The Metropolitan Police Department, Youth and Family Services Division (YFSD), is responsible for the following:
- Investigating Child Abuse and Neglect
- Investigating Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation (including child pornography and child prostitution)
- Investigating Juvenile Missing Persons (under the age of 18 years) & Parental Kidnapping
- Investigating Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS)
- Juvenile Processing Center (process juvenile arrestees)
- Absconder Unit (locate youth in abscondence)
- Investigating Internet Crimes against Children Unit
Child Abuse & Neglect
A person commits the crime of child abuse and if that person is a parent, guardian or custodian of a child and intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly tortures, beats, or otherwise willfully maltreats a child under 18 years of age or engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of bodily injury to a child, and thereby causes bodily injury. Further, if that person exposes a child, or aids and abets in exposing a child in any highway, street, field house, outhouse, or other place with intent to abandon the child.
Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation
A person commits the crime of child sex abuse or exploitation if that person engage in or attempt to engage in a sexual act or contact with a child 15 years of age or younger and the person is more than 4 years older than child (whether child consents or not) or exposes a child to sexually explicit conduct (including child prostitution). Further, a person commits a crime of sexual abuse if that person, regardless of age, engages in a sexual act or contact against a child’s will.
All physical and sexual abuse investigations are conducted in a multi-disciplinary (multiple agencies providing services to the victims) approach. Agencies involved are:
- Child & Family Services Agency
- Child Advocacy Center
- Children National Medical Center
- Office of Attorney General for the District of Columbia
- United States Attorney’s Office
Juvenile Missing Person/Parental Kidnapping
Investigators work along with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (www.ncmec.org) and the DC Council of Government’s Amber Alert program, and surrounding law enforcement agencies to locate missing and abducted children. AMBER (America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) is a notification program used to help locate missing children believed to have been abducted. The Emergency Alert System (formerly known as the Emergency Broadcast System) is used to alert the public via television and radio in the event of an AMBER Alert. Information about the AMBER Plan for Washington, DC can be found at the Washington, DC AMBER Alert Plan site.
Persons in Need of Supervision
The Youth Investigations Division assists patrol units and concerned citizens with troubled youth. Persons in need of supervision involve those juvenile who run away from home, truant from school, violating curfew rules, and defiant behavior at home or school. Several non-governmental organizations listed may be useful for parents or guardians looking for intervention.
- Child & Family Services Neighborhood Collaborative: (202) 442-6000
- DC Department of Mental Health, Access Helpline: 1-888-793-4357
- Discovery School of Virginia: [email protected]
- Teen Solutions: 1-800-429-6099
Juvenile Processing Center
The Youth Investigations Division, Juvenile Processing Center has been vested with the responsibility of processing all juveniles that are arrested within the District of Columbia, in the most expedient, efficient and safe manner. This includes booking, fingerprinting, photographing, and reviewing the circumstances of the arrest to determine the appropriate charge. Members assigned to the Juvenile Processing Center also have the responsibility of screening juveniles to determine if the youth may be suffering from a medical condition.
The Juvenile Processing Center is co-located inside the Department of Youth Rehabilitations Services Center (DYRS), located at 1000 Mount Olivet Road, NE, Washington, DC.
The goal of the Youth Investigations Division, Absconder Unit is to locate and return missing children who are the subject of custody orders (juvenile warrants), issued by judicial officers. The Absconder Unit attempts to locate absconded children under the jurisdiction of the Court Social Services and the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. The Absconder Unit works in coordination with the Office of the Attorney General, Court Social Services, Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services and the Alliance of Concerned Men.
Internet Crimes Against Children
The Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) unit investigate Internet crimes against children. The mission of the DC ICAC unit is to identify, investigate, apprehend and prosecute Internet sexual predators who exploit children through the use of the computers. ICAC also participate in community education efforts regarding the prevention of Internet related crimes against children. DC ICAC works with and is partnered with other law enforcement agencies to combat internet crimes against our children, to include the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Innocent Images unit and the Northern Virginia/DC Regional Task Force on Internet Crimes against Children.
For additional information on Internet safety, the following websites are suggested:
- Safe Kids
- Blog Safety for Teens
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety
- Internet Safety - Safe Surfing Tips for Teens
- Laptops for Kids
5002 Hayes Street, NE
Washington, DC 20019
(202) 576-6768 (phone)
(202) 576-6561 (fax)