About Us

The Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD) was established over four decades ago. The GUCCHD’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all children and youth, children with special needs, adults with developmental and other disabilities, and their families. A division of Georgetown University’s Department of Pediatrics, the Center is founded on an interdisciplinary approach to service, training, research, community outreach, technical assistance, and public policy. These six building blocks form a synergistic core influencing local, national, and international programs and policy. Importantly, the Center brings to bear its unique capacity on critical social issues of our time such as poverty, health and mental health inequities, homelessness, violence, and literacy. The GUCCHD has provided leadership and expanded knowledge to improve systems, practice, and outcomes for young children, children and youth with special health care and mental health needs and their families, and individuals with developmental disabilities. A variety of federal, state, local, and private resources support the Center.

Our Values

All the work of the GUCCHD is grounded in a core set of values including:

  • Engaging families, youth, and consumers in the development, implementation, and evaluation of Center activities;
  • Ensuring cultural and linguistic competence in our work and the systems we support; and
  • Promoting approaches that are family-centered and youth guided, culturally and linguistically competent, community-based, integrated, strength-based, and inclusive.

These values are reflected in the Center’s key strategies including implementing partnerships, collaborative approaches, and participatory action and translational research.

What We Do


The Center undertakes a wide variety of training activities to improve the quality of the human services workforce. As part of a national network of interdisciplinary training programs, the Center prepares individuals for leadership roles in the provision of services to children with special needs, adults with developmental and other disabilities, and their families.

Community Outreach

In the metropolitan DC area, the Center strives to serve the most vulnerable children—those who are unserved and those who are underserved. Working closely with various agencies and organizations, the Center has developed a broad array of community initiatives in such settings as homeless shelters, public housing, early intervention programs, child care programs, and Head Start.


While the Center has a broad research agenda, a current thrust focuses on service delivery across multiple child-serving systems for children with special health and behavioral health care needs. This research is field driven for the purpose of advancing practical knowledge and promising practices as well as understanding the impact of public policies on services and outcomes for children, families, and communities.

Technical Assistance Approaches to Build Service System Capacity

The Center and its programs work to enhance the capacity of an array of human service systems to improve services and outcomes by convening meetings to support collaborative solutions and providing training, customized technical assistance and consultation, leadership development, and knowledge development and dissemination.

Public Policy

GUCCHD provides leadership on the formulation of public policies that address issues facing human service delivery systems and the people that they serve. Faculty participates on high level national and international bodies to promote policies to improve the quality of life for children, families, and vulnerable populations. The Center also convenes state leaders to develop action plans to improve policies that support systems reform.

Current and Past Funders

Federal, state, local, and private resources support the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. The Center gratefully acknowledges those who have contributed to either completed or ongoing activities, including:

US Department of Health and Human Services
US Department of Education
US Department of Justice
US Department of Agriculture
Environmental Protection Agency
National Institutes of Health
District of Columbia Government
States Governments of Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, Alaska, Virginia, and others
Better Homes Foundation
Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Harry and Lynde Bradley Foundation
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Philip Graham Fund
Hasbro Children’s Foundation
David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Mary and Daniel Loughran Foundation
March of Dimes
The Soros Foundation
Freddie Mac Foundation
Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation
Verizon Literacy Fund
California Endowment
Open Society, Inc.
Ewing Marion Kaufmann Foundation
Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts