Parent Handbook

DCLY has created a handbook aimed towards parents with children in need of services or children involved in the juvenile justice system. The Handbook contains information on youth activities, youth employment, health services, substance abuse services, special education, discipline in schools, interactions with the police, and the juvenile justice system. The Handbook was created with the understanding that often times the best way to advocate for the best interests of the youth is to educate and empower the parents to advocate on the youth's behalf.

The Handbook is a resource for any parent seeking an appropriate educational environment for a child with a learning disability, any parent whose child has been arrested, or any parent searching for ways to keep a motivated and successful student on the right path. We hope that you will use this information as you try to meet your child’s various needs. The information in this handbook is current as of May 2010. You can find a hard copy of this handbook at your child’s school, your local library or the Family Court clerk’s office at the DC Superior Court.

The Handbook attempts to explain complex legal issues and government processes in straightforward language. However, none of the information included in the Handbook is or should be considered legal advice. If you have specific legal questions, you should contact a lawyer directly. The Handbook will point you in the direction of many useful public and private agencies that can provide you with the services your child needs. Please contact these agencies for more information about their programs.

We would like the Handbook to grow and change with the changing needs of District youth. We welcome your feedback on how we might improve this resource. If you have any questions or comments about the Handbook please leave a voice message at 202-730-9773, or email us at We will keep track of your comments and try to include them in our next edition. Thank you for your continued support!