Health and Safety

Health and Safety

Children and youth deserve quality and culturally appropriate health care, mental health services, and nutritious food to learn, grow, and thrive.

DC Action supports strengthening access to critical health supports such as School-Based Health Services, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, DC Healthy Families, the Immigrant Children's Program, and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program.

Stay Informed

Our DC Kids Count initiative provides the best available District-level and ward-level data and key indicators of child and youth well-being to inspire innovative and equitable solutions.

Visit our DC Kids Count online – Health and Safety

What You Can Do

1. Join us and stay up-to-date on these critical health programs.

2. Urge your Councilmembers to support and fully fund these priorities.


Health and Safety Resources


Immigrant Children’s Program and DC Health Care Alliance

After a decade in which only about half of all enrollees successfully recertified for the DC Health Care Alliance program every six months, the District’s fiscal year 2023 budget funded a shift so that people only have to recertify once a year. 


Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

DC Medicaid provides health care to almost one in three District residents, and DC Healthy Families (also known as CHIP) provides coverage to children in families with incomes above the Medicaid limit. The bulk of the budget for both programs comes from federal funds.


Immigrant Children’s Program and DC Health Care Alliance

In order to provide health care to those in need regardless of immigration status, DC created and funds two programs: the Immigrant Children’s Program and DC Health Care Alliance.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP, formerly the food stamp program, is a federally funded program that helps eligible low-income children and families afford food.


Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program

WIC is a federal funded program that provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and health care referrals to low-income pregnant and postpartum adults, infants, and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk.


Lessons Learned from the 2016 School Health Needs Assessment 

Research from a range of disciplines provides compelling evidence linking the importance of student health with academic performance: when students are healthy, they are better learners. Since all children are required to attend school starting at age five, school health providers are in a unique position to regularly and consistently support student health.


Children’s Mental Health in D.C.: The Mismatch Between Need and Treatment

Child well-being is important for community and economic development in our city. Young children with strong mental health are prepared to develop crucial skills that help build the basis of a prosperous and sustainable society. When we ensure the healthy development of members of the next generation, they will pay that back through productivity and responsible citizenship.


Medicaid and CHIP Provide Coverage to More Than Half of All Children in D.C.

Medicaid and CHIP are crucial parts of the social safety net, providing health insurance coverage to more than half of all children ages 0–21 in D.C.1 and a third of children nationally.2 Without these two programs, more than 97,000 children in the District would have been uninsured in 2010.3 New research indicates that compared with the uninsured, Medicaid recipients are more likely to seek medical treatment, report better physical and mental health and experience less financial stress.4 Protecting Medicaid/CHIP is extremely important to safeguarding the health and well-being of our most vulnerable children. The difficult fiscal environment currently facing both D.C. and the federal government will almost certainly impact the future of public health insurance coverage for children and their families.