2021, with an even greater disparity for Black versus white boys.
- Police also searched Black youth under 18 far more often than they did white youth: 707 compared to just seven.
- Police were also far more likely to use force with Black children than white children: nearly all (161 out of 170) of the use-of-force incidents with children under the age of 18 in 2021 were with Black children. In nearly half these incidents the police pointed a firearm at the child.
- In DCPS, 92% of school-based arrests in 2018-19 were of Black students (60% of the student body). And 29% of school-based arrests were of students with disabilities (18% of the student body).
9 out of 10 Children Stopped by Police are Black
Percent of Youth Under 18 Subjected to DC Metropolitan Police Department Stops (2021)
Dr. Michal Young
Neonatologist, DC American Academy of Pediatrics