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Children, Youth, and Family Services

Youth Development and Wellness

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) knows the journey to adulthood is always complex. In 1999, in response to the nationwide crisis regarding HIV/AIDS, we introduced our first local youth-centered program. The first of its kind locally, our Youth Haven camp embraced youth and provided a safe space for them to be themselves while also empowering them with tools to navigate their lives.

Our educational programs and youth retreats have grown to include all local youth and families who seek services that support health, community connections, and success, and are held in partnership with local schools, health institutions like Georgetown, Childrens National and Johns Hopkins hospitals, and foundations. Currently, our programs include Youth Haven and Healthy Relationship Education.

Youth Haven Summer Camp 2023

Join our Youth Development and Wellness team this summer at Camp! Registration is open for campers and volunteer counselors! Click the link below and sign-up to learn more.

Youth Haven

Be Well Retreats

The annual three-day immersive experience provides teens and young adults (ages 7 -18) health education, a safe space to share personal challenges and concerns, and encouragement to seek the treatment or help they may need. In a fun environment participants develop leadership skills, learn healthy habits for the mind and body, and create life-long bonds. Retreats focus on topics such as: Accepting Your Diagnosis; The 411 of Medication; Triggers and Trauma; Healthy Coping Strategies and Self-Care; Disclosure Strategies.

Kids Camp

The first and only program of its kind at the time, Youth Haven Kids Camp launched in 1999 offering a summer camp for children living with HIV/AIDS. The camp continues to this day, offering a safe environment, peer support, and wellness training every summer for all youth (ages 7 - 18) impacted by stigma-related health conditions and those living in underserved communities seeking a fun and immersive summer experience.

Healthy Relationship Education

With a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families, LSSNCA teaches relationship skills to high school students in Washington D.C. and Prince George's County, Maryland. We use social and emotional learning (SEL) models and evidence-based methods to inform our work. Through different curriculums, like our Love Notes program,we seek to empower students to make healthy and safe decisions in life, love, and work-related relationships while providing tools and resources to avoid risky behaviors and focus on achieving future goals.