Seals of the Court of Appeals and Superior Court
District of Columbia Courts

Domestic Relations Services

The FCSSD is responsible for conducting home studies in Domestic Relations cases. Domestic Relations cases include divorce, separation, visitation privileges and custody. FCSSD conducts home studies in order to make a recommendation to the judge on what is in the best interest of the child(ren) involved.

What is a Home Study?

The recommendation determination is made after thorough investigations and comprehensive home studies of involved parties are conducted. These studies include, but are not limited to:

  • A tour of the homes or premises where the child(ren) may visit or be placed
  • Assess safety issues, housing, sleeping area, food and running water
  • Interviews and detailed social histories
  • Investigation of the familys dispute from each persons point of view
  • Observation of interactions between each parent/guardian and the child(ren)
  • At least one separate visit with each involved child

Visits to each child's school are conducted to obtain records and interview teachers, counselors, principals and other school personnel to determine the childs adjustment, special needs, parental involvement and other issues that will assist in the custody recommendation. Once the investigations and studies are completed, a comprehensive report with placement and visitation recommendations is submitted to the judge.

Family Court Social Services Division

Court Building B
510 4th Street, NW, Third Floor
Washington, DC 20001

General Information
(202) 508-1900

Get Directions
Hours of Operation

8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Telephone Numbers

Director: Terri Odom
terri.odom [at]

Associate Deputy Director Intake & Delinquency
Pauline Francis

Associate Deputy Director: Jacqueline Wright

Associate Deputy Director Region II, Pre and
Post Supervision:
Sheila Roberson-Adams

Acting Chief Psychologist Child Guidance Clinic:
Dr. Malcolm Woodland