Founded as an orphanage in the District of Columbia in 1915, The National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) has guided the community’s investment in caring for children and youth with unmet needs. In 1931, having outgrown its original home, NCCF relocated to a 140-acre farm in Bethesda and adapted to address the impact of harsh conditions suffered by children through the flu epidemic, the Great Depression and two World Wars. Now, NCCF remains a community beacon, driven by a clear vision of responsibility for the vulnerable children and families who live in the midst of one of the most educated and affluent regions in the world. This flexible and robust community institution has responded to the crisis for children living through community and racial violence, drug epidemics, income inequality, child maltreatment and educational disparities, i.e., emergency shelters, transitional and affordable housing, therapeutic residential care, foster care and adoption, teen parent services, and community and school-based prevention services. As our country focuses on global war, the dominant influence of social media, an explosion of technology, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic instability and widespread societal injustice, NCCF steadily promotes increased attention on and resources for children, youth and their families who require critical support from the larger community, if they are to thrive.
NCCF has created a wide continuum of 21 programs that annually propels more than 50,000 children, youth and families into an improved quality of life within the National Capital Region. NCCF seeks to lead through transformation, diversity and inclusivity. Dr. Sheryl Brissett Chapman, NCCF’s executive director, says, “Our 105-year history reflects institutional resilience; yet NCCF has captured the benefit of experience without being held siege to it. With its compassionate vision to inspire the community to care for its most defenseless and dependent children and youth, it continues to innovate and promote health, well-being and a quality of life in our community.”
“NCCF seeks to lead through transformation, diversity, and inclusivity.”