The Developing Families Center (DFC) promotes the empowerment of low-income families through the collaboration of three nonprofit service providers: Community of Hope at Family Health and Birth Center, Healthy Babies Project, and UPO Early Childhood Development Program.
A unique umbrella organization, DFC is the first collaboration model of its kind to offer continuous, uninterrupted care for women and their families during the important childbearing and early child-rearing years.
The DFC weaves together health care, social services, and early childhood development services under one roof in an accessible, personalized setting. Each partner organization provides a subset of the services offered in the building. The DFC is the umbrella organization that promotes and supports interconnections between the Center’s direct service providers, facilitates the development of new services, maintains the facility, conducts research, develops policy recommendations, and consults with agencies about replication of the DFC model.
Who we Serve
The Developing Families Center was founded to serve low-income African American families in DC’s low-income communities. The majority of DFC clients come from wards 5, 7, and 8.
Some social service and case management programs have eligibility requirements based on age and ward of residence. Our classes and health care services do not have restrictions and are open to anyone regardless of ability to pay. Please ask specific service providers for eligibility information through our contact page.
Patient-centered care in a social context
The DFC collaborative model recognizes the complex and interconnected factors that contribute to families’ health and well-being. Rather than looking at health care, family support services, and early childhood development as seperate entities, the DFC incorporates all of these services in a wrap-around model. Offering a variety of services under one roof encourages families to build strong relationships with their providers and opens up opportunities for comprehensive care.
Informal focus groups have revealed that many women feel they are not being treated with respect and dignity by their caregivers. The DFC model gives women the tools and information they need to be active in their own health care and empowers families with the tools and resources they need to raise healthy children. Family support workers and nurse case managers work together with clinical providers to address the multifaceted issues faced by the individuals and families we serve.
Community members were involved every step of the way in planning for this one-stop care center, and changes in our programs and services are informed by focus groups, community surveys, and client interviews.
The DFC Community Advisory Board, a group of families who use one or more DFC services, meets each month to recommend changes and inform new policies. Please contact us for more information about the board.